Have you ever been listening to a song on the radio and thought to yourself how cool it would be to learn how to play that song? Are you looking to expand your musical knowledge into new genres? Or are you looking to just learn the basics of how to read sheet music so that you can learn how to play music quicker?

While music is heard with your ears and the sound that comes from the instruments, music is actually also something you can see and interpret from sheet music. While sheet music has been used for hundreds of years, sheet music’s symbols represent the speed, pitch, and rhythms of the song that is being conveyed. To help you understand how to read sheet music, you can think of the notes as letters, measures as words, and phrases as the sentences.

Follow this ultimate guide of how to read sheet music in order to better understand music theory.

How To Read Piano MusicHow To Read Piano Music

There are a few basics of reading sheet music. The steps in this guide will help you learn the basic symbols of notation, which includes the staff, treble clef, bass clef, and notes. With sheet music, you will also learn how to select a beat and play a melody.

Learn the Basic Symbols of Sheet Music

All sheet music for songs is made up of a variety of basic symbols of notation. In this section, you will learn about the staff, treble clef, and notes.

The Staff

The Staff in sheet music consists of five lines and four different spaces. Each of those lines represents a different letter and each one represents a note. The lines in the staff represent the notes A-G.

The Staff

Treble Clef and Bass Clef

There are two main clefs in sheet music. The treble clef is most known for the G letter on the left side. Treble clefs typically represent a higher pitch note which correlates to instruments such as a violin or flute. The bass clef is often referred to as the F clef. Unlike the treble clef, the bass clef usually correlates to lower instruments such as a tuba or cello.


The notes placed on the staff tell us about which note to play on instruments and how long to play it. The main parts of a note is the flag, the stem, and the note head.