A treble cleff is perhaps the most intricate music symbol. The first couple attempts at drawing a treble clef can turn out frightening, but with the right method it’s actually quite easy.
In this post we explore:
- Quick and easy method for drawing a treble clef
- Making a “perfect” treble clef
- Related questions
How to Draw a Treble Clef (Quick Method)
This image is probably the only explanation you need; below you’ll find the details.
- Draw a skinny J. Start by drawing a straight line from just above the staff down to just below the staff. Once you move past the bottom of the staff, curve the line so it makes a skinny J.
- Draw a small curve from the top of the straight line you drew to the second line from the top of the staff (the line for high D in the staff).
- Draw a larger curve all the way down to where the straight line intersects the first line of the staff (the line for low E in the clef).
- Draw three quarters of a circle. From the E line draw three quarters of a circle counter-clockwise landing finally on the second line up.
Congrats you made a treble clef! Over time I found that it looks best if I perform steps two through four in one fluid motion.
How to Draw a “Perfect” Treble Clef
I looked at some treble clefs on sheet music and tried to emulate them. Here is what I found makes for the ideal clef.
- Try starting with a slightly slanted stem, that has just a touch of curve to it. Start on the top line of the clef (not above the clef)
- Create a circle at the bottom of the J. This circle is in line with middle C.
- Now add the top loop. This loop circles around the space just above the treble clef – the place that corresponds with high G.
- Curve the three quarters circle at the bottom of the clef so that it ends slightly below the second line up.
- Finally my favorite part- thicken some of the lines to your taste so that it looks more like calligraphy.
How Do I Identify Treble Clef Notes?
For a short answer, you can use mnemonics. Starting at the bottom of the staff the lines of the treble clef are E G B D F (Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge). The spaces are F A C E – easy enough to remember on its own.
I argue that mnemonics are not efficient in the long run. You can learn a new method in this post.
What is G clef and F clef?
Sometimes people refer to the treble clef as the G clef and the bass clef as the F clef. I think this could be for two reasons:
First, the treble clef vaguely looks like a “G” and the bass clef vaguely looks like and “F.”
Second, the three quarters circle of the treble clef encircles a G while the two dots of the bass clef are on either side of an F.
How Do You Draw a Bass Clef?
Start with a dot on the second highest line of the staff. Then create a curve that swoops to the top then to the bottom of the staff. Finally place two dots to the right of the clef and on either side of the second highest line. It is hard to explain in just words, so check out this post on how to draw a bass clef.
You may have learned the notes of the staff years ago and still not be able to draw a treble clef. No worries! With the right process, drawing a treble clef is easy. You can follow either the easier “straight stem” method, or can get artsy with the slanted stem approach.