Grand Staff - Play The Piano With Both Hands

When playing the piano we use what’s known as the grand staff. This is the part of the piece of music that is made up of the lines that run across the page. It is a combination of the two clefs that we already learned about.

This staff is used whenever a musician is to play both clefs as the same time. The top clef is the treble clef and the bottom is the bass clef.


Purpose of the Staff

The piano has 88 different keys. Because of the vast amount of notes on the piano there needs to be a way to write these notes on paper. Having the two clefs together on one staff allows for every note to have a written form that the musician can follow.


The Staff

The picture below shows what the staff looks like. This staff is composed of both bass and treble clef connected by a black bar on the left of the clef.

The Grand Staff

If you look at the picture carefully then you can see that there is a big gap in the middle between the two clefs. This is where Middle C is located. They use ledger lines in the middle to show what line the note will fall on. Here is how middle C falls in between the two clefs.

Grand Staff Notes

How to use this staff

Looking at the staff you will see that there are two clefs. Each clef will represent a hand. The top clef will use the right hand and the bottom clef for the left hand.


Each line and space applies to a particular note on the piano. Look at the picture and you can see haw each note on the staff goes a long with a note on the piano. Use this to help you memorize which note on the grand staff coordinates with each key.

Middle C shares a line with the bass clef and treble clef. From C up the treble clef is the upper part of the piano and from Middle C down is the lower part.

If you are ever confused of which hand to use to play those notes that are in the middle of the staff just see which clef it is in. If it is a C in the treble clef, then you use the right hand. If its a C in the bass clef, then use the left hand.

The grand staff is primarily used in piano music. It can label any note that is on the piano. Using this staff and ledger line you can easily find any note on the piano.

Great Job! Now that you know how to use this staff you understand how music is written and better understand how to read it.

Click to go to Lessons #13 - Eighth Notes

Back To Lesson #11 - Music Rhythm

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