The treble clef, commonly known as the G clef, for example, is put on the second line (counting upwards), establishing that line as the pitch of the first G above the "middle C." The lines and spaces are numbered from bottom to top, with the bottom line being the first and the top line being the fifth. A ledger line is drawn just below the third line to indicate that this is the high note of the instrument. This means that if you were to play a G three times, it would be on these lines.
The treble clef is used in an instrument family chart to identify which notes are played by which strings of the guitar. It also indicates which notes are played by the neck alone or by using both the neck and the body. For example, the treble clef shows that the E string can be played by itself using only your right hand or that it can be joined with the B string to form a chord using your index finger, middle finger and ring finger.
In music notation, the treble clef indicates which notes are sung or played by which part of the voice or instrument. The soprano clef indicates which notes are sung by the female lead; the alto clef indicates which notes are sung by the male lead; and the tenor clef indicates which notes are sung by the tenor singer. You will often see all three clefs used on a single page of music.
Beginning at the bottom of the treble clef staff, the lines indicate the notes E, G, B, D, and F. Because the treble clef sign revolves around the line G, it is also known as the "G clef." The letters always remain in this arrangement, making it simple to use. A dot or space is used to mark the location of a note when it falls on an open string.
These notes form the basis for playing in any key. By combining different notes from one scale with those from another scale, you can create many different keys. For example, if you start with the notes E, G, B, D, and F on the treble clef, you can play any of the following keys: E Major, G Major, B Minor, D Minor, and F Minor.
Each key has its own characteristics and sounds good in its own way. You can hear how certain keys sound by reading about them in the next section. However, before you begin learning how to play the piano, it's best to learn which key is which so you can match up the correct notes with their names. This helps prevent mistakes when playing songs in different keys.
Keys are described by three numbers: major, minor, and relative. These describe how far away certain notes are from the note E. For example, the note C is called the third degree of E-minor. It is written as E3 on the keyboard.
It is also known as the G clef. This is why: Consider the second line (remember that we count from the bottom line going up). The treble clef begins by encircling the second line. The note G is formed by the notes written on this line.