UkeThingy

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Theory 101 – The Basics (reading music)

Posted by Ian on March 7, 2008

To continue my music theory series, I’m going to go back to basics to catch people who have little formal music background. If you already know how to read the treble clef, this lesson will be nothing by review for you, most likely.

Anyhow. Let’s take things from the top.

Most any uke player can read a tab and understand chord names, but not all can read a piece of music if put in front of them.

The basic parts of a piece of sheet music are the clef (in this case, treble), the key signature (I will get into this later), the staff (the five lines adn four spaces where all of this, and the notes, are placed), and the notes themselves.

I apologize if things seem a tad thrown together from this point: I”m rushing finishing this post, sacrificing some quality… sorry ’bout that.

Here is an example of the treble clef on a staff:

Notes are placed on the lines or in the spaces in between the lines on the staff. The bottom line corresponds with the note ‘E’, the space above that with ‘F’, then a line for ‘G’, then a space for ‘A’, a line for ‘B’, space for ‘C’, line for ‘D’, space for ‘E’ and a line for ‘F’.

To remember this, you can use the mnemonic devices such as ‘Every Good Boy Does Fine’ for the lines, and ‘FACE’ for the spaces. The first letter of each of these words correspond with the note name of the corresponding line or space from bottom to top.

Things called ‘ledger lines’ can be added above or below the staff to show notes that do not fit in the staff’s normal range. I do not have time to describe them, but, if you would like, you can look them up… simply google ‘ledger lines’ and you will most likely get an answer to your questions.

And I have run out of time to work on this. I guess it will be a two parter…. sorry that I didn’t get too far on this. Hope it helped someone….

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3 Responses to “Theory 101 – The Basics (reading music)”

  1. […] Now that you know how to read tab, you’re ready to tackle learning to read music with Uke Thingy. […]

  2. Dave said

    I thing the spaces spell FACE not “All Cows Eat Grass” if I remember my music lessons from 60+ years ago.

  3. Ian said

    Thanks Dave.

    I’d gotten bass clef mixed up with treble while throwing this together…

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