home page
group lessons and classes
adult amateur string orchestra
workshops and other music classes
music books and cds for string players
teachers and schools
students area
about stringschool.com
violin, viola, cello and bass lessons in nyc, new york city and beyond

students' area : note reading

NEW! First Position Fingering Flash Cards - just print, cut and fold! Click here to get the PDF file.

To figure out what finger plays what note, use this guide. For instance, Open A is on the second space from the bottom of the staff, while First Finger on E is on the top line. Beyond the "staff" (the five lines that are joined) are notes such as Open G, which is just below two lines extended from the bottom of the staff (the smaller lines above and below the staff are called "ledger lines"). The note D can also be played with 4th finger on the G string, the note A can also be played with 4th finger on the D string, etc. The lines of the staff from the bottom line up (not the extensions) are called "E, G, B, D and F" or "Every Good Bob Deserves Fudge" to help you memorize. The spaces of the staff from the bottom space up are called "F, A, C, E" or "FACE".

Basic note names and values below. Eighth notes and smaller when alone are written with "flags", or when multiple are side by side, they are usually connected with "bars". Adding a "dot" just off to the right of the note head adds value to the note by 1/2 the note value. For instance, when adding a dot to a half note, its value becomes 2 counts plus half of 2 counts, or 1, so the new value of the dotted half note would be 3 counts. Dotting a quarter note makes the new value 1 count plus 1/2, or 1 1/2 counts and so on.



Students wishing to delve deeper into understanding music theory ought to check out this web site: http://www.musictheory.net.