Basic Music Notation

Before we can start to apply music theory to the guitar, there are some basics we need to go over.

Properties of Sound

Musical notes, although they may be produced by different instruments, all produce the same result—a series of alternating increases and decreases in air pressure.  These vibrations are picked up by our ear drums (tympanic membranes) and are transmitted to areas of the brain where we process sound.

The result is the music we hear.

Pitch refers to the relative highness or lowness of a note.  Frequency, the number of vibrations per second, is measured in units called Hertz (Hz).  One Hertz is equal to one vibration per second.  As frequency increases so does pitch—the highest note on an acoustic piano is 4186 Hz and the lowest is 27.5 Hz. 

Music Notation

Music notation is used to indicate both the pitch and duration of a note.  Notes are written on a set of parallel lines called a staff.  The vertical position of a note on the staff indicates its pitch.

Now it’s time to look at the Treble Clef

Understanding the Treble Clef