The Bass Clef

Let’s learn about the bass clef and its notes. bass clef sign

First of all, to better understand this clef, let’s talk about the staff. The staff consists of five horizontal lines and five spaces on which musical notes are placed. The higher the note is on the staff, the higher its pitch, and the lower it is on the staff, the lower its pitch.

Without clefs we wouldn’t know what notes to play. Clefs tell us which notes correspond to lines or spaces on the staff. The two common clefs are the treble clef and the bass clef.

The bass clef is also known as the F clef because of the fact that it has two dots above and below the fourth line. This line corresponds to the note, F. Once you identify this note, it is easy to find the other notes. Simply move up or down the musical alphabet, A-B-C-D-E-F-G.

Lines on the staff are counted from the bottom to the top. The bottom line is line 1 and the last line at the top is line 5.

What are the notes of the bass clef? There are line notes and space notes.

The line notes from bottom to top (from the first line to the fifth line) of the bass staff are G-B-D-F-A. You can remember them with the phrases “Good Boys Do Fine Always” or “Great Big Dogs Fight Animals”. Or how about “Great Big Dragons Fly Around”. Everyone has their favorite. 🙂 bass clef notes

The space notes from bottom to top (from the first space to the fourth space) of the bass staff are A-C-E-G. You can use the phrases “All Cows Eat Grass” or “All Cars Eat Gas” to remember the acronym.

Middle C is located on a line above the bass staff. This line runs between the bass and treble staff when using a grand staff. The line is called a ledger line. Learn more about the grand staff here.

On piano, notes of the bass clef are normally played with the left hand.

To put this all into perspective, let’s talk briefly about the treble clef. The line notes for the treble clef are E-G-B-D-F while the space notes are F-A-C-E. It’s clear to see that it’s the clef that tells you what notes the lines and spaces of the musical staff correspond to. I wrote about this clef in another lesson. Go here to learn more about the treble clef.

How To Draw A Bass Clef in Four Easy Stepshow to draw a bass clef

This clef is much easier to draw than the treble clef. It consists of one curved line and two dots.

Step One: Start with a dot on the fourth line

Step Two: Curve up and touch the top line

Step Three: Curve downward, finishing on or just under the second line

Step Four: Draw two dots in the spaces above and below the fourth line of the staff.

Learn to read piano notes, plus further reading on the bass and treble clef.

Learn all the notes and keys on an 88 key piano.