Basic Theory Exam #1 Naming Notes


Working on a basic theory exam?  Every question as it is usually presented in the exam will be explained with tips and what to look for. Being able to see a note and name it is the first step in writing any exam.


The first part of an exam following the RCM syllabus usually starts with naming notes.  Students sometimes forget to recognize the key signature.  The key signature affects that particular note for the whole piece.

Piano players already should know how to read the treble and bass clef, but for guitarists, violinists, vocalists…they need to brush up on reading the bass clef.  

Students find it useful to use a rhyme for the letter names.  For instance, the treble clef line notes can be Every, Good, Boy, Deserves, Fun.  Always read from the bottom up. The line notes for the bass clef can be remembered by: Good, Boys, Deserve, Fun, Always. Notice how the same wording is used for the rhyme for the line notes for both the treble and bass clef, except the bass clef drops the word Every and starts on Good…adding the Always for the 5th line.