Bass Clef!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Welsheuphoniummanjamie, May 27, 2007.

  1. Hello,

    I am going to be going to brummie con next year to do music, i have been told to learn bass cleff as i currently only read trebile, could anyone please take the time and tell me whats the best was of learning bass clef so i can play euphonium in windbands etc...Many thanks!

    P.s Dont make complicated comments! Im thick! :biggrin:


    Transpose it down a 5th, and take off the first 2 flats. That's what most people tell me they do when they read bass clef. For example, to play a treble clef low C, on a bass cleff stave it would be written on the 2nd line up from the bottom (where treble clef G would be).

    Personally, I would just take a couple of weeks and learn it properly so that you don't have to transpose when you're reading it. :)
  3. Veri

    Veri Member

    That's how I'd do it - but, I'd argue that once you've been doing that for a while, you don't need to think about it at all. Get some good bass clef'd music, and play that for a bit - lots of euph music comes with the bass clef version on the back which is handy as you can check the accidentals against the treble clef if feeling confused.
  4. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Its not only the clef (treble or bass), but also the pitch (Bb or C)!

    For instance, in a lot of concert band sets, trombone parts are available in 3 types: Bb treble clef (like in brass band sets), C bass clef (like bass trombone in a brass band set) and Bb bass clef as well. The same for bass tuba and euphonium parts as well, sometimes.

    So when you've been "told to learn bass clef", they mean C bass clef (concert pitch) or Bb bass clef? The second option isn't that difficult: the notes are just on another line (1 line above the normal lines = C etc.). If you also have to transpose C to Bb: there are a number of older threads on tMP that have advice about doing this. Try the Search function ;)


    Just had a thought - try looking at parts in band where the trombone all have a unison section. Compare the tenor and bass trom parts and that should help you as well with reading it at first!
  6. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    This is good advice. Chances are if you're talented enough a player to be going to study Music, your musicality will see you through. Whichever methods you try, work hard at the method that works best for you.
  7. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    The best way is to learn it properly as Will has said.
  8. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    Buy a Bass Clef Tune a Day. Tis what I did. You can also get a Bass Clef Arban, which is useful.
  9. Markbone

    Markbone Member

    Yep, :tup I agree.
    Last edited: May 27, 2007
  10. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    Learn it properly! That's what I did (I play piano too!)...just think - a pianist can read both treble and bass clef at the same time, so it can't be that hard! Transposing is much more confusing! Good luck!
  11. can i thank you for your advice! just ordered sum bass clef stuff! Your all stars! Lol! Thanks!

  12. harri_bari

    harri_bari New Member

    I have to admit to being a jazz trombonist as well as a brass bander! As you can guess, all parts are written in bass clef (C - it's quite rare to end up with parts being in Bb).

    Anyway, where "learning it properly" goes, I gave up after a while and instead learned to transpose from sight. It's strange how quickly you'll pick it up and now it's just second nature!

    There are 2 major drawbacks to this method tho...
    1) You tend to call the notes by the "treble" alternative which can be confusing - especially when asked to play a note e.g. Bb (which would obviously be a C in treble).
    2) You return to a treble clef part and start transposing that from sight too!!!

    If you have the time and inclination, I think it best to start learning "properly" - Nick's method (sunny_jimbob) is a good way to start.

    Either way, hope it goes well! Wait while you start looking at Alto and Tenor Clefs too...
  13. simonbassbone

    simonbassbone Member

    Worked for me too...:clap: :clap:

    Good Avatar:clap: :clap: :clap:
  14. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Not being big headed here but I am fluent in all four common clefs Treble, Alto, Tenor, Bass (I play Alto Trombone) and if I am honest, I do exactly the opposite to what you do, Harri.
    I transpose Bb (which I refer to Brass band) treble into concert pitch because otherwise I start playing in Concert treble :eek: :eek: makes for some interesting harmonies I tell you!

    I start as a Bb treble reader, and wanted to join the school wind band. so I decided I would learn Bass Clef. Bought myself a Team Brass Bass Clef book and started from the beggining. Took me a week to be able to play it after looking at it for a few minutes before hand. Took me about 3 weeks to start sight reading it.
    And it get's interesting on the post grade 8 stuff, a lot of the time it looks the stave has become 6 lines instead of 5 :eek:

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