user_mobilelogo

This site is written by

victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons)

Learn more...

ISM Member Logo Colour

Join over 19,000 others and become a member of MyMusicTheory.com - it's free!

 

We have 3828 guests and 21 members online

Looking for your Video Course?

Please click here to login!

Video Courses by MyMusicTheory

Please note: this website is not run by the ABRSM and is a completely independent business.


Get the MyMusicTheory Course Book
 
Next UK ABRSM theory exams
Wednesday 6th November 2019

Browse by Music Grade: Grade 1 | Grade 2 | Grade 3 | Grade 4 | Grade 5 | Grade 6 | Grade 7 | Grade 8 | DiplomasWhat Grade am I?

grade 5 music theoryDownload this Grade 5 Music Theory Course or buy the Printed Book Version

Buy Grade 5 Theory Past Papers

Get some help!

4b. The Bass Clef

Grade Five Music Theory - Lesson 4b: Bass Clef

The Bass Clef

This lesson is for Grade 5 Theory students who need an extra bit of help with the bass (F) clef, but who are already comfortable with the treble (G) clef. You can safely skip this lesson if you can already read the bass clef!

 

Although if you don’t play an instrument which uses the bass clef, (like the piano, bassoon or trombone), you don’t need to be able to read the bass clef fluently, it’s really worthwhile taking a bit of time to get used to reading music written in the bass clef. If you’re a fast bass clef reader you’ll also save yourself a lot of time in the Grade 5 Theory Exam! The bass clef is the second most common clef used in written music.

 

 The Bass Clef Symbol

The symbol for bass clef looks like this:

Bass clef on the stave

It’s actually a very arty, stylised capital F. The two horizontal short lines on the capital F are represented by the two dots on the right hand side. Can you see it? The line between the two dots is the line where we find the note F below middle C.

 

What and Where is Middle C?

Many people think of middle C as the C closest to the middle of the piano keyboard (often near the keyhole!)

Middle C is also right in the middle of the staves if you put a treble clef stave together with a bass clef stave, as is usually done in piano music. Here’s a two-octave descending scale of C major which crosses from treble clef to bass clef. Middle C is in the box:

The grand staff

Notice that middle C always sits on one ledger line. In the treble clef it sits below the stave, but in bass clef it sits above it .

 

 Notes in the Bass Clef

You might find it helpful to memorise a short phrase to remember where the notes lie in the bass clef.

For the notes on lines, try this one:

Bass clef notes on lines

 

And here’s one for the spaces:

Bass clef notes in spaces

If you feel that you still need more practice, why not take a look at the grade 1 lesson here.

 

 Key Signatures in the Bass Clef

The position of key signatures in all clefs is covered in Lesson 5 - Key Signatures.




now on amazon topbanner normalamazon logo