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How To Read Bass Clef

How To Read Bass Clef

This is an instructional video teaching you how to play the bass clef on the piano and cello. It also teaches you how to read the bass clef.

Hello, my name is Matthew Forbes from The Music Workshop Company. I'm going to take you through how to tune some instruments, how to play them, basically, and also how to read the notated music form. So the bass clef is the clef we use for notating the lower notes.

I'm going to show you on the piano and the cello, which is an instrument that uses almost solely the bass clef. The bass clef notes in the piano are the ones that are generally in the left hand. The Middle C is the note, an extra line, or a ledger line above the top note, the top line of the 5 in the stave.

That's Middle C there. And we come down stepwise between line and space and line and space. So from C, come down a space to B, to the line A, to the space G and so on alphabetically, F, E, D, C, and so on.

The note names in the bass clef, the lines going from bottom to top, the lower line is G, the next is B, the next is D, the next is F and the top line is A. 'Good Boys Deserve Food Always', that's a good way of remembering it. The spaces, the notes between the lines A, C, E and G, are the 4 spaces of the 5 line stave, and 'All Cows Eat Grass' is the easiest way to remember that, the sillier, the better.

The sharps with the hatch criss-cross are the notes, as it were, between each of the latter named notes. So the sharps go semi-tone above, an F goes to an F sharp, upper semi-tone or a G going to a G sharp. On a cello, just to let you hear the sound of those same notes, obviously we have no black and white keys but the same rules apply where the names go down alphabetically.

Middle C, if you like, the pitch of Middle C on the cello is here. So, C, B, A, G, F, E, D, C, the lowest note on the cello being the C below that, which is written 2 ledger lines below the bottom of the stave. And with the sharps happening between the notes, so semi-tones apart C, C sharp to D, to D sharp to E and so on.

Do remember that in musical notation E to F and B to C are a semi-tone apart, so we don't need an extra sharp, an extra black note between the 2. And that is the bass clef.