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#1056216 - 01/05/09 12:05 AM Bass Clef
BarbVA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 166
When you have known how to read music on the Treble clef for almost 35 years, how do you retrain your brain to read the Bass clef? My brain just automatically reads them like it is on the Treble clef.

I'm thinking there must be a method that will click in my head quickly since I understand the concept of reading music already. Or maybe my old brain is resisting.

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#1056217 - 01/05/09 01:43 AM Re: Bass Clef
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by BarbVA:
When you have known how to read music on the Treble clef for almost 35 years, how do you retrain your brain to read the Bass clef? My brain just automatically reads them like it is on the Treble clef.

I'm thinking there must be a method that will click in my head quickly since I understand the concept of reading music already. Or maybe my old brain is resisting. [/b]
Hi Barb. I picked up the viola at age 50, and so had to learn to read alto clef fluently (as opposed to working it out laboriously, which I could already do, and I guess you can with the bass clef, too). I used what I use with beginning piano students - a so-called "landmark" approach. Pick a note and learn to recognise it instantly. Count others from this one. Then add another one, and count steps to get the ones in between. Good ones to use for bass clef are the Cs (and observe the symmetry of the positioning in bass and treble clefs) and F below middle C. I found the process very interesting, as it gave me insight into the problems some of my students were having.
And I can read alto clef just about as well as the other two now. The Brain Still Works! \:\)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1056218 - 01/05/09 01:48 PM Re: Bass Clef
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by BarbVA:
. . . how do you retrain your brain to read the Bass clef?

. . .I'm thinking there must be a method . . . [/b]
Yes, there is an exciting fool-proof method for this - it's called "the old-fashioned way" (i.e., lots of consistent and concentrated practice over an extended period) - it's not a shortcut, but it is sure-fire!

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1056219 - 01/05/09 02:41 PM Re: Bass Clef
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Barb,
One thing that helped me was to quiz myself by saying: "Bass clef: first line G, second line B etc. first space A second space C etc. then i would mix it up. Fourth space G and so on.

I would also just repeat G-B-D-F-A (for the lines and A-C-E-G (for the spaces). repetition is the key. It also helps to visualize it as well. and then go and look at some lines of music and quiz your self that way.

I really don't know why this is not taught as all one unit... seems to be a common thing that people have an easier time with the treble clef but not the bass clef.
good luck.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1056220 - 01/05/09 05:01 PM Re: Bass Clef
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2011
Loc: Belgium

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#1056221 - 01/06/09 10:37 AM Re: Bass Clef
JagNut Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 24
Loc: Arlington Texas
I have been finding this online exercise to be very useful:

http://www.emusictheory.com/practice/pianoKeys.html

It presents random notes on the staves and calls for a response on the simulated keyboard.

You can select treble clef, bass cleff, or both at the same time. And it can be done with your mouse, so I practice it about 10 to 15 minutes every day (I'm a total newbie). However, if you buy the program, it can also be set up for a midi keyboard.
_________________________
Glen

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#1056222 - 01/06/09 10:54 AM Re: Bass Clef
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
I just think one step down. But like JF stated, lots of practice and those notes become yours.

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