Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPerforming Arts · 1 decade ago

whats this music note?

I play the guitar and sometimes when I read music, (NOT tabs) I see a music note outside the music line thingy. What notes are those?


When the notes are outside the staff, how would you play it on a guitar?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oh man... the "music line thingy" is called the staff... at least that's what I think you are talking about?! LOL :)

    The guitar plays in the treble clef... so the "S" looking thing to the left of each staff is the treble clef. A bass guitar plays in the bass clef... it looks like a backwards "C" with ":" next to it.

    Both of these staffs together form the Grand Staff, which is what a piano player uses. Generally, the middle "C" on the piano is the note that separates bass clef from treble clef.

    The lines of the treble clef staff are EGBDF. On the bass cleff, the lines are GBDFA.

    Since you play guitar, you read the treble cleff (EGBDF). But what if you want to play below the staff... lower than the bottom line? The note below the staff is a "D", then "C"... but to do this, you need to add ledger lines. It's just extra lines to indicate what note it is.

    So if there are 3 ledger lines below the staff with a note on it, it would be "F". If there were 3 ledger lines and a note BELOW that ledger line, it would be "E" one octave lower than the bottom line "E" on the staff.

    The reason I mentioned the bass clef is because anything written below that 1st ledger line "C", can be thought of in bass clef. That low "F" I mentioned can be thought of as the 4th line on the bass clef. But why make someone learn a new clef for a couple of notes? They just use ledger lines.

    The same principal applies above the staff, whether it is the bass clef or the treble clef... the notes just continue up the scale according to how many ledger lines there are... the top line of the treble clef is "F", then "G"... then the 1st ledger line is "A", etc.

    Also, sometimes if there are passages that are meant to be played really high, rather than write in all those ledger lines, you might see "8va"... this means to play it up an octave. The passage would be written on the staff, but you would play it like it was 8 notes higher. So instead of playing "D" on the 4th line of the staff, you would play "D" that should be written 2 ledger lines above the staff. This isn't done for just a couple notes though, only if there are like 8 measures of high stuff.

    This was probably more info than you needed, but hope it helped! :)

    Source(s): pro musician, 18yrs experience.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That music line thingy is actually called a staff, and those little lines you see above and below it sometimes are called ledger lines. They are simply a continuation of the five lined staff.

    For instance: if you're in treble cleff (which you would be if your reading guitar music) then the bottom line is E (2nd fret of the D string) and the top line is F (first fret of the high E string). If you were to keep counting notes above the top F it would simply continue on to G A B C and so on. And if you were to read notes below the bottom E it would just go on to D C B A and so on.

    It's important to remember that when you're counting... each space and line get a note assigned to them. It's hard to describe without seeing it but I hope it helped.

    Source(s): Music Major in Classical Guitar
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