tuba bass cleff

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by lloydmcwalters, May 25, 2005.

  1. hi

    im auditioning for the halle youth , and need a little help working out some of the bass cleff parts,

    aparently the parts are written in bass cleff in concert pitch so they can be played by all types of tuba ,

    now i play a b flat tuba , so by my workings b flat is 2 semitones down from a c , therefore i jst bring the bass cleff part down 2 semitones , and it'll be good for me ,

    am i right , (doubtful as i havent done music theory in like 4 yrs) ? and if not , hows it done ?
  2. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I just try to learn it...or play an Eb bass

    Open Notes are Bb/F/Bb/D/F/Ab/Bb
  3. groovy

    groovy Active Member

    I would also advise just trying to learn it because in the long run it is a lot easier. Get Tune A Day or similar in bass clef and play easy tunes in bass clef. being in the orchestra will help - I only had a basic knowledge of bass clef when I joined local orchestra on trom but you will pick it up quickly. If you want a quick term solution then you will need to transpose up a tone, i.e if it is a concert C then you will play a treble clef D on Bb tuba. Even easier is to use an Eb bass if poss and just read it as treble clef and add on 2sharps.
    Last edited: May 25, 2005
  4. think ive got it

    read the scale as bass cleff , so its E F G A B C D E

    and take it down 2 so its , D Eflat F G A Bflat C D Eflat

    is this it ?
  5. groovy

    groovy Active Member

    Nope because you need to transpose up 2! Because you are in Bb and you've got to pitch how it is written, which is C, if that makes sense. So E F G A B C D E in bass clef = F G A B C D E F at Bb treble clef. (with key signatures changed)
  6. sorry if this is wrong im awful at this but ...

    if i read it as trebble cleff , move it up a tone , and flatten E and A is this good ?


    C D E F G A B C becomes .. D Eflat F G Aflat B C D
  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    [Edit: oops, too slow. This is a reply to the post three above]

    Tother way round - because your Bb instrument is pitched down 2 semitones from C, you need to play everything 2 semitones up to compensate. So if your concert pitch bass clef runs

    E F G A B C D E

    then you would play

    F# G A B C# D E F#

    in band terms.
    Groovy's post had it right!

    Long term though, it is easiest for your reading if you think of your notes by different names. So, instead of thinking "That's a C", you think "That's a Bb". If you make yourself do it for a few rehearsals, it'll come surprisingly quickly, and you'll never regret acquiring the mental flexibility. You'll also never get into the embarrassing position where you play a wrong note, the conductor asks which note you have written, and you have to think and think and think to decide what it is...
  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Nearly - forget the flattening bit, it's exactly a tone for everything. Groovy was being a little misleading by not putting in sharps after the F or the C, but simply mentioning that they'd be sharped in the key signature when that was transposed.
  9. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    This is all assuming you are reading the bass clef notes in bass clef (ie the bottom line as a G rather than an E - if you see what I mean!)

    If you don't know the bass clef notes then you can treat the bottom line of the stave as your middle A (a 'fourth' up graphically) and work the rest out from there

    Confusing, isn't it??

    But without doubt, it's better to relearn the new fingering than transpose.
  10. right soo

    1) i learn bass cleff
    2) put it up a tone
    3) add 2 sharps

  11. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    That's basically it
  12. boy this audition is gonna be fun , if i magae to woo them with my audition piece , ive then gotta sight read a bass cleff part in c , i hope it aint all like moving semis , no way will i be able to put it up a tone etc. tht fast in bass cleff too , once im in ill be fine ill be able to practise it every week , jst gotta fool the person who i audition to , just hope they dont look on here ;)
  13. groovy

    groovy Active Member

    However if you are going to do all that i would suggest just learning it from scratch! It is a bit confusing because a bass clef C is not the same C as a treble clef C but definately worth it. Good luck!
  14. got 6 weeks to learn it :)

    i might just memorise the c scale thts been transposed so i just know it
  15. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member


    Bring it to band. We'll sort it out!
  16. groovy

    groovy Active Member

    Don't worry! Unless it is a v high standard orchestra chances are the sight reading won't be too difficult. just practice transposing lots and it will start to come naturally. Good luck again! (If it makes you feel any better I was a bit of a wuss in my audition and got my teacher to make sure my sight reading was in treble clef, and even then still cocked it up! But I got in anyway.)
  17. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Nice to see someone with a sensible suggestion. Well Done AndyCat :clap:

    Slightly off topic but couldn't resist. This was one of the adverts on the bottom of this thread

    [font=verdana,arial,sans-serif]New Tuba Mpc Designs[/font]
    [font=verdana,arial,sans-serif]Gain High Range, Power & Focus. The Highest Grade Stainless Steel.

    Does gaining a high range, mean playing above the stave on a BBb in treble clef? There are certainly a few in the bands I've played in that could work on their focus :biggrin: Might be worth investing in.

    ***Back to topic***

    With some gentle tuition the bass clef will become second nature. rather than trying to learn it on your todd.

  18. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... or sit in front of a piano and work out with a scale book (for either piano or bass clef tuba) where the notes actually are in relation to BBb tuba pitch. Use something concrete/physical like that to help internalise (memorise) the clef and fingering. Seems reasonable.

    TIMBONE Active Member

    There are no short cuts with the tuba, (unless it's in Eb). I am glad that I am a trombone player who started on bass clef & tenor clef, as I can use a shortcut for any treble clef brass part, (except Horn in F!).

    My advice is, learn bass clef. As a starting point, your C on the first ledger line below the treble clef stave, is bottom Bb in bass clef, below the second ledger line underneath the stave. Fortunately, although the Halle Youth is a top grade youth orchestra, orchestral tuba parts are nothing like bass parts in brass band. Best of luck.

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