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#1440182 - 05/20/10 09:36 AM Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1158
I'v always had problems reading notes above and below the staff. Especially the ones with a few ledger lines.

It would help if I could find a "road map" - picture of all 88 keys with the notes and letter names - this would make it easier to learn.

Thanks for helping and fo being there. smile

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#1440195 - 05/20/10 09:57 AM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: musdan]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1129
Loc: New Jersey
You can order a - hmmm.... not sure what they call it - note chart on heavy paper that you can put on your piano above the keys that has all 88 notes on them. I got it when I was trying to play David Nevue's "Solitude" which had a lot of notes above the staff. I got mine from Sheetmusicplus.com
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1440198 - 05/20/10 10:03 AM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: musdan]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Hows this?



From Czerny's The Little Pianist Opus 823. It's not all 88, but it is probably close enough.

Rich
_________________________

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#1440205 - 05/20/10 10:10 AM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: mom3gram]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2374
Loc: Virginia, USA
This might help too:

http://www.piano-lessons-info.com/piano-notes-above-below.html

For notes above or below those I hope the score would use octave markings like 8va, 15ma.
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56
    My Hungarian Period wink

Kawai K3

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#1440237 - 05/20/10 11:04 AM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: Andy Platt]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11344
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
The best way to read notes above or below the staff is the same way you should be reading notes on the staff: by intervals. For example, let's say you have a note that is on the line above treble clef. You should know whatever note is on the top line (F), so then it's just a 3rd above that (line to the next line is a 3rd). Or if you have the space note above the first ledger line, then it's a 4th higher than F. If it's 2 ledger lines above, then its a 5th higher than F, and so on. If to read in reference to a note you do know, then it's not so hard.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1440270 - 05/20/10 11:45 AM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: Morodiene]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4413
Loc: San Jose, CA
Good ol' ledger lines--- we just have to memorize them. Can't be counting lines every time we want to strike a note.


The mnemonics can help: every good boy does fine always, face G.

Flash cards can help. You can make your own on 3x5 unlined index cards, or make your own chart on staff paper. It can help the memory to write things out in your own hand.

One should at least know the first two or three without having to count, or spell.
_________________________
Clef


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#1440332 - 05/20/10 01:45 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: Jeff Clef]
Glen R. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I used to play tuba, and two ledger lines below the bass cleff is C. Turns out that 2 above the treble clef is also C. So now I have a reference point for ledger lines above the treble clef--I can use intervals from that C.
Of course if you weren't a tuba player who had "low C" burned into your visual processing, this won't help much smile
_________________________
Be the person your dog thinks you are.

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#1440352 - 05/20/10 02:26 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: Glen R.]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Glen R.
I used to play tuba, and two ledger lines below the bass cleff is C. Turns out that 2 above the treble clef is also C. So now I have a reference point for ledger lines above the treble clef--I can use intervals from that C.
Of course if you weren't a tuba player who had "low C" burned into your visual processing, this won't help much smile


Good point. I'd like to add that the 2 ledger lines above the Treble clef is 2 C's above middle C.

And the 2 ledger lines below the bass clef is 2 C's below middle C.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1440353 - 05/20/10 02:27 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: rocket88]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
It's a horrible process, but you just have to practice.

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#1440359 - 05/20/10 02:34 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: Nikalette]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19590
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
It's a horrible process, but you just have to practice.

That's right. It's a pain in the [whatever].

Even though I have about 200 years of experience with it smile I still have to COUNT those stupid lines and spaces if it's anything more than 2.

And I sometimes need to get out a magnifying glass. ha
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1440369 - 05/20/10 03:01 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: musdan]
photowriters Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 180
Loc: Kansas City
Originally Posted By: musdan
I'v always had problems reading notes above and below the staff. Especially the ones with a few ledger lines.

Well, here is an answer that you may hate, but it is based upon personal experience.

Before I took up the pyannie, I piddled with the guitar the result of which was sort of an education by osmosis. I learned which notes make up which chords, i.e., C-E-G = C Major, C-Eb-G = C minor, etc. Combined with a couple years of music theory, I began to see the staff, especially the notes on the ledger lines, as the notes of a chord. Ignoring any key signature or accidentals, A-C-E always makes some sort of A chord. Conveniently, the first three ledger lines above the treble staff and the first three lines below the bass staff are A-C-E.

If you know what makes which chord, it is a simple step from knowing that three ledger lines below the bass clef is an A so two leger lines below that must be a D because any flavor of D chord is D-F-A.

If you don't have a good mastery of which notes make which chords and vice versa, you can make up some 3x5 flash cards that you can carry with you and review when you are sitting waiting for something to happen.
_________________________
Regards,

Bob

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#1440394 - 05/20/10 03:59 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: photowriters]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4413
Loc: San Jose, CA
ACEs, high and low--- that's easy to remember.

And the Joker is wild.
_________________________
Clef


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#1440449 - 05/20/10 05:55 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: photowriters]
Glen R. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: photowriters

Conveniently, the first three ledger lines above the treble staff and the first three lines below the bass staff are A-C-E.

Hey, I like that!

Note identification isn't second-nature to me yet, but I have enough landmarks that I can play decently enough by reading intervals. In order to work on making all note recognition second-nature, I'll regularly play a piece slowly enough to name each note out loud. It seems to be working.

My 2 cents.
_________________________
Be the person your dog thinks you are.

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#1440700 - 05/21/10 02:38 AM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: Glen R.]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Glen R.
I'll regularly play a piece slowly enough to name each note out loud.


Good !

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#1440762 - 05/21/10 06:34 AM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: landorrano]
joangolfing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/06
Posts: 666
Loc: Iowa
I have lots of trouble too with reading above and below the staff.

Jeff Clef--Your helpful diagram was the most useful thing I have seen in a long time. Wow! It is the only thing that might help me.
I'm copying it on my printer and will put it in my piano lesson notebook.

Thanks Jeff, keep coming with those creative ideas.

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#1440871 - 05/21/10 10:18 AM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: joangolfing]
Music Major Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/06
Posts: 301
Loc: Tampa, FL
Originally Posted By: joangolfing

Jeff Clef--Your helpful diagram was the most useful thing I have seen in a long time. Wow!

+1
_________________________
Kevin


Yamaha S90 --------------- SS-69 Grand
The most important thing in music is what is not in the notes.

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#1441078 - 05/21/10 04:34 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: Music Major]
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1158
Thanks everyone - I call them the "dancing notes" - lot's of good information and it's back
to working out those pesky notes.

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#1441087 - 05/21/10 04:53 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: landorrano]
Glen R. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Glen R.
I'll regularly play a piece slowly enough to name each note out loud.


Good !

smile And it works!
_________________________
Be the person your dog thinks you are.

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#1441330 - 05/21/10 11:34 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: Mark_C]
Motorama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
It's a horrible process, but you just have to practice.

That's right. It's a pain in the [whatever].

Even though I have about 200 years of experience with it smile I still have to COUNT those stupid lines and spaces if it's anything more than 2.


My advice is to practice memorizing those notes 5 minutes everyday (yeah, use a timer) for a week. Guaranteed you will know them.

Lately I'm embracing an anti-pracrastination philosophy smile
It all started when I had to admit to a friend that I didn't know the difference between plasma and LCD televisions. And yet I thought many times about the difference between them. So I realized I just had to check wikipedia once. So many times we say "I don't know that" or "I've always wondered that" while we could just learn it and once and for all.

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#1441645 - 05/22/10 01:55 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: Motorama]
dannac Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 595
Loc: USA
These PDF's will print to 11" x 17" and 18" x 24" sheet.

http://www.olpssongs.com/PDF/piano1117.PDF

http://www.olpssongs.com/PDF/piano1824.PDF

Places like Office Depot, etc... can print directly from USB thumbdrive.

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#1441801 - 05/22/10 07:04 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: dannac]
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1158
Thanks dannac

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#1441804 - 05/22/10 07:11 PM Re: Reading Notes Above and Below the Staff [Re: musdan]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
I have a funny way of reading ledger lines - I've trained my eyes to be able to transpose things up or down an octave. It helps if you write the octave equivalent when going through something with a lot of ledger lines. You can hear it better in your head that way too. I actually prefer ledger lines to 8va signs. The weird jump that 8va signs create in the intervals always throws me off.

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