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Is it worth while to know treble clef?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by romac, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. I've recently been working very hard on my sight reading and I belive Ive got to a good level. Recently I was told it is also very good for a bassist to know treble clef. For all you experienced bassists out there, is worth while knowing both bass and treble clef? Or will it just confuse me??

    Thanks for any help
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Depends on how easily confused you are. Reading treble clef is just like reading bass clef. It's not really like reading French and German, it's more like reading English and British. The words just mean different things.

    It's nice being able to cop the melody off a chart somebody brings to rehearsal, it's nice being able to read things in treble clef in the staff rather than up in the ledger lines in bass clef. But I would say it's more a convenience than a necessity.
  3. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    What about tenor clef? In the real world, are you likely to ever see it on a lead sheet?
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Yeah, I see tenor clef on occasion tho you're more like ly to see it being a cellist.

    Learn all the clefs... the pain is small and the reward great.
  5. Learn them all. It's handy, when writing music, to be able to just switch to an appropriate clef. I do it all the time. One good reason for learning treble clef is that the notes are in the same positions as they are in the contrabass clef, that's handy for low lines.
  6. Thanks for the advice, I'll take it on board.

    But off topic:
    Just out of interest what do you mean by this? Do you mean American English and actual English??
  7. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    It's certainly helpful to be able to read lead sheets and stuff on the treble clef. If you can read well on the bass clef then you shouldn't have much trouble adjusting, you just have to remember what you're looking at.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.

    No, I mean the actual English they speak in America, not that polyglot of Saxon and debased French (with German borrow words) that they speak in perfidious Albion. Perhaps my boot can give you a lift? I mean, really.

    But yes, you get my point. All the little dots do is change what location means what note. No big thang. Unlike (analogically, you remember the French/German part right? Didn't get distracted by painting yourself blue or anything?) DIFFERENT LANGUAGES where the little dots actual meaning would change -the 8th note doesn't suddenly become a whole note or anything, right?
  9. yeah I understand. Thanks for the help :)
  10. No - but in English, it becomes a quaver - and then there is the breve, semibreve, minim, crotchet, semiquaver, demisemiquaver, hemidemisemiquaver…


    - Wil
  11. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I think it's a good idea to start reading treble clef once you're very comfortable with bass clef. It doesn't happen often but there have been times I've been asked to play or double a melody written in treble clef on a gig. No other clefs have come up for me in a professional situation so I haven't bothered. The good thing about studying treble clef is the availability of music. Hymnals are good sources of material for study. ;)

  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You mean Britspeak?