Who’s afraid of ledger lines? [ep 57]

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How do you feel about reading notes above (or below) the stave?

Even harpists who are fairly confident in reading music may feel intimidated when they have to do this. A student recently told me…

When I see these extra lines my mind just goes blank!

This is why in today’s video I’m sharing with you my tips for managing notes on ledger lines.

Is this gonna work?

You may be surprised by some of the tips I’m sharing in this video (like for example no 4). So I feel like I should explain this first…

If you asked me a few years back what I think about writing letters under the notes you cannot read, I would have told you it’s a BIG no-no.

But yes, I do write them in when I see a note with lots of ledger lines that I can’t work them out in any other way than counting the lines. (I’m telling you about other ways in the video!)

I also changed my mind slightly when it comes to learning to read music and writing letters in – and now I think that if you use them in the right way, you can benefit from that.

If you want to learn when writing letters in the scores can be helpful (and when it could still harm your reading BIG time), make sure you come to my free live online workshop on How to Overcome the 5 Most Common Mistakes in Reading Music on the Harp.

How to Overcome the 5 Most Common Mistakes in Reading Music on the Harp

Pick the time that works best for you and download the webinar workbook!


How many is too many?

I need to let you in on a little secret, Zuzanna…

Most professional musicians don’t read notes with many ledger lines (with exception of some woodwind players). For example. I am only comfortable with reading up to 3 lines (max!).

Part of the reason being – you rarely see more than 3 ledger lines in harp sheet music. And if you need to play higher or lower notes, you’re more likely to see ottava notation or a change of clef.

And if come across notes above or below the stave that I don’t recognise… this is how I manage these ledger lines.

Watch the video
Resources mentioned in this episode