Top Tips to Read Ledger Lines

Top Tips to Read Ledger Lines


No matter which instrument you play (I am consciously ruling out singers here), at some point in your music tuition, you will have to face the most daunting sight-reading challenge: the ledger lines.

This painful task happens more commonly among piano students, which not only have to read ledger lines in one clef but two at the same time!

For piano tutors, I found an article that can help their students in this endeavour.



Firstly, we have to set up the method, and we will start with the gap between the treble and bass clef (this is for all pianists)


“When you name the notes downwards on the treble clef, you get to E before running out of lines. Surely, the top line on the bass clef is A. So we need space for the other notes to appear in between the A and E. Therefore, the gap is for the letters such as B, C, C-sharp, D, and D-sharp”.


Now, let’s go to the real thing, putting the method into practice:


We will start with the right hand, so that means the treble clef. The spaces in the right hand spell out face (F-A-C-E), and coincidentally with the top line being an F, so do the ledger lines.

For the left hand (again, for pianists this apply only)with the bass clef the concept is pretty similar to the right hand. The only difference is that instead of spelling F-A C-E, because you are counting down you should spell face backwards, so the notes would be E-C-A F.



So, basically, you just need to follow one acronym: FACE. Let’s face it; there are faces all over the place in the staves (no pun intended!)

Don’t worry if you find the ledger lines difficult even using this method; everything takes a little while to sink in.

Good luck!

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