What is The Bass Clef?

Bass clef on the music staff (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

One of the most important things to learn about music is the types of music clefs.

Music clefs are written at the beginning of the music. There are several different types of clefs, like G-clef (also called a treble clef), C-clef,  and neutral clefs.

Today, we’re going to learn about the bass clef and the bass clef notes.

What is a Bass Clef?

The bass clef, sometimes called the F clef, is a musical clef for low pitched instruments like the cello, bass guitar, trombone, tuba, and bassoon.

Bass clef notes scale on music staff (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The bass clef symbol looks like a half heart, or a backwards C, with two little dots on the side. One dot goes over the second staff line, one dot goes under. These dots show us where the F note is.

Bass clef is also used for the left hand part on a piano, the low notes on a harp, and bass and baritone voices in a choir.

Baritone Clef and Sub-Bass Clef

Even though they aren’t really used any more, you might see a couple different versions of the bass clef.

baritone clef shape drawing (image from Wikimedia Commons)

The baritone clef used to be for baritone voice. The notes are a bit higher than the normal bass clef, and the dots go around the middle line of the staff.

sub bass clef on music staff (image from Wikimedia Commons)

The sub-bass clef is the lowest clef in the world. It was used for low bass parts. With a sub-bass clef, the two dots are positioned around the top line.

Chances are, you won’t see the baritone clef and the sub-bass clef very often. To keep things easier, most music just uses a normal bass clef instead.

What are the Bass Clef Notes?

Bass clef notes scale on the music staff (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Bass clef notes on the staff are different than notes on a treble clef staff.

Let’s look at the notes on the staff lines first.

On a bass clef music staff, the line notes are: G B D F A.

Some ways to remember these notes are Good Boys Do Fine Always, or Great Big Dogs Frighten Alice.

The spaces in the music staff are for the notes A, C, E, and G.

You can remember this with the phrase, All Cows Eat Grass.

Bass clef notes on the staff (image from Wikimedia Commons)

So to review, the bass clef notes on the staff lines are G B D F A (Good Boys Do Fine Always). The music notes in the spaces are A C E G (All Cows Eat Grass).

How to Draw a Bass Clef

Bass clef and F note on the staff (image by Wikimedia Commons)

The bass clef symbol is probably one of the easiest clefs to draw.

To start, draw a dot on the second highest line in the staff.

Then draw up to the top line, around, and down to create the right side of a heart.

If you have trouble with this, try drawing a backward C instead.

Add two dots, one above the second line and one below. And now you have a bass clef!

Summary

Bass clef

Today, we talked about the bass clef, as well as the baritone clef and sub-bass clef.

We also learned about the bass clef notes for piano, sight-reading, and other instruments that use bass clef.

To remember the notes, just remember the mnemonics, Good Boys Do Fine Always and All Cows Eat Grass.

Do you have any questions about the bass clef? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

Bass clef on the music staff (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

One of the most important things to learn about music is the types of music clefs.

Music clefs are written at the beginning of the music. There are several different types of clefs, like G-clef (also called a treble clef), C-clef,  and neutral clefs.

Today, we’re going to learn about the bass clef and the bass clef notes.

What is a Bass Clef?

The bass clef, sometimes called the F clef, is a musical clef for low pitched instruments like the cello, bass guitar, trombone, tuba, and bassoon.

Bass clef notes scale on music staff (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The bass clef symbol looks like a half heart, or a backwards C, with two little dots on the side. One dot goes over the second staff line, one dot goes under. These dots show us where the F note is.

Bass clef is also used for the left hand part on a piano, the low notes on a harp, and bass and baritone voices in a choir.

Baritone Clef and Sub-Bass Clef

Even though they aren’t really used any more, you might see a couple different versions of the bass clef.

baritone clef shape drawing (image from Wikimedia Commons)

The baritone clef used to be for baritone voice. The notes are a bit higher than the normal bass clef, and the dots go around the middle line of the staff.

sub bass clef on music staff (image from Wikimedia Commons)

The sub-bass clef is the lowest clef in the world. It was used for low bass parts. With a sub-bass clef, the two dots are positioned around the top line.

Chances are, you won’t see the baritone clef and the sub-bass clef very often. To keep things easier, most music just uses a normal bass clef instead.

What are the Bass Clef Notes?

Bass clef notes scale on the music staff (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Bass clef notes on the staff are different than notes on a treble clef staff.

Let’s look at the notes on the staff lines first.

On a bass clef music staff, the line notes are: G B D F A.

Some ways to remember these notes are Good Boys Do Fine Always, or Great Big Dogs Frighten Alice.

The spaces in the music staff are for the notes A, C, E, and G.

You can remember this with the phrase, All Cows Eat Grass.

Bass clef notes on the staff (image from Wikimedia Commons)

So to review, the bass clef notes on the staff lines are G B D F A (Good Boys Do Fine Always). The music notes in the spaces are A C E G (All Cows Eat Grass).

How to Draw a Bass Clef

Bass clef and F note on the staff (image by Wikimedia Commons)

The bass clef symbol is probably one of the easiest clefs to draw.

To start, draw a dot on the second highest line in the staff.

Then draw up to the top line, around, and down to create the right side of a heart.

If you have trouble with this, try drawing a backward C instead.

Add two dots, one above the second line and one below. And now you have a bass clef!

Summary

Bass clef

Today, we talked about the bass clef, as well as the baritone clef and sub-bass clef.

We also learned about the bass clef notes for piano, sight-reading, and other instruments that use bass clef.

To remember the notes, just remember the mnemonics, Good Boys Do Fine Always and All Cows Eat Grass.

Do you have any questions about the bass clef? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

Jessica Roberts
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