The Tricky Two
If there’s ever any notes that are going to cause problems for students… you can almost guarantee it will be E’s and F’s.
There’s a couple of reasons for this – they look pretty similar being so close together, but when you put them up an octave up they switch positions. So E is on the line and F is in the space… up an octave and E is in the space and F is on the line.
No other two notes have this issue – as the notation changes enough when you move them up the octave that our brains can see the difference.
For piano players this can also happen with the F and G notes in the left hand – but I’ve always found the problem appears most often in the right had with the E and F.
How to Fix it?
There’s no quick fix for this muddle – but constant correction and positive reinforcement can slowly sort the problem out.
There’s a couple of things I get my students to do:
1. I’ll write them a song that has so many E’s and F’s that the brain realises that it needs to pay attention a bit more to these notes. (or I will give them another song with lots of them in again! Mwah ha ha)
2. Every time we have a section of music with the E’s and F’s in – we play up to the note.
Say what it is.
Play that note.
Carry on playing.
The E and F issue never stays around that long really, but it can be an annoyance, especially as no other two notes get in such a pickle!