Friday, 8 August 2014

Where the notes are on guitars and keyboards for children, music explained if you don’t know about it and the strange things adults do in the children’s sections of bookshops.

With written music the line,
usually the top line (which is five lines) is the bit you play on guitar and with your right hand on the piano or any other keyboard and the notes you sing.

 line usually the bottom line is for the left hand on the keyboard 

A is pink

B is brown

C is red

D is blue

E is yellow

F is orange

G is green

Music lines _________________ F  football  orange

Music spaces                                 E                 yellow

Music lines _________________Deserves      blue

Music spaces                                 C                  red

Music lines _________________Boy               brown

Music spaces                                 A                  pink

Music lines _________________Good             green

Music spaces                                 F                   orange

Music lines _________________Every            yellow

The spaces between the lines spell; face.
 click on the picture to make it bigger

    Sharps flats and key signatures: at the beginning of a bit of sheet music, on the line where a note goes you sometimes get # which means sharp or b, which means flat. This means that you play all of those notes all the way through the music that way. So if you get b on the middle line – which is a B “boy” note – then you play all of the B notes flat (even the ones that are not on the boy line) and if you get # on the top line – which is the F football note – then you play all of the F notes sharp (even the ones that are not on the football line.

 click on the picture to make it bigger

Playing a note sharp means playing it a bit higher, this means the black key to the right of the note on a keyboard or the fret next to the fret for the note and closer to the big hole in the middle of the guitar. Sharp notes often make music sound happy.

Playing a note flat is the other way round and often makes the music sound sad.

Now grownups know where all the notes are and some of them my not like it if you colour in their guitars, pianos and sheet music so you know which note is which, so be very careful.

With music that has too many notes that are all supposed to be played at the same time, you can usually get away with just playing the top line.

Getting the timing right is a bit complicated and listening to the music you want to play while tapping your foot and singing along to it followed by tapping your foot and singing along to it while you are playing it will sort out most of the timing problems.   

Tuning the guitar is easier if you download a tuning app for your phone, be careful not to go past the note and make the string too tight as the string may break.   

Here in the bookshop we now have a different table in the children’s book section because a very large grownup sat on the last one and broke it.

A bit of a further note here, still on the arts front, but not really worth a separate post.

I am trying to print copies of paintings which have the same colours as the original painting and am slowly getting there. the one on the left is a pen and watercolour which I drew the other day and the one on the right is a print of it.

It’s a strange and difficult thing to do with watercolours where the texture of the paper puts a shade of it’s own in and when you make one colour right another goes wrong.


  1. for guitar tuning E B G D A E I recall this from an old teacher, Every Bad Guitarist Deserves Awful Earache, could possibly explain recurring ear pain

    1. Thanks for that anon, we use; Every Alsatian Dog Grows Big Ears, but it is the bottom line (base, left hand on piano) line that is cgiving me real problems.

      Obviously the spaces between the lines are All Cows Eat Grass.

      But G B D F A which is the lines for the left hand, unfortunately political correctness and this being a children’s post rules out Gay B Do F A so any ideas?

    2. Eat Good Bread Dear Father, FACE. But me and musical annotation are as strangers.

    3. Ah I see SEMBOB there is a way for senior adult men to overcome the inability to read music, this is called guitar tablature, I will explain.

      You have six music lines instead of five, these six lines represent the six guitar strings and instead of having notes on the lines you have numbers representing the space where you put you fingers on the, between the frets on the guitar fretboard.

      0 being an open string where you don’t put your finger on the fretboard and one being the space furthest away from the big hole in the middle of the guitar.

      So go to Argos, buy yourself a cheap electric guitar and amplifier, or better still go and see Barry at Luke’s Guitars in St Luke’s Avenue, Ramsgate (next to the viaduct) Barry used to be the drummer for The Animals ibid "The House of the Rising Sun" sic, “I knew Luke when he was famous.”

      Make sure the cat is outside and any partner you may have has gone shopping, then shut the windows.

      This is the tab for “Smoke on the Water” ibid Deep Purple, so you may need to wear special trousers. As it is all played on one guitar string you don’t need to download a tuning app as it works perfectly on out of tune guitars.

      0 3 5 0 3 6/5 0 3 5 3 0

      Children should not try this, in fact it really isn’t suitable for anyone under about 60 as they are unlikely to know the words.

    4. I knew a drummer once. Les Dash of Hedgehoppers anonymous "It's Good News Week" Unfortunately he couldn't carry on because the RAF needed him.

      The House of the rising sun is firmly embedded in my memory from many a Saturday night at the Camel Club in Khormaksar, Aden, listening to Bobby Treble and the Royals, who sang that, along with many a Rolling Stones number.. My favourite at the time was Leaving on a jet plan, only because that was our ambition re Aden. We sang the chorus at the tops of our voices, suitably lubricated with Tiger beer.

    5. SEMBOB,

      That's a coincidence. Les is a good friend of mine. He was our neighbour in Penang. He now lives in South Africa.

    6. John, Les was at Wittering 1961 - 1963. I went to Aden December 1963. I last saw him in 1966 at the NAAFI at Wittering where we shared a few beers together.

    7. Chaps is it possible that you have lost your nerve on the guitaring front, or that your partners won’t let you and that you have gone into some sort of reminiscing mode as a reaction. Or perhaps you are trying to get cats out of trees, pacify neighbours, remove tight trousers and so on?

    8. Yeah, that's right Michael, all those things.

    9. SEMBOB,

      Les left the RAF and settled in South Africa, where he was employed installing TV transmitters throughout the country for the new SA TV Service.

      Les was and still is a highly talented guitarist and drummer. He earned good money with both instruments, including in SA. In Penang Les ran a successful group called 'Project 4' which was popular among the local groups in Malaysia at the time. Les is a professional who learned his art on the stage before a paying audience. Which is where it really matters, and is what separates the men from the boys.

    10. The Twangs the Thang Michael.

      I Believe Wout Steenhuis lived in Margate for a while.

    11. he lived in western esplanade Broadstairs I knew his son through mutual friends


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