Sight Reading 101

Lines, Spaces and Ledger Lines




The musical staff is made up of horizontal lines and spaces. These lines and spaces are where the notes, and other musical symbols are placed.

Each line and space has a name that consists of a single letter, identifying the notes which occur on that particular line or space.


Example 1:
If a note occurs on a "G" line, the note is a G.


Example 2:
If a note occurs on an "F" space, it's an F.




Lines

Here are the names of the lines of the staff:

Lines on the staff.

One way to remember the names of the lines, is that these letters are the first letters in each word of the phrase: Every Good Boy Does Fine.



Spaces

Here are the names of the spaces of the staff:

Lines on the staff.

One way to remember the spaces of the staff, is that the letters spell the word: F A C E.



Ledger Lines

Ledger lines are lines that extend below and above the original staff to display notes that are too low or too high to appear on the staff itself.

Lines on the staff.



You can figure out the names of the lines and spaces of the ledger lines by knowing the bottom, and top, lines of the staff. Then just continue naming the notes in order as you go up, or down into the ledger lines.


Example 1:
Studying the staff will help you to know that the bottom line is E. The space below that would be D; the first ledger line down would be C; the space below that ledger line would be B; the next ledger line down would be A; etc...

Ledger Lines on the staff.




Example 2:
Studying the staff will help you to know that the top line is F. The space above that would be G; the first ledger line up would be A; the space above that ledger line would be B; the next ledger line up would be C; etc...

Ledger Lines on the staff.





In the next lesson you'll see all the names of the notes that appear on the staff and in the ledger lines. Just be sure to understand the concepts mentioned above. That will help you in your reading. Again, the next lesson will help you with this.








Course Map:

Introduction | Course Directory | The Staff | Lines, Spaces and Ledger Lines | Flash Cards I: Learning the Notes | The Fret Board | Reading Exercises On Each String | Note and Rest Values | Time Signatures | Rhythm Exercises, Part I | Triplets and Dotted Notes & Rests | Rhythm Exercises, Part II | Flash Cards II: Rhythm Values | Ties | Rhythm Exercises, Part III | Simple Melodies | Course Conclusion

Glossary of Terms






Copyright 1999 T.A. Vieira, Jr.