Treble Clef to Bass Clef

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Trombone92, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Trombone92

    Trombone92 New Member

    As my screen name would suggest, I play trombone. I'm curious as to how I can transpose treble clef music to bass clef so I can have a little bit more fun. Thank you in advance for your time :)
  2. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    Having spent about 8 years playing tenor-horn, then switching to trombone It took me about 6 weeks to get to be able to play bass clef properly. Obviosuly there were a few issues with the high and low notes and getting the right ones but I basically learned by transposing up a tone.

    As I play piano I know where all the notes are - G's D's etc. so I would just transpose up a tone from the note I was playing.

    A lot of it is by ear If I'm honest, and also the key signatures change so for simples sake - if you were in C MAJOR (the part) add 2 sharps and that would be your new key so for instance if you had a E the note for be F-Sharp.

    The opposite happens with flats -, the part is in C, add two flats.

    The same applies for all key sigs.

    Thats how I learnt - even got my brass teacher who plays F-Horn to have fun tranposing etc...

    I'm sure others will give different suggestions... :)
  3. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I think the whole 'transposing' issue is confusing in the extreme. My advice; learn to read it properly without reference to treble clef. It won't take long, just get hold of a beginner book and play through from lesson one.
  4. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    I totally agree. I was given advice on how to transpose from treble to bass clef and I tended to get confused (easily done, I'm afraid). Then, as Bass Trumpet suggests, I learnt to read it properly - much easier.

    When I practice, I practice the clef I am reading - less work for the brain to do, as I play just what I see, so what might at first seem the more difficult method actually works out to be easier in the long run.

    Compare it to speaking French, for example. Your utterances will be slower if you are thinking in English and have to mentally translate each word before you speak it. When you start to think in French, you become more fluent.

    It comes back to the same old thing, practice, practice and practice.
  5. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    What them two said ^^

    There's no easy trick for transposing between bass and treble, so just learn bass clef from scratch. You'll find it incredibly useful as you branch out into anything non-brass band.
  6. hicks

    hicks Member

    Totally agree with the comments so far. As a trombonist, bass clef is very useful to know and you should learn to read it properly.
    The other one you should get comfortable with is alto clef.
  7. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    So as not to appear too sanctimonious, I will admit that I transpose alto clef :oops:. But in my defence, that isn't as tricky as treble to bass clef
  8. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    Can I just add I'm not trying to confuse anyone with how I go about switching between the two clefs - Whilst on Horn I regularly had to transpose F-Horn parts into Eb, which is exactly the same technique as reading treble to bass so that's how I learnt it.

    And I appreciate how learning it properly can help.
  9. JulieSanderson

    JulieSanderson New Member

    Got to say I agree completely with the advice above - from experience!
    As I was taught trombone in bass clef at school, when I joined a brass band I had a steep learning curve, even although as I also play piano I could already read both bass and treble. I admit that initially I spent HOURS writing in note names above the music (ie written C, I would write Bb above it) which meant that I could get by ok most of the time - until it came to sight reading......

    One day though the penny dropped and I realised I was "thinking" in treble clef rather than transposing in my head. Learning from scratch, even by working through something basic like Tune A Day, would probably be in the very short term more time consuming, but would soon pay off as you would never go through the "transpose in your head" scenario so your competence in the medium and long term would be far higher. Plus, I have to admit that I never actually bothered properly learning alto or tenor clef - and it's obvious as there are always some very strange mistakes made!

    Good luck!
  10. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Manners, manners, manners :oops:. Welcome to tMP, Trombone 92 :p
  11. Martin Cordy

    Martin Cordy Member

    Indeed it is easiest to play in the clef written. I have bizarre conversations with our Bass trombonist where I convert my notes to bass clef for him and him to treble clef for me when we are talking about the same passages - thats just strange and often ends in confusion!

    All of which raises the question as to why the bass trombone is the only instrument not in treble cleff in the brass band (excluding tenor clef from trombones occasionally!) :confused:
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    We've had threads about that before. What happens is that people who are bass trombonists reply that it would result in an annoying number of leger lines, whereupon people who are not bass trombonists reply that it wouldn't. Unproductive stuff.
  13. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I tend to just stick to speaking in concert pitch, which I'm sure is particularly annoying for those in Eb.

    And bass trombones are in bass clef to try and stop them moving to anything they might break.
  14. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Learn it as it is written, seriously.

    If you are having to transpose at sight then you will be using concentration to do that instead of more important things...

    Dynamics, articulation, tuning etc.etc.

    *Insert insult here*
  15. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    Another vote for learn the clef as it is - no transposing.

    I'd also advocate learning bass clef before any other. If you want to play in other groups and certainly if you want to get paid, bass clef is the way forward.

    It put's me in mind of a comment I heard recently. Someone said that her daughter was taking grade 8 trombone soon. "Great", I said. "Who's her teacher?" The parent went on to say how excellent this teacher was - I later discovered this 'excellent' trombone teacher had only ever taught Bb treble clef :mad: . I don't believe 'excellent' and exclusive teaching of Bb treble clef can go together as it can seriously handicap the student.
  16. Ali.Syme

    Ali.Syme Member

    The best thing is actually to learn bass from scratch - apart from brass bands and orchestral works it's the standard trombone clef and gives you access to a lot more music.

    If you overcomplicate it, you might find it even harder to get to grips with other clefs should you need to learn them.

    Learn as many octaves of Bb F and Eb scales as you can in bass clef!

    Bassbones like bass clef...easier to write than a treble ;-)
  17. euph-man

    euph-man Member

    I agree with the others learn bass cleff. I know I am not a trombone player but to play classical quartets the bass part is of course in bass cleff if you are going to learn to transpose why not put the same effort in to reading it properly I found it most helpful and now on occasion I play bass trombone. Transposing can only surley cut down your reaction time and I found it took hardly anymore time to learn to read it proplery than to learn to transpose it.
  18. Ali.Syme

    Ali.Syme Member

    Yup - there are clefs you can use tricks to learn but bass clef itself is somethink you need concrete knowledge of. Unfortunately if you play piano you're keep thinking " so B" instead of thinking "okay so that's a B then" but you'll get past it!
  19. speed

    speed New Member

    On the same subject, my son plays percussion in our band (useually kit) he also plays trombone and baritone, but next week he is playing with an orchestra on timps in Bass Clef. How does he read the music from what he normally knows ?
  20. Bones

    Bones Member

    Amen Brother......

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