Understanding the Treble Clef

The first symbol you encounter in printed music is called a clef.  A clef is a symbol used to indicate the pitch of a particular line.  Once you know the pitch of one note you can easily derive the others.

The musical alphabet consists of the first seven letters of the alphabet:


The two most common clefs are the treble and bass clefs.  Guitar music is notated in the treble clef and will therefore be our main focus.

The treble clef, is sometimes called the “G” clef because it indicates the position of the note G.

An easy way to remember the notes in the treble clef is to use the following mnemonics:

The notes in spaces in the treble clef spell out the word FACE:

Ledger Lines

To write notes that are found below or above the staff, ledger lines are used.  A ledger line is simply an extension of the staff.


Next we look at…

Parts of a Note: What are Stems and Flags?