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Note choice with the same note

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cassanova, Apr 29, 2003.


  1. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I was going through a big band/swing book and one of the songs had two G's in the same bar one is on the 1st line of the staff and the next is a full octave lower.

    How the heck or more like where the heck would I play that on the neck. The lowest G on my neck is 3rd fret E string. This is tellin me to take it to an even lower register, which I dont have. I can see doing it on a 7 string or piano, but not on a 5 unless I drop tune the B string.

    :confused: :confused:
     
  2. Was this transcription specifically for bass? That low G is technically the 3rd fret G, but for bass the music is written an octave higher.
    This lower G may be written for piano or bass trombone. If for some reason you need to play this line, just play the note or line up an octave.
     
  3. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    It was in a big band/swing book I have and written in F cleff. Which I thought F cleff was specifically for bass. (meaning notes, not the instrument)
     
  4. Desdenova

    Desdenova

    Feb 18, 2003
    Hampton, VA
    Bass guitar notes are written an octave higher than they sound. So what you had there was probably what Funk said, a piano piece.
     
  5. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Ok, now that leaves me with another question. How will I know if the piece is written for specifically a bass rather than a piano? (I ask because you say bass is written an octave higher than it sounds)
     
  6. I wouldn't worry about it too much, and go ahead and play it in whatever octave works the best on bass.
     
  7. Desdenova

    Desdenova

    Feb 18, 2003
    Hampton, VA
    I do get confused with that when I work on using sheet music. There are four Es above the 12th fret, and I don't know which one to play when I see a note in the middle of the clef indicating I need to play an E. It takes me so long to pick notes out of sheet music and get them in order, decide where to play, etc. I have a hard time devoting time to practicing from it. And one of the two books in my bass library has published tab underneath the sheet music, and it's such a temptation I just play the top line so I can cover all the tab with my knee =\. And sometimes he starts chords in the goofiest places when I compare what I got from the sheet music to the tablature beneath it, it doesn't motivate me much.
     
  8. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I could be wrong with this but I think the bass clef with piano represents what you would be playing with your left hand on the piano. I don't think I've ever seen it stand alone on piano music. There is usually a staff above it with the treble clef (representing what you'd play with your right hand).

    This is just a silly question, but does the piece ask you to play an octave higher than written (it'll be notated with a 8va------- above the staff). Then in that case, you would play the lower G on the 3rd fret of the E string?
     
  9. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    You would'nt see that low G on a standard bass chart it would be written an octave higher,but it still sounds like that low G.Charts written for bass guitar,it's assumed that you play an octave higher,and when 8va is used,you play an octave higher than that.It's to keep the reading in a manageable space in and around the staff.
     
  10. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Most piano music will have the RH in treble clef, and LH in bass clef - but you can have any combination if you want. It just depends what register you're playing in. It's not unusual for both hands to have treble clef, if you're playing high up - and it's not unusual for a particular passage in a piece to have bass clef in the right hand, if necessary.

    You can even have the RH with the bass clef and LH with the treble clef, if you want (e.g. if you're crossing your arms over - it does happen).

    And, in lead sheets, for example, you might have just one stave - and it could use the bass clef. I've seen this before - where it's a lead sheet, with a written out piano bass line.
     
  11. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    No it doesnt.

    Im just playing 3rd fret G on it. I broke out the cheap but reliable Casio keyboard and played athe G in the lowest possible position, and on the keys I have it was an octave lower than what I have on my bass.
     
  12. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Cass, I really doubt it.

    I think maybe you're mishearing the pitch of the G on your bass? It's actually very easy to do.

    The low G on the bass - i.e. 3rd fret, E string - is actually the lowest G on a standard 88-note piano. Likewise, the open E string is the same note as the lowest E on a piano.

    It may not sound it, but I promise you it's true.

    You said in the first post that there's a G in the piano part on the bottom line of the bass clef - and then it drops down an octave to the G below that.

    Remember, that the G on the bottom line of the bass clef in a piano part, is actually the same pitch as the G string on a bass. So, that low G in the piano part is actually just G on the 3rd fret of the E string.

    The thing is, music for bass is written an octave higher than it sounds. This is simply for convenience, because there would be too many leger lines if it was written at pitch. Middle C is one leger line above the stave with the bass clef, and one leger line below the stave with the treble clef. That note is the C at the 17th fret of the G string.

    So a piano player will play music written in the bass clef at the pitch it's written, whereas a bass player will play it an octave lower. So, the reason you can't play that low G on your bass, is that you're playing it an octave lower than written anyway.

    If you want to play this left hand piano part at the same pitch a pianist would play it - you have to play it an octave higher than it appears to be written (to take into account the fact that you're usually playing it an octave lower).

    So, the E below the stave would correspond to the 2nd fret of the D string - and the G on the first line would correspond to the open G string, etc. etc.

    I hope this helps.
     
  13. if its written for string bass wouldn't it all be in its range?
     
  14. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida


    it helps a little. the whole thing looks lsomething like this (crude diagram)

    -------------------
    -------------------
    -------------------
    ------------------
    -------G----------

    ----
    ----
    ----
    G
     
  15. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ok, so what instrument is the part you're reading written for? Is it written for piano?

    I'm guessing it's not written for bass.

    That higher G, is actually the pitch of the open G string of the bass. The low G there is actually the pitch of the G on the E string at the 3rd fret.

    So, if this part isn't written for bass - then in order to play it at the pitch it's written, you need to play an octave higher than you would if it were written for bass. Because, bass music is written an octave higher than it sounds.

    If you're gonna go reading piano left hand piano parts, and reading them as if it were bass music, then sometimes you will find that it goes lower than you can play. The reason is, that bass music is written an octave higher than it sounds.

    I don't get what's still confusing you, Cass?
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The other thing is all the notation software around now - so I have had quite a few charts from people in our band who have Sibelius and presumably they check the parts on piano and the bass part ends up being all on leger lines below the staff as they presumably didn't realise that bass is a transposing instrument - very irritating!