Music is a language within itself. Similar to how we learn our ABCs for speaking reading and communicating our thoughts in writing, we learn the basic piano notes to help us play and compose beautiful music. Once you learn the language of music, you will be able to pick up any music sheet and understand the composition. Here are the basic piano notes that a beginner needs to learn.
Treble and Bass Cleft – The Starting Point
The first thing you will be introduced to is a blank music staff. This is a set of five horizontal lines with four spaces between the lines. The lines and spaces correspond with the notes that we will discuss later in this article. Music composers add a clef symbol to a staff to indicate the pitch of the written note. The most commonly used clefs today are the treble clef and the bass clef.
The Treble Clef – This symbol is also known as the G clef because it resembles the letter G and its bottom also sits plump on the second line of the staff which is the G pitch line.
The Bass Clef – This symbol resembles a coma and is also known as the F clef. This is because the tail of the coma-like clef is centered on the fourth line which marks the F pitch.
It is very common to see these two staffs joined together on a music sheet to create the grand staff. They are joined by a brace with the treble clef being the higher clef and the bass clef being the lower clef.
Tip: The notes on lower staff signify a lower pitch which is the pitch of tenors and bass singers. Those on the higher staff signify a higher pitch which is the pitch of sopranos and altos.
Now on to Your Notes
Music notes are used to mark the pitch on a staff. Each pitch is designated a letter of the alphabet. The letters used are the first seven of the alphabet – A, B, C, D, E, F and G. This means that a note sitting on the G pitch line in the treble clef should be played at the higher G pitch sound while the one sitting in the bass clef should be played at the lower pitch.
These notes will appear as little ovals which are known as whole notes. Each line and space on the grand staff is designated a letter and this never changes. This is why it is so important for you to learn your notes, where they are on the staff and how to quickly identify them. Here is a neat way to memorize the notes on each staff (treble and bass).
Notes on the treble clef (bottom to top):
- Lines: E, G, B, D, F – Every Good Boy Does Fine
- Spaces: Spells the word face – F, A, C, E
Notes on the bass clef (bottom to top):
- Lines: G, B, D, F, A - Good Boy Do Fine Always
- Spaces: A, C, E, G - All Cows Eat Grass
Now you can go ahead and learn these notes so you can easily identify them on a music sheet. You will also learn to identify the corresponding keys on the piano.