• Candice Alderfer

Bass and Treble Clef

I've been writing down a lot of letters to document my learning when it comes to reading notes. But in order to really read or write music, you need to understand what letter names correspond with each note on a staff. A staff are the horizontal lines that you see written across sheet music where notes are written. Music notes are placed on different lines, which depict their note sound and name. But we aren't able to do this unless we have a specific clef. In this post, I'm specifically going to talk about two main clefs, the treble and bass.


The treble clef is used for higher notes. On a piano, it's used for the notes played on the musicians right hand. We also use treble clef for higher instruments or singers with higher voices, like sopranos. The shape of the treble clef resembles that of a cursive "G" and the little end or "tail" as I like to call it, rests on the staff line G.


Lower notes are designated with using the bass clef. On a piano, the bass tells the musician the notes needed to play with the left hand. This clef resembles a cursive capital F, with the two dots on either side of the line that represents the note F.

Ledger Lines

When we want to write down notes that are higher or lower than the staff itself, regardless of whether it a bass or treble, we use short little lines to cut across the notes called ledger lines. In the second picture that I've drawn for you below of both clefs, you can see examples of ledger lines being used for notes that extend above or below the staff of both clefs. You can look specifically at middle C.

I love drawing out the things that I learn and being able to share my notes and images with everyone. Please feel free to leave me any comments, corrections and suggestions!

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