The Treble Clef: An Overview

Arguably the most important symbol in music, the treble clef is one of the most common types of music clef today. It’s used by the majority of instruments to read music and so is something you’ll need to learn about if you’re learning an instrument that plays in an upper range of pitch.

In this post, I’m going to give you an overview of the treble clef and I’ll cover what it is, one of its other names as well as all the names of each of the pitches in this clef.

What is the treble clef?

The treble clef

The treble clef is a type of musical notation that is used to indicate which pitch should be played when reading and writing music.

It’s also known as the G clef as when drawing a treble clef, it loops and wraps itself around the note G on the staff.

Originally the treble looked like a letter G too but over the years, as it was written down thousands of times by different scribes, it’s evolved into what we know it as today.

History of the treble clef

Instruments that use the treble clef

Lots of instruments use the treble clef when playing but it tends to be instruments that have a higher register. Instruments like:

  • Trumpets 
  • Clarinets
  • Flutes
  • Violins
  • The right hand of the piano
  • And lots of others

Treble clef notes

Because the treble clef shows us where G is on the stave we can then work out all the other notes from there.

Treble clef notes going up

Then going down from G we have these notes:

Treble clef notes going down

Memorising the treble clef notes

To help you memorise these notes it’s common to learn them by remembering mnemonic for notes on the lines and in the spaces separately.

For the notes on the lines you can use the phrase:

Every Good Boy Deserves Football.

Ever good boy deserves football

There are lots of other phrases you can use too like: Every Green Bus Drives Fast – or: Elephants GBouncing Down Freeways.

It makes it a little easier to remember the notes but you could come up with your own if you prefer.

Next, we have the notes in the spaces:

FACE

Thankfully these notes spell out a very easy to remember word: F A C E – You shouldn’t have too much difficulty memorising these ones.

Treble clef notes quiz and flashcards

Below we’ve got a quick quiz to test yourself on how well you know all the notes in the treble clef. 

If you need a bit more practice then you could use some treble clef flashcards that you can print out. Try these ones from Opus Music or these from Teachers Pay Teachers (they’re also free but you’ll have to sign up for an account).

Dan Farrant

Dan Farrant

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 10 years helping thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. Since then he's been working to make music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries around the world.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome to Hello Music Theory! I’m Dan and I run this website. Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions get in touch!

40+ Music Theory Resources

Download my free eBook with all my favourite music theory resources.