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Lines of the Staff

So far, we have proven that it's easy to read music. We learned the 3 E's [low, middle, high] and played some simple exercises. Next, we learn all of the lines of the staff.

The lines = EGBDF (Every Great Bird Does Fly)

We already know the first line, Middle E.

lines of the staff, e g b d f, and in tablature
EGBDF - The Lines of the Staff

When we play just the lines, we are skipping the spaces. Line to line = every other note in the alphabet. This is also how we build chords [EON]. If we consider line 1-5 as a chord, it is an E minor 7 chord [E-G-B-D], with F on the top. The F is a flat 2 to an E and is a little tense. Yet, we do have an Em7 chord made from lines 1-4. Good to know.

Our New Notes

Middle G = Line 2 = 3 string open; Middle B = Line 3 = 2 string open; High D = Line 4 = 2 string, fret 3; High F = Line 5 = 1 string, fret 1, top line.

High F

The High F is one of the easiest notes to remember for students. It just seems like playing it on string 1, fret 1 is the right way to play the top line.

Do This First

Play these 5 tones while saying the following [go through each point for all 5]:

  1. Note-tone name - EGBDF
  2. Note-head location [line and the corresponding number].
  3. String/fret combination
  4. All of the above - play middle E repeatedly while saying: this is middle E, it's the first line of the staff, the bottom line, played on the 4th string, fret 2.

See the note-head on its line, in your mind, as you say any of the information on the list.

And, again, take notice that EGB is an Em chord. EGBD is an Em7 chord. The F is a ♭2 to the E tone (see Numera).

Do this until you know that you know it.

G and B Reversed

These are so often confused, the topic got its own lesson plate.

Let's get clear on this: the G & B are 'reversed'.

Middle G is line 2, 3 string open.

Middle B is line 3, 2 string open.

This will be valuable moving forward, again, as these two tones are commonly mistaken for each other.