How to Read Music Notes: Tips for Beginners

Learn the names of notes, remember where they are… This may be a nightmare for many non-musicians and musicians – beginners. Fortunately, you are not alone. There are many other people, who were starting at the same point as you are. Luckily US-Reviews, tips and good learning techniques can help you learn music notes in a flash.



You must have noticed one basic thing – the notes are on some lines or between them. This grouping of lines is called sheet music. The lines we will call the lines and the free space between them – quite logically – spaces. Why is it important? To make it easier for you to read notes. When we divide the notes into those that are on the lines and those that are in the spaces, we will learn to read them much faster.

The Staff

The staff consists of five lines and fourspaces. Each line and each space describes a different letter, which represents notes named A-G. The whole note sequence moves alphabetically up the staff.

Treble Clef

There are two main clefs; the first is a treble clef. The treble clef has the letter G on the far left side. The treble clef notes the higher registers of music such as a flute, violin or saxophone than is your sheet music written in the treble clef. Higher notes are notated on the treble clef.

To easily remember note names for lines, memorise EGBDF (Every Good Boy Does Fine ) and for the spaces FACE.

Bass Clef

The line between the two bass clef dots is the F line on the bass clef staff, and it’s also referred to as the F clef. The bass clef notes the lower registers of music, such as tuba or cello, your sheet music is written in the bass clef. Lower notes on also are notated in the bass clef.

Here, to easily remember note names for the lines memorise GBDFA (Good Boys Do Fine Always) and for the spaces: ACE (All Cows Eat Grass).


Notes are placed on the staff and tell which note letter should be played and how long to play it. There are 3 parts of each note: the note head, the stem, and the flag.

A note head could be filled (black) or open (white). The note stem is a thin line that extends either up or down from the note head.

The note flag is a curvy line to the right of the note stem, which tells you how long should you hold a note.

Note Values

Let’s take a closer look at filled and open note heads. Whether a note head is filled or open shows us the note’s value and/or how long the note should be held. Closed note head with a stem is a quarter note, and it gets one beat. An open note head with a stem is a half note, and it gets two beats. An open note that looks like an “o” without a stem is a whole note, and it gets held for four beats.

Other ways to extend the length of a note are as follows. A dot and a tie. A dot after the note head adds another half of that note’s duration to it. Ties are commonly used to signify held notes that cross measures or bars.

There is also a possibility to shorten the amount of time a note should be held. Faster notes are signified with either flag or with a beam between the notes.

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