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First things first, happy new year to everyone! I hope that this year is a great one for everyone.
Okay, so I have been playing the harp lately (I have replaced all but 2 strings for those who read my last thread on re-stringing the harp). And I realise that I need to learn to read bass clef, (oh, joy) which is something that I have been putting off learning. It has also been something that I've wanted to learn in the past so i could play songs on the violin that were originally for say, the cello, or piano etc.
I was wondering if anyone has any tips on learning to read a new clef? Any tricks that would speed up the process??
Thanks in advance.
Hey @Kiara ,
I'm pretty new to reading even the Treble Clef. I have a few things that help me on the proccess of reading.
1)Read the Lines with a strong voice and the spaces with a weak one (DO re MI fa SOL la SI do ...), it helps when counting. I used to get lost all the time before doing this, but now it's a walk in the park.
2) Memorize the C Major scale backwards (CBAGFEDC). This way, when you're counting backwards, you get faster and don't stop to think "what was that note".
3)Memorize where the Fs are. The Bass Clef uses F3 in the fourth line, find out where F2 and F4 are and you can count faster if you want to hit those higher or lower notes.
4)Play arpeggios while reading the sheets, this way you might practice to count faster.
These tips might be a bit silly or even obvious to you, but they really help me when I try to read sheet music. It's all a matter of memorizing and practicing... I really hope my tips are of any use to you. Good luck!
A thing that helped me learn to read bass clef (and some of the others, like alto) was finding out that you can think of it all as one big staff, really. Just for the different instruments and ranges, you are looking at a different part of it.
If you draw the treble clef staff and then the bass clef staff under it, and then put one ledger line between the two, the ledger line between the two will be middle C. The C you play with the 3rd finger on the G string of a violin in first position.
Maybe I'm weird, but for me that made it easier. I didn't have to think of it as "learning a new clef" since it is just an extension of the treble clef that way and key signatures can also clue you with a reminder of what line is what.
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman
@DanielB that's a great tip as well, I could have thought of that - I've seen it in a book I read last month.
I'm afraid you'll have to learn it exactly the same way that you learned the treble clef. There is no substitute for rote memorization.
Lines: GBDFA -- Good boys do fine always
Spaces: ACEG -- All cows eat grass
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright