Music TheoryClefsPitch

What Is The Treble Clef?

Written by Dan Farrant

Last updated

Arguably the most important symbol in music, the treble clef is one of the most common clefs. 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 is G on a staff. As a result, it’s also known as the G clef.

When drawing a treble clef, it loops and wraps itself around the second line from the bottom of the staff. This shows us where the note G above middle C is on the staff.

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

History of the treble clef

Recommended Reading

Check out our guide to the different types of clefs in music here.

What Instruments 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 staff, 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

Memorizing 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.

Every 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:


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

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of 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. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.