Trouble in the Bass Clef

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The Bass Clef

Reading in the bass clef uses the same concept as reading in the treble clef, although most students will struggle more with the bass clef.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. Bass lines often requires the student to read “backwards”. This is about as difficult as saying the first 7 letters of the alphabet backwards. Can you do it? G-F-E-D-C-B-A! Tricky but it can be done with some practice. This skill will help you read fluently in both treble and bass clefs.

  3. The notes in the bass clef do not correspond visually to the treble clef. Most students learn their treble clef, only to be disappointing that it’s not exactly the same in the treble clef!

    1. Remember this: In treble clef: the saying for the staff lines is “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
      In Bass Clef: the saying for the staff line is “Good Boy Deserves Fudge Always
      This means a note on the bottom line of the treble clef is an E, and a note on the bottom line of the bass clef is a G.

  4. Students often favor their right hand and the treble clef. Since most melodies in the songs students learn have the melody in the right hand, they get more accustomed to reading in the treble clef.  Most students are often right-handed, so they favor reading in the treble clef.

    1. Make sure to always practice the left hand and the bass clef! The beauty of the piano is that we have so many notes in a big range to play. There are songs that focus more on the left hand as well.

One of the most amazing physical achievements of learning the piano, is the independence of each hand. To be a successful piano player, we have to feel comfortable in both hands to create the complex and beautiful music we know the piano is capable of.
Good luck!



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