Reading Bass Clef Music Notes

Written by karen farnen
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Reading Bass Clef Music Notes
Learn to read the bass clef is easy with practice (Reading glasses over the music sheets image by Elnur from

Many people find the bass clef harder to read than the treble. Elementary schools often teach treble clef since young children have high singing voices. However, if you play the piano or organ, you need to read bass clef fluently as well. You also need bass clef if you play a bass instrument or have a low singing voice. You can learn the bass clef notes in 15 or 20 minutes. If you continue to practice, you will soon be reading bass clef fluently.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Staff paper
  • Note speller pages for bass clef
  • Music flash cards
  • Sheet music

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  1. 1

    Practice writing the bass clef across one staff on a sheet of staff paper. Copy the bass clef from a piece of music. Notice how the solid dot at the left is on the 4th line from the bottom. Notice that the two smaller dots on the right are in the spaces above and below this line. The larger solid dot marks the F below middle C on a piano keyboard. For this reason, we also call the bass clef the F clef.

    Reading Bass Clef Music Notes
    Practice writing on staff paper. (Music score image by c from
  2. 2

    Practice the letter-names for the bass clef spaces. From bottom to top, they are A, C, E, G. Write a bass clef at the left of a new line on your staff paper. Then write these letters in the spaces over and over to fill the line. Memorise the letters, bottom to top using words starting with each letter to form a sentence. Make up your own, or use a traditional one. Stephanie Wallace, ASTA Convention presenter, suggests “All Cows Eat Grass.”

  3. 3

    Write a bass clef at the left of a new line on staff paper, and practice writing the letter names of the bass clef lines. Write them on the lines bottom to top, repeating all across the page: G, B, D, F, A. Make up your own sentence to remember the letters, or use "Great Big Dogs Fight Animals" or "Good Boys Do Fine Always."

  4. 4

    Practice the names of the bass clef lines with flash cards. Separate the bass clef notes from your pack and mix them up. Name them, and sing them or play them on a musical instrument.

  5. 5

    Practice singing or playing simple sheet music with bass clef notes. If you play keyboard and use two clefs, practice playing bass separately and then both hands together. The more you practice, the sooner you will be reading bass clef fluently.

    Reading Bass Clef Music Notes
    Practice reading sheet music. (music notes image by Pavel Losevsky from

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