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Alternative clefs

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Aaron Saunders, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I picked up this book called "Elementary Music Rudiments Grade 2" because, apparently, if you can play at a grade 8 level and do theory at a grade 2 level, you can get an extra credit in high school so I picked up the book to see what's going be on the exam.

    Besides being a pretty swank book (it's a pretty even mix of what I did and didn't know in it) all in all, it teaches you to read in the tenor and alto clefs -- my initial instinct was "Hey, this is kind of cool." A couple minutes later, I realized just how intensely cool it is -- I was planning on picking up a four string set and a single C from D'addario or a sixer set of TI flats in November and tuning my fretted bass as a tenor (ADGC). Now, I've read the bass clef for about two years now and the treble clef for a couple months, but to have both on there is a super pain in the butt for me if I'm just reading one instrument, unless it's a piano. But as I was doing some of the first couple exercises, it occured to me that the alto clef is PERFECT for tenor bass! Does anyone else use the tenor or alto clefs for tenor bass music?

    For those who aren't familiar with the tenor/alto clefs -- in alto, the middle line is middle C. In tenor, the line above the middle line is middle C.
  2. sedgdog


    Jan 26, 2002
    Pasco, WA
    I read alto clef quite a bit, but my bass is tuned normally. I have a trio with two guitar player. We have been arranging several orchestral suites for 2x guitars and a bass and I end up covering a lot of the alto clef. When I read it I'm thinking bass clef and visualizing the note on the alto clef one line or space down.