How to Notate High Notes on a Guitar

The musical staff holds notes within five lines and four spaces. The position that a note falls on a line or space determines the note. To play notes higher than the staff system, you have to use a ledger line. The ledger line can be thought of as an extension to the musical staff. If you have a note directly on top of the treble clef staff, it will be called G. If you then extend the staff upwards by placing a ledger line above the staff and placing a note in the middle or on top of the line, you can write high notes.

Step 1 Create a musical staff with five lines. There will be four spaces between the lines when you are finished

Step 2 Write a note that rests directly on the top of the staff. Don't use a ledger line for this note. This note is a G.

Step 3 Draw a ledger line above the staff, it should be just slightly longer than a note-head. Use the same spacing you used for the permanent spaces between the staff. Generally this is about four millimeters. Draw a note directly on the ledger line so that the ledger line splits the note. This note is A.

Step 4 Create another ledger line in the same horizontal position as the first ledger line. This time, place a note so that it rests on top of the ledger line. This note is B. Continue adding ledger lines and extending the staff upwards until you get the note you want.

If you don't wish to use ledger lines, you can write the pitches an octave lower so that they fall within the regular staff system. Then draw a horizontal line over the notes and write 8va to the left of the line to indicate the notes should be played an octave higher.


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