Pitch – How to Read Sheet Music
- On the simple line of music above, the five horizontal lines are called the staff.
- Each note, depending on which staff line it rests on or between, has a different pitch. Notes higher up on the staff sound higher, and vice versa.
- Each note has a letter name depending on how high or low it falls on the staff. Letter names range from A through G. Once you run out of letters (i.e. get past G) you go back to A, as shown in the line of music above.
- The line of music pictured here is what’s called a scale, which is when the notes are arranged in note-name order.
- The scale pictured above is what’s called a G Major scale, meaning it starts and ends on a G note.
A quick way to remember note names
The spaces between the lines spell “FACE.” This is a quick mnemonic to help you remember which notes go where. Though we do like to use this trick as a quick reference, it is best if you learn the note names so well that you can instantly say what note is what. Otherwise there is always a mental calculation (especially if the note falls on a line instead of a space) before you know what note you’re looking at. We want to avoid this and make it automatic. The best way to do that? Practicing the violin.
Ledger lines extend the range of notes beyond the staff. Basically, notes that are extra high or extra low are printed on ledger lines, so you know exactly how far off the staff they are.
Go to the next lesson, about Rhythm in sheet music.
See a list all our lessons about How to Read Sheet Music for Beginner Violin.
Check out our favorite book/CD combo for How to Read Beginner Violin Sheet Music.
- The Best Beginner Violin Sheet Music
- Fingerings - How to Read Sheet Music
- Open Strings - How to Read Sheet Music
- Learn to Read Sheet Music Fast
Tags: Violin Sheet Music