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The Music Staff

The Music Staff

The musical staff has five lines. The notes can sit on the lines or can appear in the spaces between them, like this:

The important thing to realize from the start is that there is no similarity to the tablature staff. The lines represent musical pitch—the higher the note on the staff the higher the note. Let’s examine both at once to see the correct relationship:

Notice the time signature as before, showing that the count is in quarter notes, and that there are four counts to the measure.

Play the example now, and it will be clear that the upper staff represents sounds whereas the lower (tablature) staff represents frets.

Let’s try a complete melody now to see if you can relate the two.

From playing the example you will have learned these points:

  • As the notes go higher on the staff, the pitch goes higher.
  • The measures and count are the same as for tablature.

<< Why Learn Notation? Notes Above and Below the Staff >>
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