How to Read Piano Notes

Reading music may seem difficult at first, but over time, with practice it will become easier, but do not let it put you off. With a little bit of time, a pencil and an eraser you can work out how to interpret most music.

For beginners, you can apply a general rule – music played with your right hand on Middle C or higher will be denoted by a treble clef at the beginning of the bar. Anything played with your left hand on the Middle C or lower will be denoted by a bass clef at the beginning of the bar.

Piano NotesThe image to the right here is shows a treble clef indicating this piece should be played on the higher half of the piano (the higher notes). The note here is Middle C and is located below the treble staff on a leger line.

From Middle C you can easily then work out every note higher than it, simply counting upwards. D would be just below the bottom line of the staff, E would be on the bottom line, F would be between the bottom two lines and so on. There is however a quick and simple way.

The following diagram shows the word ‘FACE’, and it is an easy way to remember each of the notes that fall between the lines on the treble staff.

The notes that fall on the line, they can be remembered using the saying ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit’.

Piano Notes face

Piano Notes bassThere are similar tricks to the bass clef too. The bass clef is shown here to the right. Middle C is also depicted and you can see this time it is sitting above the bass staff (the lines). Again you can work out every note lower than the Middle C by working backwards, so on top of the line you would have B, then on the top line, A, then between the top two lines G and so on.

Below the notes between the lines are A, G, B, F. Using a similar trick to the treble staff, these can be remembered using the saying All Cows Eat Grass and those on the line can be recalled as Good Boys Deserve Fruit Always.

Piano Notes trick

The more that you read music, the quicker you will recognise the notes and where they correlate to on the piano keyboard.

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