How to Read Music – Lesson 7 – Ledger Lines

In this lesson we will learn about ledger lines. A ledger line is a short line added below or above the staff to extend it’s range.

Ledger lines are only used when a note is outside the range of the staff. When extending the staff it is best to use no more than 4 ledger lines for easy readability.

When using ledger lines we only want to use them briefly. If a musical passage needs ledger lines for a long time there is usually a better notational solution.

Ledger lines can be used on any staff. When using ledger lines it is important to only use the number of lines needed to show a given pitch. We do not want to put extra ledger lines above or below a pitch, only use enough to show to pitch you want.

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  • Lynn Newman

    HI Leon, I am a beginning keyboard student and am enjoying your lessons and website. It has been helpful to learn from in conjunction with my lessons. It’s a great thing you’re doing here and I appreciate your time and all your hard work. Lynn N