• Michelle Ostrove


It’s clear that the 5 lines and 4 spaces for each staff only represent some of the keys on the piano. This is why we use ledger lines (also spelled leger lines) to extend either staff (treble or bass staff) upward or downward. Ledger lines above the treble staff and below the bass staff take a little bit of time to learn, but because they follow the same pattern they are not difficult. Ledger lines can appear in between the treble and bass staff as well.

If you look at the picture attached of the Grand Staff with ledger lines; it also provides the location of the notes on the piano. The ledger line is slightly longer than the note head and is drawn parallel to the staff, above or below. So the ledger line is a mini version of a staff line.

My biggest piece of advice on how to read ledger lines would be to remember your patterns and try not to get frustrated if things don’t come quickly. Reading ledger lines can be a little challenging in the beginning.


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