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Playing musical notation

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by AzzaKnoldy, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. AzzaKnoldy


    May 29, 2011
    Hey, I'm a bass player, and I've used tabs for a while. I also play the flute, which I know is on the treble clef, and I understand all the notes and dynamic indications. I am puzzled at how you would play the notes on the bass, for example, if the stave were to show a 'C' note, how would I know which C to play, and if the notation showed a 'C' to a 'A' note, how would I know which A to play? Can someone clear this up for me?:confused: Thanks in advance.
  2. RedElefant


    Feb 20, 2011
    Birmingham, AL
    the same rules apply...the position in the stave will determine the octave in which the note will be played. As such, you will adjust your position on the fingerboard to play the correct pitch. The same note, (A, for example) can be played in many different positions on the fingerboard, just as the same pitch can be played in different positions (i.e. open a string and 5th fret E string are the same pitch)
  3. enricogaletta


    May 21, 2011
    That's why in my particular opinion I don't like too much study the tabs off course except in the case you want to make the original sound but also in this case it's better work with your ear and found the right note in the right area of your fingerboard.
  4. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Just a note (no pun intended) that bass guitar and double bass are actually an octave below the notated note.

    Notation can include suggested fingerings. It still doesn't which string to pick for which note, but it might strongly suggest something.
  5. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    The open "E" string is notated as the E below the bass clef, the open "G" string is notated as the G above the f in the clef. Fill in the rest from there.
  6. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    As mentioned, a bass has several possible places to fret each note.
    It is generally up to the player to determine what position best suits the note in context.
    A useful approach is to let the left hand position be determined by the key of the piece :
    find the box pattern for the major scale of that key and you should be able to execute the piece with fewer position shifts.

    Certainly not an exclusive approach, but practical for reading.
  7. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
  8. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    ^^^ This, and of course you'll have the ability to play a chord now, and then! ;)
  9. AFRO


    Aug 29, 2010
    Im not trying to come accross as a jerk, but get your fretboard down. then associate the main strings with the appropriate note, you will be fine. since you know use tabs, be sure to translate them to notes, eg. 7 fret E-string = B note..this will be the 2nd line on the Bass Clef staff..it can also be played from the 2nd fret on the A-string. (same notes)

    as said earlier your "low E" aka "open E" will be one ledger line below the G line in the bass clef. if you have a 5 string the Low/Open B will be under the 2nd ledger line below the G line of the 'bass clef'.

    I spent a lot of time transposing my practice routine/scales in order to get re-acquainted with the notes on the bass staff. It has helped from repetition and re-enforcement.

    then I would take "Mental Reps" and see the note on the staff play it (then close your eyes and see it "in your minds eye" on the staff) as you play the note on your bass.. you get the audible and "visual" all at once this way. it really locks in the notes on the staff. make sure you play acending and descending too.

    for your example; from 'C' to 'A' count the steps in between to find out which note will work best. Lets say you have the 'C' on 2nd the space (bass Clef) and your 'A' is below it, (two steps) then your 'A' will be on the space below that 'C'.
    if you start at the same 'C' and your 'A' is 6 steps ABOVE it you will be playing the 'A' at the top line of the clef.. ya dig?

    you may be able to find a book that has a diagram of the fretboard and the notes that represent the notes on the staff.. (my Mel Bay 'Electric Bass method' has such a diagram)
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Check this out: Bass Clef Fretboard Notes

    Open the first .pdf listed.

    Note: some notes have multiple positions so based on the music, you'll have to decide which position to use.

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