What Goes UP, Must Come DOWN
SAMPLE LESSON (complete as it appears within PMMO)

As the musical alphabet (ABCDEFG) is played in alphabetical order (to the right), each following tone is higher in pitch; it sounds like it goes UP.


As the musical alphabet is played in reverse order (GFEDCBA - to the left ), each following tone is lower in pitch; it sounds like it goes DOWN.


99.99+% of all music you have ever heard in the past, or will hear in the future, uses a combination of this UP and DOWN movement to create recognizable tunes (or melodies). (Illustration 7.)


Illustration 7.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Take a moment to hum through several of your favorite songs, and pay attention to the UP and DOWN movement of melody.

Because melodies move alphabetically forward and backward (up and down), it will be helpful to learn the musical alphabet forward and backward. This is about as easy as counting from 1 through 7, then backward from 7 to 1. If you find the alphabet to be more difficult, it is only because you haven't done it before.

Exercise 1:


(a) Recite the musical alphabet forward, starting with A. (A-B-C-D-E-F-G)

(b) Recite the musical alphabet backward, starting with G. Just for fun, to determine if you can do it, close your eyes and try it now.

(c) If you need more help, think slowly and use the following to guide your thoughts:

Say "G"

Before saying the next letter aloud, ask yourself:

  • What comes before G? (F)
  • What comes before F? (E)
  • What comes before E? (D)
  • What comes before D? (C)
  • What comes before C? (B)
  • What comes before B? (A)
  • What comes before A? (G)

Quickly reciting the alphabet backward may be a little tricky at first. A fun idea to help you remember is to make a word out of it.


GFEDCBA spells a word. (pronounced - gee-fed'-see-bah)

(How do you spell GFEDCBA? G-F-E-D-C-B-A)

Being able to easily recite the seven letter musical alphabet forward and backward is a simple skill you will use to play melodies by ear. It's also the first step to understanding "how music thinks"! LEARN it NOW!

*Note: At the time of this writing, I have personally taught this method to 10,000+ students. With few exceptions, those who can recite the alphabet forward and backward play most easily. Those who have trouble reciting the alphabet, generally seem to have trouble playing music in any form.

It only takes a few minutes to learn the alphabet backward from the letter "G". You can practice while driving, jogging, walking or resting.

The next time you're with a good friend, lean close as if you have a secret to share, and recite the musical alphabet backward as quickly as possible. Your friend will be amazed (and dumbfounded) at your new ability!




  1. Alphabetical Order = UP = HIGHER TONES = To the RIGHT
  2. Reverse Order = DOWN = LOWER TONES = To the LEFT
  3. Knowing the alphabet forward and backward will help you to quickly understand the UP and DOWN motion of music. It's also the first step to understanding "how music thinks"!