The low E on a bass is what note on a piano?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jealousblues, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. jealousblues


    Dec 14, 2010
    Is the lowest note on a standard tuned 4 string bass (E) an E0 or an E1 or what on a piano?
  2. David_70

    David_70 Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2012
  3. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
  4. jealousblues


    Dec 14, 2010
    is there such a note as "E0?"

    the reason im asking is we are moving some midi sequences off a keyboard to a software suite.

    The song in question is Brown Eyed Girl which starts with "E, F#, G" or something like that.
    On the keyboard it says the notes in the sequence are E0, F#0, G0
    and they sound fine.

    When we put it into the software suite with sampled sounds...those notes are too low for it to play.
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yes. A piano goes down to A0.
  6. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    This chart is incorrect -- it's showing the tuning notes one octave too low. The highest string, G, is the first G below middle C. This chart show it one octave too low.
  7. Oh yeah, that's the E-string on my 6-string bass when I am not D-dropin.
    One of these days I will tune it back up to F#0 :ninja: then I'll have an open E1 string :ninja: it just seems a little silly for a 6 to not have as much high range as a 4 :meh:
  8. White Beard

    White Beard

    Feb 12, 2013
    Bass is actually written one octave higher than it sounds. It's written that way to compensate for an excess of lower ledger lines when playing. However, also being a tuba player (which is written as sounds), I'm actually used to reading that low.
  9. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    No, the chart is correct. Bass music is notated one octave higher than it sounds for ease of reading (as is guitar music). So, the open G string as is written on the staff as being in the top space of the bass clef, a fourth below middle C, but the actual note sounds one octave below that, as shown in the chart.

    To answer the OP's question, the low E on a standard bass is E1, 41.2 Hz and this is the same pitch as the lowest E on the piano (despite being written for bass as if it was one octave above that). The lowest piano keys on a conventional instrument are A0, A#, B0 (lowest note on a 5 string bass), C1 et cetera. Note that octave numbers change when you get up to C. So, the lowest E on the piano is E1, same as the open E on your bass. E0 is 20.6 Hz and a perfect fourth below the bottom A on the piano.
  10. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    My bad. I also play bass trombone, and we read it like it is written. I, too, can read all those low ledger lines.