How to Memorize Trombone Notes

By Steven J. Miller ; Updated September 15, 2017
Learning to play trombone requires learning the note names.

Memorizing the notes of the trombone develops essential music literacy for a performer. Trombone players who can't read music notes lack fundamental skills, which results in poor technique. Learning trombone note names will greatly improve your ability to read music. There are two clefs that the trombone uses when playing music. Bass clef appears most commonly in trombone music. However, the trombonist must also learn the names of the pitches in tenor clef to memorize all the trombone note names.

Bass Clef

Learn what the bass clef looks like. You can distinguish it from the tenor clef easily by remembering that it looks like a backwards C with two dots. The two dots will always appear on either side of the F note line.

Identify the names of the notes on the bass clef by using a simple acronym. The lines from bottom to top spell out the first letters of the words in the phrase "Great Brains Don't Forget Answers." You can also create your own acronym where the first letter of each word identifies the pitch.

Memorize the names of the spaces by using the phrase "All Cars Eat Gas."

Tenor Clef

Identify the clef used for the tenor clef by looking for a clef that looks like a backwards bracket. The middle of the bracket will always curve in towards the note C. In the case of the trombone, the bracket will curve in on the fourth line.

Create an acronym to memorize the lines of the tenor clef. For example, "Don't Forget Any Cute Elephants" should help you remember the names of the trombone notes in the tenor clef.

Acquire the spaces in the tenor clef by using another acronym. The acronym "Each Good Boy Dreams" helps with memorizing spaces.

About the Author

Steven Miller graduated with a master's degree in 2010. He writes for several companies including Lowe's and IBM. He also works with local schools to create community gardens and learn environmentally responsible gardening. An avid gardener for 15 years, his experience includes organic gardening, ornamental plants and do-it-yourself home projects.