Music Theory Tricks to Help You Remember How to Read Notes

By Michael Pilhofer, Holly Day

Almost every music theory teacher has his or her own mnemonic to help students remember the order of the notes on a staff. Here are a few you can use to help keep things straight.

Notes found on the lines of the treble staff, starting with the first line and moving up to the top (fifth) line read E, G, B, D, and F, or:

  • Every Good Boy Deserves Favor

  • Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge

  • Every Good Boy Does Fine

  • Every Good Bird Does Fly

The notes in the spaces between the treble clef staff lines are easy to remember. They spell the word FACE, starting at the first space note, F, and heading up to the E in the top space on the staff. No need to learn any other mnemonic here — everybody just uses FACE.

Notes found on the bass clef staff lines, starting at the bottom note, read G, B, D, F, and A, or:

  • Go Buy Donuts For Al

  • Good Boys Do Fine Always

  • Great Big Dreams For America

For the space notes between the bass clef staff lines, just remember any one of the following:

  • All Cows Eat Grass

  • All Cars Eat Gas

  • Alley Cats Eat Garbage