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Treble Clef

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by skaboy, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. skaboy


    Oct 16, 2001
    I've decided to start playing bass in treble clef since my music studies required me to change clef but also to explore new possibilities.

    I know it's not common and it does require you to play extremely high as your high C above the stave is middle C below the stave on the treble. Although I going to play that way eventually but in the mean time i will be playing 1 octave lower than it's written in treble. So the middle C in treble below the stave will be played my C in bass between the stave. Does sound weird and all the pitch relation goes out the window.
    I thought this would make life a bit easier but it also kind of makes me lazy not to play in the high registers while reading treble (which i will I will do eventually). I will apply this new skill to studying harmony theory extensively as the books I've got are all notated mostly in treble.

    Any you of there got some suggestions?
  2. Huh?
  3. skaboy


    Oct 16, 2001
    sorry i just got up in the morning , too many beers yesterday. My writing is all screwed up.

    If you read carefully , you should be able to make out what I was going on about.
  4. Dorminator


    Oct 22, 2002
    oops ... I forgot your name....
    huh? is my question too....

    So... when you read in treble clef and play an octave lower, than what happens is your sound is really 2 octaves below the written music.... if you played the note as written ..it would sound one octave lower....

    the relationships of all the notes are still the same...
    so ... where are you going with this..

    ... do you read bass clef too? and how does any of this change it's relationship to theory?... even if you read tenor or alto clef... all the note relationships are still the same...

    so ... could you rephrase what you said ... maybe hearing it in treble clef will make a difference...

    The Dorminator...
  5. What I'm really confused about is why you would choose to do this, unless you are reading the part for a treble-clef instrument. Please elaborate on this.


    As far as I can make out, this guy wants to read treble but play down an octave from what's written so he doesn't spend all of his time high up on the fingerboard. Since the fundamental pitch of a bass guitar or DB is actually an octave lower than it's written already, the bass will sound two octaves below what is written on his treble clef parts.
  6. Dorminator


    Oct 22, 2002
    it doesn't actually matter...
    you can play anything you want on the bass...
    you can play music written in treble clef or bass clef or tenor clef or alto clef and as long as you are playing what ever it is you want to play... who cares how it was written...

    I wasn't sure what you were getting at about the octave thing... so if you are reading the note 'c' in treble clef - the note that on a piano is 'middle 'c' and you are playing it on purpose even lower... ie not playing the 'c' on the g string... that 'g' string note far as I can remember 'actualy 'sounds' and the key word is 'sounds' an octave lower than that written note... if you are playing a 'c' on the A string... that note is 2 octaves lower than the note that was written...

    no big deal... if you like it there ... play it there.. if you want to play higher up... play it there...
    I mean are you working a gig and it has to be as written?... .. geeze ... play what ever works....

    you are the one with the question... what ever it is... just trying to help... maybe like I asked... rephrase your question...so any of us might have an idea what you 'need'

  7. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    oh man, nikki is SOOOOO grounded.:D
  8. Dorminator


    Oct 22, 2002
    and oh.. hhhhhh sooooo clear....
  9. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    My goodness, what with people posting utterly confusing questions, people posting under the wrong name, people not being sure who the original poster is, and all the dots in dorminator's posts.... this thread has me baffled!!! :confused:

    Ok, for Nikki, since bass is a pretty low instrument, bass music is notated an octave higher than it sounds. Even in bass clef, to write out the notes in the octave they're actually in would mean lots of ledger lines below the stave. So, when you play, say, C at the 3rd fret on the A string, the C you hear is actually the one 2 ledger lines below the stave. For the sake of readablity it is written an octave higher, and it is assumed that people know that they're actually playing an octave lower. Though, it would seem they don't! (Not getting at you, Nikki - there was confusion in a recent thread about singing in which people seemed to think they could sing the low E and B on their bass. This was because, apparently, they thought the bass was an octave higher than it is, and it's extremely likely they were actually singing an octave higher than the bass).

    As for playing bass in treble clef... Uh... why?
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Nope - it will just make things harder all round.

    Bass clef is chosen to make it easier for you as a bass player, so you don't have to have loads of ledger lines - these are harder to read and so the Bass Clef is set up to minimise these.

    Any other system you choose, is just making it harder for yourself.
  11. Dorminator


    Oct 22, 2002
    You are so right about all the dots...
    pauses in my thoughts...
    and who posted under whos name?
    who knows.
    and this is not poetry
    my dots
    or thoughts

    such clairity of mind everyone has.
    If someone feels there is a scaricity of'music' for the bass, then reading treble clef could expand one's opportunities.

    But really what is happening here? I don't know.
    if 'a thing' is a tool (like treble clef) or any clef, then use it in what ever way it works to get the job done.

    After all, the stuff on the page is not 'music'. The stuff on the page is notes. Dots on a page don't make any sound.

  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Well, if you're talking about reading music that's not written for the bass, that's in treble clef - yeah - nothing wrong with that. If you're playing melodies that might be useful. At any rate, there's nothing wrong with knowing how to read treble clef. Could come in useful.
  13. Dorminator


    Oct 22, 2002

    Pure grounded and clear genius can hardly be confused with sarcasm.

    You were reading between too many ledger lines
    Get back into the spaces and you will feel much better.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I thought you looked like a relative of Yoda in your avatar!! ;)

    "Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm."
  15. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Easier or harder? It depends on what music you're trying to read - if you think you will frequently be working with treble clef then learn it well to make your life easier; if you don't also learn bass clef then your life will be harder when you get that notation thrown at you ;)

    Personally, I find it useful knowing both and being as adaptable as possible. For example, I've had to play off bass charts written in the standard way (bass clef, one octave above the actual pitch of the note), natural pitch (bass clef but lots of ledger lines below the stave) and even treble clef (can't remember how that related to pitch - I think I just use the lowest possible note for the lowest note in the score and played everything relative to that). I also make frequent use of my treble clef skills in reading melodies off leadsheets and piano arrangements.

    What you can't do is play bass in treble clef; what is worth pursing is to be able to read music writtn in more than just standard bass clef. You may want to play the melodies in a higher register, so learn the notes at the top of the neck, but that's a different thing from playing in X clef.

    Unless you are playing a carefully orchestrated piece, there's no reason why you can't use the C on the third fret of your A string as the C just above the middle of the treble clef - what matters is playing the other notes relative to that choice.

  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree with everything you said - I know it was difficult to read the original post, but I took it that this was exactly what he was proposing to do - which is why I said it was just making things harder.
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    "If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?"

    This is the basis of the famous "Buttered Cat Array" - so it forms the basis of a frictionless,anti-gravity, transport system.

    Of course the answer is that the cat must float in mid-air defying gravity.

    So - you set up a vehicle based on a large number of these "buttered cats" - your vehicle floats and is basically frictionless, so can achieve high speeds with very little effort.

    The answer to all our transport/energy problems!! ;)
  18. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    What's this got to do with the treble clef? Have you finally lost it, Bruce?
  19. If he pretends to not know what you're talking about, he's just holding out on you. Trade secret and all, you know.
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Go back and look at the original post!!

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