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Learning to read F Clef

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by repoman, Jan 13, 2012.


  1. repoman

    repoman

    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    After nearly 2 years of "noddling" and tab reading and general faking I have decided I had better cut the crap and learn how to actual read charts written in F clef.
    I have a background in G clef from my many years of playing trumpet, so reading and understanding the language isn't a concern... it is just figuring out where an E or an A is written on the staff. I find myself looking at the first space and "seeing" an F when it is actually an A...or the first ledger line below the staff as a C when of course that is an E, etc, etc.
    I'm guessing there is no "trick" in relearning how to read from G clef to F clef, it must be just memorizing through rote. Yes?
    Study Bass.com has a great flashcard thingy that I use (made it all the way from drummer -that cracked me up- to first level master in no time) but it seems so tedious.
    I was speculating that some of you G clef readers had some ideas or tips that would help me move along a little bit faster (at 54 I'm not getting any younger :) )
     
  2. repoman

    repoman

    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    I need to add that I have searched the forum and have found many sites that teach F clef reading... I'm just looking for first hand experiences in learning how to convert G to F....
     
  3. southpaw76

    southpaw76

    Feb 20, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    middle C is one ledger line above the F clef and one ledger line below the G clef. Remembering that should help you transpose a little easier. Btw middle C is the first C on the G string (5th fret).

    HTH,
    sp
     
  4. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I don't think their is a trick to learn to read in any of the three key ( G, C and F ).

    Buy classical music book like the 6 suite for Cello by Bach. There you have all three if I remember correcly, or read a classical piano book. read one page per day. At one point it won't matter anymore if it is written in treble of bass or tenor ...
     
  5. repoman

    repoman

    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    aaah, that is where I am trying to get... I do have some piano music laying around here somewhere, never thought of using that, going to have to dig it out.
     
  6. repoman

    repoman

    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    thanks, it does help....
     
  7. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Transpose everything up a fifth and you have the bass clef equivalent. At least that's how my brain works. :D
     
  8. repoman

    repoman

    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    Transposing up a fifth? .... :confused:
    I don't see that happening any time soon .... :(
     
  9. Memory pegs are different.
    All Cows Eat Grass for spaces.
    Good boys do fine always for lines.

    Big breakthrough for me was recognizing the three octaves. Which C are you reading and where is that C on your fretboard, i.e. lower ledger, middle staff or upper ledger.

    Or if you like - first position, second octave, third or 1st string notes.
     
  10. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Example: In F clef, you see what looks like a C in bass clef (one line above the staff). In F clef, that is actually a G (three lines above the staff), or the octave above the open G string. So the G is a fifth above the C, as it reads. Sorry if I muddied the waters too much. :meh:
     
  11. southpaw76

    southpaw76

    Feb 20, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    Also, assuming you are using a 4 string with 24 frets (2 octave range):
    In grand staff (G clef stacked above the F clef), which is how piano music is usually laid out. Write out the range of your bass from open E(one ledger line below the F clef) to your high G (24th fret G string=the space on top of the last line on your G clef).

    Doing that helped me learn to transpose a little easier by being able to visualize where it would be on the fingerboard.

    sp
     
  12. repoman

    repoman

    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    ...this is an interesting angle (so to speak).. I find myself stumbling around the first and second position without giving much thought to it. This might give me something to focus on ....
     
  13. repoman

    repoman

    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    yep, 4 string, 24 fret, but doesn't that allow for (almost)3 octaves going down the G string to the last fret - Eb ?

    Anyway...I'm looking right now for some blank grand staffs to mess around with... I think Study Bass has something to print out ....
     
  14. southpaw76

    southpaw76

    Feb 20, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    I am not sure I understand correctly, are you tuned to Eb as opposed to E?

    Basically what I am trying to illustrate is the range of the bass voice laid on a grand staff. Now if you want to take everything that bleeds over in the G clef and transpose it to the F clef, you should be able to do this now so long as you indicate the 8va symbol. I hope that makes sense, I am still a bit groggy ;).

    sp
     
  15. repoman

    repoman

    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY

    ... long night? :)

    Thank you for all the reply's , every bit of information helps.
     
  16. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Um, bass clef is F clef.
     
  17. southpaw76

    southpaw76

    Feb 20, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    Yep that is correct ;).

    sp
     
  18. kreider204

    kreider204

    Nov 29, 2008
    I had a similar experience. I started on saxophone for several years before learning bass. In my case, I learned to play bass from method books that contained NO tab, so I started learning the F clef right away by associating the note on the page with the fingering on the bass, not with the name of the note. So, I would see the dot, think "That's this fret on this string," and then think "And that fret on that string is an F#, so that note is an F#." In other words, I associate the notation with the instrument, and only then with the note it represents. I can still read both G and F clef just fine - and in my head, I'm always imagining fingerings on sax or bass respectively.
     
  19. I dont think there is a magic bullet, it's just a hard, repetitive, take it slow process. At least you already know the hardest part, the rhythms and accents etc.
     
  20. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    D'oh! Here I'm thinking some ambitious soul is trying to learn alto clef. Please ignore all of my posts. :crying:
     

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