There is a vertical aspect of music, and a horizontal aspect.
The vertical aspect is much easier to understand then the horizontal.
If you look at a musical staff, like we did in the week one, you’ll notice the notes are not only traveling up and down the staff, but across as well. The higher up the notes go, the higher the pitch on the keyboard. The lower the notes go, the lower the pitch.
So think, Left = Low, and Right= High. Pretty easy concept.
So this is why I’m starting with the notes on each staff without saying anything about rhythm. As you practice naming the notes and playing them on the keyboard using the sight-reading sheets, just worry about getting the right note, don’t worry about timing right now. This is just about learning the notes.
This week it’s all about the Bass Clef (pronounced Base even though it’s spelled like the fish…) I started with bass because, especially for piano players, this clef is harder to learn. Really can’t say why, but I think it may be because almost all piano methods start with the treble. I want to start you out reading notes from the bottom up. So if you are reading a piece of music on the grand staff, you’ll put your eyes to the note that is lowest, and travel up from there.
So here is the video explaining the notes on the bass clef and where they are on the keyboard.
Following will be links to a worksheet, and some sight-reading music to practice with. As you practice, say the note names out loud and try not to look at your hands. If you keep your eyes on the music, your hands will learn where to go. They will get to know how far apart the notes are and start to automatically get there. The more you get in the habit of looking up at the music, then down at your hands, then up at the music, then down.. etc… the more you will play with pauses and lose your timing. Even though these sheets only deal with one type of note, the quarter note, (we’ll go over later), try to keep your notes even. If you want to use a metronome, set it at a slow speed and try to line up your notes with the click.
If you have any kind of tablet or smartphone, there are plenty of metronome apps for free. One is plainly called “Metronome” or “Pro Metronome.” Set it to 4/4 time, and play along.
Corresponding PDF’s for Bass Clef:
Bass Clef Worksheet
Bass Clef Note naming Worksheet
Bass Clef Sight-reading
Bass Clef Song
So that’s it for the Bass clef! Have fun practicing and let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer!