1. Identify the clef. The first symbol written on a staff (the five lines on which the notes are written) is the clef, and it tells you which lines and spaces on the staff correspond with which notes.
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Treble or G clef with G note
Treble clef: The treble clef, also known as the G-clef (because it circles the line for the G note), is used in writing music for most musical voices (soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, and tenor), most woodwind instruments, stringed instruments (violin, guitar) and high brass instruments such as the trumpet. It also typically corresponds to the notes played with the right hand on the piano. The notes played on the lines of the treble clef staff are, from bottom to top, E, G, B, D, F. The order of these notes can be remembered with the use of mnemonic phrases such as Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, Elvis Goes Belly Dancing Friday, or Every Good Boy Does Fine, or Every Girl Best Deserves Fudge. The spaces between the lines, from bottom to top, correspond to the notes F, A, C, E, a sequence which, obviously, spells "FACE."
Bass clef or F-clef with F note
Bass clef: The bass clef, also known as the F-clef because it defines the line for the F note between two dots, is used for lower-pitched instruments such as the bassoon, the bass, and low brass instruments such as the trombone and tuba. The piano part played by the left hand is also usually written with a bass today. The notes played on the lines of the bass clef staff are, from bottom to top, G, B, D, F, A. This order can be remembered with the aid of phrases such as Good Burritos Don't Fall Apart or Good Boys Do Fine Always. The spaces between the lines, from bottom to top, correspond to the notes A, C, E, G. The mnemonic device All Cows Eat Grass may help you remember the order of these notes.
Determine the key signature. Directly to...