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Treble vs Bass scale

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cica, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. cica


    Sep 18, 2012

    I came from a guitar background and knew notation. I'm learning the bass and just want to wrap my head around why a note on the treble scale isn't the same note (name) on a bass scale. If it "just is" then that's fine. My first look at notation on the bass scale and I thought, "Ok, a 'C' note", but it wasn't, it was 'E'?

  2. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Well standard notation is a form written, as I understand it, with the entire ensemble in mind - Eg. full range instruments like the piano need to work along both clefs simultaneously. I agree that they may work better if offset to match . . . but learning both clefs is a minor hurdle given the breath and depth of musical theory out there to be learnt. Here is the way I think of it . . . both are part of the same picture, with a few symbols for navigation!


    P.S. The Lowest A on the bass clef is equivalent to the open A string on the EADG bass tuning . . . A2 I think. You'll get it in no time.;)
  3. Bainbridge


    Oct 28, 2012
    Cool diagram, but why are there no clefs?
  4. monti2889


    Jul 19, 2012
    has to do with the grand staff...which has both Bass Clef and Treble clef. When playing piano...the left hand would play notes written on the Bass Clef and the right hand would play the Treble clef.

    If you're having trouble remembering where notes go...the 2 dots of the bass clef indicate where the F would be played.
    just like on treble clef the end of the spiral tells you where the G note is.
  5. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Try this site: http://www.studybass.com/

    I couldn't find a diagram with both clefs, the link in the middle, and the clef symbols.




    give you a better overview.
  6. Bainbridge


    Oct 28, 2012
    But you still need clefs to indicate what is where. Whenever there is a staff, there should be a clef. You can't assume it's always going to be bass on the bottom and treble on the top; I see stuff like this all the time:


    I know, you yanked an image from the internet, so you can't have accountability for what is on it. I found the website where that image is from, and I don't understand why they stopped using clefs for that one image, since this is the very next one:


    You mean G. (Yes, correct - I edited the quoted post to amend this. Bill)
  7. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    If you really want to mess with your brain try the Ut clef ( Tenor clef )
  8. Bainbridge


    Oct 28, 2012
    I'll leave this here.

  9. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
  10. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Just remember that an electric bass guitar or double bass sounds an octave lower than written, that's why it's called a double bass. So low open E string is notated the first ledger line below the bass clef, but actually sounds an octave lower than that.

    As above: why are they different? Because the origins are the Grand Staff, with everything reckoned from middle C and go both directions from there.
  11. Gaius46


    Dec 15, 2010
    You'll get used to it quickly enough. Just don't forgot which clef you're reading. Helps to remember that it's a continuum. All those ledger lines below the treble clef are in the bass clef - except the C which sits between the two.
  12. Bainbridge


    Oct 28, 2012
    In response to Clef_de_fa's post, on the subject of uncommon clefs. Not really relevant, just having a bit of fun.
  13. oleskool


    Sep 27, 2011
    Detroit, Mi.
    The understanding I have is, the different clefs have a simple function. They keep the notes you play the most primarily within the 5 lines of the staff. Technically you can move any clef. As stated above f will be always be the note between the two dots for bass. The reason I think, and this is just a guess, it probably evolved into different symbols is so you know where you are relative to middle c instantly. Try this, draw ten lines on a sheet of paper. Close your eyes and point to any line. Draw the bass clef with the two dots surrounding that line, even if you chose the bottom line, or the top line. Now you have placed the note f . The space above it will be g no matter what. The space below it will be e no matter what. You are playing notes on the bass clef. You will notice if you keep doing this, all that matters is where that f you placed , is relative to middle c. You may need to add lines to make it easier to read.

    I found this a few weeks ago when I came across some sheet music that had the baritone clef.
    Read that it will explain what you need to know.