Lesson 5: The Bass Clef
By Debbie Ridpath Ohi - 06/04/2007 - 10:56 AM EDT
symbol to the left is called the bass clef. By placing it on a staff,
you're identifying that staff with bass cleff. If you were taking
piano lessons, this would be the staff you would most strongly associate
with the left hand in your early lessons.
bass clef is also called the F Clef because the curly bit in the
middle wraps around the staff line also known the F line (the second
line from the top). If you play or sing a note on the F line, it
will sound as concert F.
of the spaces in the bass clef
are four spaces in the bass clef, and these are named: A C E G
most common way to remember the names of spaces is the phrase: All
Cows Eat Grass. Some of you may wish to exert
some creative license, so feel free to come up with an alternate
phrase of your own.
of the lines in the bass clef
names of the lines in the bass clef are: G B D F A
are several ways of remembering the names of lines, but I have to
confess that I'm not entirely happy with any of them. Here are a
Boys Deserve Fun Always: A tad sexist, don't you think?
Boys Deserve Fudge Always: A tad sexist AND doesn't really
promote particularly good nutritional habits.
heck, it's just a trick for memorizing the bass clef lines. If you
can think of anything more interesting, feel free to forward your
ideas and I'll post them here if they're family-friendly.
to make bass clef flashcards
provided the images for your flashcards at the end of this column.
Print out the images on a piece of paper, and then use a pair of
scissors to cut them up so that each one is on a separate piece
Buy a pack of blank white index cards (3.5 x 5").
Glue the music-notation section of each image on one side of each
card. On the other side of the card, glue the corresponding letter
(or write it with ink that won't show through the other side).
Shuffle the cards.
Go through the entire deck of cards, with the note portion facing
toward you. Name the note, then turn the card over to see if you're
right. At first you'll probably have to remember the rules ("All
Cows Eat Grass", "Good Boys Deserve Fun Always") to identify each
This will be frustrating at first, and likely very slow-going. Don't
Give Up! The more you practice, the more automated the process will
you're comfortable with these bass clef flashcards, shuffle them
with the treble clef flashcards and practice with the entire deck.
when you know those, add the following bass clef flashcards. Feel
free to review my column on ledger lines if
you find yourself scratching your head over how to figure out the
names of notes outside of the bass clef.
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