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All bass clef notes

When you’ve seen my lesson about treble clef notes, you know how to find all the notes on the staff with a  treble clef, especially if you remember the trick how to memorize them (the FACE-notes). To easily find all bass clef notes, we also have a little trick. Keep reading to find out how to find all bass clef notes.

How to find all bass clef notes?

The bass clef is mainly for notes from middle C and lower. So this is for the left hand on the piano. This is, however, not a rule. You can display notes on a bass clef that are higher than middle C. And sometimes, but not often, notes on the bass clef are played with the right hand.

To indicate that the staff we’re reading is in bass clef, we use the next bass clef symbol at the beginning of the staff:

bass clef

On the next staff, you can see all bass clef notes on and in between the 5 lines of the staff:

all bass clef notes

The highest note, the A on the upper line of the staff, is the A just under the middle C, so a minor 3rd under the middle C.

As I promised you, there’s also a trick to easily remember all bass clef notes. When I display only the notes in between the lines of the staff, we get:

all cows eat grass 1

At first sight, those notes A, C, E and G don’t make up a nice word as was the case with the FACE-notes in the treble key. But, the letters of those bass notes form the first letters of the sentence “ALL COWS EAT GRASS”. all cows eat grass 2

With this trick, it’s easy to remember the bass notes in between the lines of the staff. The other notes are then easy to find from those 4 notes.

Ledger lines

As with the treble clef, we can add ledger lines to the staff. When you don’t remember how they work, have a look at the treble clef lesson.

Can you see which note is displayed here?

low B on bass clef

It’s a (very low) B!

And this one?

middle C on bass clef

Well, this is an important one to remember: it’s the middle C!

The middle C is on the first ledger line above the bass clef staff. Remember that the middle C is also on the first ledger line under the treble clef staff.

Treble and bass clef together

treble and bass clef

In sheet music for piano, you find the treble clef (generally for the right hand) and the bass clef (generally for the left hand) displayed together as in the figure above.

 

Now that you learned how to read notes on the bass clef, be sure to practice this regularly. The exercise that is accesible via the link below is ideal for this purpose.

Place the note on the bass clef on the piano keyboard (only white keys)

 

 

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The notes on the treble clef

Musical notes are written on a staff. A staff consists of 5 horizontal lines where the notes can be placed. The notes on the treble clef can be on or in between the 5 horizontal lines.

staff

The treble clef

The treble clef is mainly for notes from middle C and higher. So this is for the right hand on the piano. This is, however, not a rule. You can display notes on a treble clef that are lower than middle C. And sometimes, but not often, notes on the treble clef are played with the left hand.

To indicate that the staff we’re reading is in treble clef, we use the next treble clef symbol at the beginning of the staff:

Staff with treble clef

 

As I said, the notes can be displayed on or in between the lines of the staff. The note on the lowest line is an E. This is the E which is a major 3rd higher than the middle C.

Note E on staff

The next note, F, is displayed between the lowest 2 lines of the staff.

Note F on staff

The G is on the 2nd line.

Note G on staff

In this way we can go on, which gives us all the notes that can be placed on or in between the lines of the staff.

Notes on staff

An easy way to remember the notes on the treble clef is by looking at the notes that go in between the lines: they make the word ‘FACE’.

Face notes on staff

From the ‘FACE’-notes, it’s very easy to deduce all the other notes.

Ledger lines

As I mentioned before: the treble clef is for notes from middle C and higher. And it was even possible to display notes lower than middle C. How is this possible when the note on the lowest line is an E? Let’s first put a D on the staff. That’s still easy: just put it under the lowest line.

The note D on staff

 

But how can we put the middle C? The middle C should be again on a line. But we don’t have any lines anymore. Well, you can do that with ledger lines.

A ledger line is a little horizontal line just under or above the staff that you place there where you want your note. The middle C is then displayed as follows:

The note C on staff

You can even make the B:

Note B on staff

For the A, we need a 2nd ledger line:

Note A on staff

You can go on putting extra ledger lines for even lower notes. Now, the next question may arise: till how many ledger lines can you go? Well, officially, you can have as many ledger lines as you want. But, ask yourself: is it still readable? I would say that it’s still possible to read 3 or 4 ledger lines without a too big effort. But sometimes, you see even more ledger lines…

It’s also possible to put ledger lines above the staff to display higher notes.  Can you see which note is displayed in the next figure?

The high E on staff

 

Well, I hope you found it on your own…

If not: it’s an E!

This is not all

As you might have noticed, this is not all:

And now it’s time to do some exercises. Click on the link below to test your knowledge of the notes on the treble clef.

Place the note on the treble clef on the piano keyboard (only white keys)

 

Please tell us what you think of this lesson (and the trick to remember the treble clef notes) by leaving a comment below.

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