Struggle with recognizing notes when they get up or down into the ledger lines? Here’s a tip: focus on the three C’s.

High C is 2 lines above the treble staff.
Middle C is 1 line below the treble staff and 1 line above the bass staff.
Low C is 2 lines below the bass staff.

Grand staff with high C, middle C and low C marked.

Memorize where these notes are and let them serve as your anchors. Suddenly recognizing other ledger line notes becomes much easier because you can see they’re only a short interval from one of our C’s, rather than a large interval from the staff.

Ready to put this tip into practice? Try some ledger line note reading on our interactive Note Recognition page.

Thanks to Brian Lucas for sharing this tip.

Related reading

4 Sight Reading Tips Liszt Wants You to Know
How to Choose a Tempo When Sight Reading

Evan R. Murphy

Evan is a musician, music teacher, software engineer and the founder of SightReadingMastery. Realizing how important sight reading is to unlocking opportunities in music, he started SightReadingMastery in 2011 to help musicians develop this valuable skill. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Rebecca.

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