The notes are named by using a simple pattern of horizontal lines and spaces as follows:

• Whether you go up or down, the pattern is always the same: line, space, line, space, line, space, line, space, etc.
• Lines are no more important than spaces and vice versa.
• The head of each note (the oval shaped part) will always fall onto either a line or space.
• As you go up, you count up the musical alphabet of seven letters A through G.
• As you go down, you count down the musical alphabet of seven letters.

Let’s start with G above middle C as defined by the G-clef. As you go up from the “G” line to the very next space above, you count up the musical alphabet of seven letters. Since G is the last of the seven musical letters, you start counting over again, getting the note named “A”:

As you go down from the “G” line to the very next space below, you count down the musical alphabet of seven letters getting the note named “F”:

This pattern continues all the way up and down the staff:

# Ledger Lines

There are plenty of notes above and below each staff of five lines and fours spaces. These notes are written by adding short lines called ledger lines. Ledger lines (and the spaces between them) are just a continuation of the alternating lines and spaces on the staff. Your first exposure to a ledger line was probably middle C, the first ledger line below the treble (G-clef) staff:

By the way, you can use the bass clef (F-clef) to name middle C, too. It is the first ledger line above the bass staff:

Ledger lines above the treble staff…

Ledger lines below the bass staff…

Ledger lines above the bass staff…