Using Staff Lines as Landmarks for Reading

by Michael
(Destin, FL, USA)

When I was first learning to read the music, I used the "FACE" method for the spaces, and the "Every Good Boy Does Fine" method for the lines. But it sometimes took me a little while to figure the notes out, and the ledger lines were still hard.

That's why I used the staff as a landmark. for instance instead of trying to memorize what the space below the staff was (D), I just said it was the note below E. Also, knowing that the ledger line below the staff was middle C, the space above it had to be D. Finding a note close to it that I knew helped me identify the note lots faster.

But for the lower (or higher) ledger lines, I still had to count down to them. But the more I used them, the more landmarks I picked up on. For instance, I got to the point where I knew that the note two ledger lines below the staff was an A. Then the space above it must be a B, and the space below the first ledger line must be a B, so I could just fill it in either way.

The more you use this system, the more landmarks you pick up on, and eventually they all become landmarks and you don't even need to use that system anymore; you can read!

Hope this little trick helps!

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Sep 10, 2010
A Natural Approach
by: John Boulware

Nice tip! I think this is basically what happens with everyone in some way or another. Memorizing every single note by force is neither efficient nor useful. Learning notes relative to one another instead reinforces your familiarity with them. Thanks for explaining this system!

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