Learn to Read Treble Clef Notes & Print Free Flashcards (PDF)

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Learn to read music and treble clef notes quickly with clever musical notation identification exercises!

In this piano lesson, you can also print free treble clef flashcards PDFs and continue practicing by yourself. Try to practice a little bit every day with the flashcards, to learn how to read sheet music better.

The Treble or G Clef

The Treble clef is the symbol that shows the music notes that are higher pitched. (Treble means high pitch.) The G or treble clef has gone through many transformations through time. See here how it has changed:

Treble clefs

As you can see, the Treble Clef used to be in the shape of the letter "G" but became stylized into the familiar symbol we use today.

The treble clef is also called the G clef since it "circles" around the line where the note treble G is:

Treble staff with G clefG is on the second line where the clef makes a swirl.

Music Note Names

Bass and Treble Clef Notes.

So, if you know the music alphabet; A, B, C, D, E, F, G forward and backward and you now know that the treble clef shows us G; you actually know all the rest of the treble clef notes as well!

Ascending note names go forward in the alphabet A B C D E F G, descending go backward, G F E D C B A.

  • So the note one step higher than G is... A (since G is the last letter used). The next... B. And so on. 
  • The music note that is positioned one step lower than G is... F, then E, and so on.

>>Click here to check out a great resource for learning to play the piano and reading music for beginners.

Treble clef notes

If you use syllable names (Do, Re, Mi etc) here is a quick translation:

C=Do, D=Re, E=Mi, F=Fa, G=Sol, A=La, B=Si/Ti

Using Mnemonics for Treble Clef Notes

But, of course, there are quicker ways of reading musical notation on the treble staff. One commonly used technique is using "mnemonics":

Treble Clef Notes on Lines (from bottom-up):

Every Good Boy Does Fine

Treble Clef Notes on Spaces (from bottom-up):

F,A,C,E

However, even though these mnemonics are shortcuts that may be useful in some situations, I am not a great fan of using them to learn note names because:

  • Many countries do not use letter naming of the notes but use syllable names: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si/Ti. So, mnemonics like the above don't work everywhere.
  • I want my students to immediately associate each note with where to play it on their instrument. And prefer that they learn the music notes by using "Landmarks" or "Guide Notes". I find this method gives better and faster results.

Using Landmark or Guide Notes

When using guide notes to learn the note names, we memorize 5 landmark notes on each staff (treble and bass) on the grand staff:

Landmark notes

Here is how to learn it:

  • Middle C can be quickly learned as being in the middle.
  • The G clef shows us G, and the F clef shows us F.
  • Next, landmark notes are in the spaces: "High" C for the treble staff, and "Low" C on the bass staff.
  • Followed by the top staff line (treble) and the bottom staff line (bass). Learn like this: "The G clef shows us G. Top staff line is F." And reversed: "The F clef shows us F. Bottom staff line is G."
  • The final landmarks are "very high" C and "very low" C.

In my studio, we practice these landmark or guide notes until memorized. Then continue with the notes next to each other, above and below.

I find it's easier to learn much more securely this way, than trying to remember wacky mnemonics (like if it was the cows that were good and the boys that ate grass? :) ).

Learn Faster With Flash Cards

Flashcards are a great tool for learning different music theory concepts. When using note name flashcards for drilling notes, first learn to say the note name, then immediately play the exact pitch on an instrument.

In this way, you not only become a better note reader (and music sight-reader) but learn faster and more securely, since you use more of your senses (see, say, hear, play). You'll also learn to associate each note with a specific sound and not just by name.

Free Flashcards With Letter and Syllable Names

Treble Clef Notes Flash Cards

Here I have prepared free, Treble Clef Notes Printable Flash Cards PDF for you:

The flash card answers have both letter names (A,B,C etc.) and syllable names (Do, Re, Mi)!

Print on both sides so that you'll have the answers on the back. Preferably use card stock for best results. Why not try paper with different colors?

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