How to Read Bass Clef Sheet Music

Written by kahlea pendleton
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How to Read Bass Clef Sheet Music
The bass clef or F clef represents the lower pitches below middle "C" on a staff. (piano image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com)

The bass clef represents the lower pitches below middle "C" on a staff. Music for low-pitched instruments such as bass--as well as for the lower pitches on the piano, performed with the left hand--is notated in the bass clef. Bass, baritone, and tenor singers use the bass clef to sight-sing their music.The bass clef is also called the "F clef" because the pitch "F" is indicated by placing the bass clef on the fourth line.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remember the lines and spaces on a staff. A staff consists of five lines and four spaces where notes are drawn to represent note pitches and rhythm.

  2. 2

    Memorise the music alphabet. The notes on the bass clef staff are in alphabetical order. Start with the first staff line at the bottom of the bass clef staff. The first line represents "G." Above "G," the space on the staff represents "A," and the next line on the musical staff is "B," and so on.

  3. 3

    Create a technique for you to remember the lines on the bass clef staff. The five lines on the bass clef staff represent the notes "G," "B," "D," "F" and "A." You can use a saying such as "good boys do fine always" (G-B-D-F-A) as a memory device, or make up a silly saying of your own.

  4. 4

    Memorise a phrase the will help you to remember the spaces on the bass clef staff. The four spaces represent "A," "C," "E" and "G." Use "all cows eat grass" to memorise the spaces or make up a silly phrase of your own. "A" is the first space at the bottom of the staff. "C," which is an octave lower than middle "C" on a piano, is on the next space, then "E" is on the third space above "C." "G" is on the last space at the top of the staff below middle "C." Middle "C" is on a small line that extends the staff, called a ledger line, which is below the treble clef staff and above the bass clef.

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