Archive I: Getting Started


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I - Getting Started
II - Basic Elements
Ear Training
More Theory



Getting Started Unit #1: Intro to Clefs, Treble Clef
Let's start things off with the basics of reading music. You should read this printout on the treble and bass clefs.

At first I imagine most students will want to concentrate on treble clef, which is covered on pages 2 and 3. In my next unit I'll introduce a special method of clef-reading practice I call "Level Up!", and there is a worksheet that goes with it as well.

You might also want to get a computerized study aid for extra practice. Here are some programs and apps I like:

Mac / PC

I really like Robert Whelan's free quizzers at, which work on any computer with a java-enabled browser and acccess to the internet. He's got a nice Treble Clef unit. Try adjusting the settings at first to give you fewer pitches and then build from there.

iPhone / iPad

If you are willing to spend a few bucks ($4) I'd recommend Tenuto, which has a clef quizzer and a dozen other useful things. There is also Music Tutor which is a decent free app that only quizzes clefs.


There are a lot of Android clef-reading apps that aren't that good. But I do like Sight Read Music. It can supposedly listen to you play your answers on a guitar or ukelele, but it also has a more typical input mode with buttons to push.

Note Trainer requires you to play your answers on a little piano keyboard, which may not be for everyone, but otherwise it's pretty neat. We'll get into piano skills soon enough anyway so perhaps you should give it a shot.

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