C Clef #3 – Draw C Clef Signs

Draw C Clef Signs to locate Middle C

Do You Know how to Draw C Clef Signs Properly?

The C Clef is a symbol to Landmark Middle C in 5 different locations on 5 different staves.  There is the Soprano C Clef, the Mezzo-Soprano C Clef, the Alto C Clef, the Tenor C Clef and the Baritone C Clef.

In my Blog “C Clef – What and Why Do We Need It?”, we looked at what a C Clef is and why we need it.

In my Blog “C Clef – When and Why?”, we looked at when we would use a C Clef and why we would use it.

Now it is time to learn how to Draw C Clef Signs properly!

Draw C Clef Signs to Create Landmark Notes

Clef Signs are signs (musical symbols) that assign specific pitches to the notes.  Clef Signs create Landmark Notes when written properly.  A Landmark is a “clue”, a tool to help you find specific notes on the Staff.

It is so very (VERY) important to learn how to draw these Clef Signs correctly and to teach this to our students.  Even young students can easily learn how to draw Clef Signs correctly.

In my Blog “Clef Signs Create Landmark Notes”, we looked at how 3 Landmark Notes are created by the properly drawn Treble (G) Clef, and how 5 Landmark Notes are created by the properly drawn Bass (F) Clef.

A properly drawn C Clef will always Landmark Middle C!

Draw C Clef Signs Properly

Let’s start by learning how to draw the actual C Clef sign.  If you look at the C Clef sign that is printed in music, it uses special font shading (just like the Treble and Bass Clef signs).

Students do not have to recreate this font when writing the C Clef sign.  I drew the “C Clef Drawn” Example using the Pencil Feature on my Computer!

If I can draw it with my mouse, you can draw it with a real pencil on real paper!

It is actually really easy to draw the C Clef sign!  It just involves 2 backwards letter “C”s and 3 lines!  Yes, that is all!

How to Draw C Clef Signs

Understanding music written in the Alto C Clef and in the Tenor C Clef is a Level 8 Theory Requirement for “Pitch and Notation” in the RCM 2016 Edition Theory Syllabus.

To complete the new Requirements for the Level 8 Theory Examination, Students will use the Ultimate Music Theory Advanced Rudiments Workbook and the UMT LEVEL 8 Supplemental Workbook.

For Senior/Advanced Students who need to do a “crash course” to learn all the Theory Requirements from Levels 1 to 8 (in order to prepare for the Level 8 Theory Examination), use the Ultimate Music Theory Complete Rudiments Workbook and the UMT COMPLETE LEVEL Supplemental Workbook.

All the Ultimate Music Theory Workbooks and Supplemental Workbooks have matching Answer Books that make marking easy!

Draw C Clef Signs for all 5 Staves

When a C Clef is written at the very beginning of a staff, only the actual C Clef is written (the 2 thin lines and the 2 backwards Cs).

The Double Bar Lines (2 thin bar lines) in the examples above are there since we are changing Clef Signs on a single line of music.

I like to show my students images of Orchestral Scores (Google images for “Orchestral Scores”) to see the different staves used by the instruments.  It is fun to discuss how the Conductor can follow this multi-staved score!

Students of all levels enjoy seeing how Middle C is a Landmark note that is found in more clefs (staves) then just the Treble and Bass.

Now, grab your UMT Whiteboard and start practicing.  Draw C Clef Signs until you feel comfortable drawing them.  Have Fun!


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Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren


3 thoughts on “C Clef #3 – Draw C Clef Signs”

  • Kamara Hennessey says:

    Thanks Shelagh. You’re so clever: The step by step for process was very helpful!

  • Mark Pfannschmidt says:

    Thanks Shelagh. This is very helpful. One question: you show double bar lines before the clef changes. While I agree with you that this looks very nice in those examples, I’ll tell you that as a violist, the only time I see a double bar line before a clef change is when there’s another reason for a double bar line–either a key change or the beginning of a major section of a piece. We frequently have clef changes in the middle of a measure (as do pianists) and rarely with a clef change. Right?

    • Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren says:

      Hi Mark: Ah, the old “to double bar line or not to double bar line” debate. From my research, you absolutely MUST double bar line before the change of a Key Signature. However, the double bar line before the change of a Time Signature or Clef can be considered a “courtesy”. Me? I like it as it shouts “Hey, something is changing!”.

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