Ideas for Music Note Memorization

With a few tricks, memorizing the notes of the bass and treble clef is a simple process you can learn in a single afternoon. Both the treble and bass clef have similarities in their structure. They both have five lines and four spaces and use ledger lines to extend the staff when the notes ascend higher than the staff allows. When these lines and spaces are put together, a musical alphabet is spelled from bottom to top.


Acronyms in music can help students learn the names of the notes. Have the student create a phrase that starts with the first letter of each line and then have them create one that starts with the first letter of each space. For instance, in the treble clef there are 5 lines: E-G-B-D-F. Have the student come up with a phrase to remember those lines such as "Eat Good Berries During Football." It doesn't necessarily have to make sense, just as long as the student can remember the phrase.

Clef Position 

The position of the clef is another way to remember the names of the notes. In the treble clef if you look closely at the curled end of the symbol, you will notice it wraps around the G line. In fact, the curl and the tail of the treble clef look like a G. This is one of the reasons the treble clef is the G clef. By memorizing this fact, a student can then count up or down the alphabet to learn any other note on the staff. This works for the bass clef too. The bass clef looks a bit like an F with its two dots. The two dots are always on either side of the F line; hence, the reason the bass clef sometimes gets the name F clef.

Flash Cards 

Create flash cards to help learn the names of the notes in the bass and treble clefs. Don't purchase a set from a retailer, create your own. The simple process of creating flash cards will help you memorize the notes. On one side of the flash cards draw a staff, the clef and the note. On the other side write the name of the note. Shuffle the cards and then quiz yourself. Since there are only 9 total cards for notes within the staff, you should find that it is fairly easy to memorize the notes. 

Sheet Music 

Take a piece of sheet music for piano and name every single note in the piece. By the time you have finished one piece of sheet music, you will have the notes memorized. It shouldn't take you longer than a few hours the first day to get through all of the notes.


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