Wow. Lots of page hits for the first post in this series. I will take this as interest in what I’m doing here. I will post daily on this until things start to get a little complicated and then I’ll slow it down some to give you time to digest and experiment. I’m going to keep it very simple and slow for now and it is up to you to comment if I start going too fast or if you have questions.
Today I’m going to expand on what I did yesterday where I showed you Middle C. The grand staff is perfectly symmetrical with respect to other C notes that are above and below it. If you can remember where these other C notes are located then you can go through the musical alphabet forward or backward from these anchor points to figure out what other notes are. Over time you will not need to do that because you will eventually be able to look at any note and just know what it is. Here are five C notes on the Grand Staff:
I know that there are a total of six notes in the picture above. The first two C notes on the left are the same key on the piano, as we covered last time. In the Treble Clef we start with Middle C and go up one octave and then another. In the Bass Clef we start with Middle C and then go down one octave and then another. See those vertical lines between two consecutive C notes? Those are called Bar Lines. What is between two Bar Lines is called a Measure. (I am capitalizing certain words and none of them really should be. I do this for emphasis that I think works better than italics.)
In the picture in the first measure we have the Middle C below the staff in the Treble Clef and also the Middle C above the staff in the Bass Clef. It is very important to understand that without the Clef these notes are just circles on the page, they have no meaning without that Clef. We could have a Bass Clef on both the top and bottom Staves, and we could also have a Treble Clef on both staves. The Clef symbol matters a great deal.
Moving on to the second measure notice the symmetry. The C note is one space above the center line in the Treble Clef and the C note is one space below the center line in the Bass Clef. In the third and final measure, the C note is two Ledger Lines above the Staff in the Treble Clef, and in the Bass Clef the C note is two Ledger Lines below the Staff.
Enough for today. This has all been extremely simple so far. There is a method to my mad simplicity: What I am showing you needs to be firmly ingrained so that I can move forward more rapidly.
I need you to get a free program called NotePad. I will provide the address on a separate line. This is free and will work for both the Mac and PC so most will be included. Today download and install it. Tomorrow I will teach you the basics of how to use it in a step-by-step tutorial. Get it here:
Once you go there, near the top of the page on the right is an orange button labeled “Free Download”. Click that and then follow the directions to download it and install. You can try to play with it until next time.
G – F – E – D – C – B – A: Make that like a mantra until it is natural to say and think.