Learn How to Read Music Using Mnemonics! (Bass Clef)





Introduction: Learn How to Read Music Using Mnemonics! (Bass Clef)

The Mnemonic Method uses simple sayings to help you remember the order and names of notes.

Step 1: Intro

I had originally written this guide as an aid for my piano students, thus I have kept it short and simple. Enjoy!

I also have an instructable posted for reading notes in the treble clef.

Step 2: Reading Notes in the Bass Clef

The Bass Clef is used to show notes that are generally played with the left hand. The notes on the bass clef are usually found on the middle to left side of the keyboard.

Step 3: Staff and Bass Clef

The bass clef is also placed on a staff made up of 5 lines and 4 spaces. However, the notes in the bass clef are read differently than the notes in the treble clef.

Step 4: Bass Clef Spaces

The notes on the spaces are 'ACEG'. Remember this using:

All Cows Eat Grass

Step 5: Bass Clef Lines

The notes on the lines are 'GBDFA'. Remember this using:

Grizzly Bears Don't Fly Airplanes!

Step 6: Leftovers

There are two leftover notes that are often used in beginner piano. These two notes are Middle C and B.



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Animal Calls Estimate Growth aslo works If you like

Also, if you picture an extra line below the bottom line and name that 'E', you can use

'Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" and "FACE" starting on that line.

I agree wholeheartedly with Peggy. Thank you so much Grim, for creating this. I, too, am a newbie, so I thought I was hot...err...stuff when I learned to read the treble clef, but I found when I tried to apply the same mnemonics to the bass clef, the sound was all wrong (i.e. FACE for spaces and Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge for lines). So thank you for this!

I find some replies on here very negative, I'm a total newbee to learning piano accordion and I have found this site very helpful. I'd known the treble clef but learning the bass clef was totally new to me and I am 46 years now so learning through easy sayings is helpful for me. Thanks grimsqueaker

No problem. Well of course, it's just the basic recognition of notes I'm trying to show here. You'll need to apply it to whatever instrument you're working on. But when you start with learning to read a language for the first time, the first thing you do is learn the alphabet - the letters, and then put them together to form words, then sentences. Similar to here, where learning notes is the first step to reading music. One of the most difficult things for new piano students is learning to read notes on the staff, and I've found this method quite helpful.


I'm not so sure. Reading music comes when you associate notes on the staff with notes on the instrument, and that's usually done a few notes at a time. On piano, you might start at middle C, and learn three notes up, practice them,and so forth. I can read with some facility on perhaps three or four instruments, and it's always that way. I think the ritual of learning the mnemonics doesn't really accomplish anything. You never go "Let's see; F-A-C-E, so that's a C, and then I put my finger here..." Learning the staff really comes, like anything else, from repetition and rehearsal.

ah..... but in the case of students learning to read music for vocal performance, they don't have instrument fingering so they are not as limited as instrumentalists in the amount of note names they can learn at the beginning Whether we agree on the technicality of the title this is a good instructable that depicts information that many music educators still use to this day. I wouldn't go so far in criticism as to say this is not reading music. Besides so few "musicians" out there know this information. it is good to have it redily available.

I disagree - you aren't talking about reading music . . . you are speaking of playing an instrument. This is strengthened by your saying 'I can read with facility on perhaps three or four instruments' - you don't READ on an instrument...you PLAY on the instrument. I understand what you mean by saying that, but I think you're blending two separate concepts into a whole. I know more than one person (okay only three, but still more than one) who can ONLY read music but have never chosen to learn any instruments...and several others (many many - too many to count) who learned to read music before selecting any instruments and have strong facility reading and writing music no matter what instrument it is written for. While closely associated, they are in fact two separate concepts (Reading and Playing) ; and I feel should be kept that way. You, and many like you, learn the two as one meshed whole . . . but most who do that (and I make no presumptions about you here) cannot take a sheet of music written for an instrument they don't actually play, and read it or transcribe it. I think it is best to learn to actually read music separately from any concept of playing any instruments, as it gives a much stronger foundation for learning to apply that music to multiple instruments later on. Most individuals I know who are not just proficient but 'good' (a very subjective term) at playing several instruments fall into one of two categories; those who play solely by ear and are hopeless with sheet music, and those who know how to read (and often write) music apart from their instruments.

Fair enough, people learn differently and I have had to alter my approach for some students, depending on how their brains work. But being able to name the notes on the staff provides a good foundation from the get-go, I find, and it helps for theory to be able to intellectualize written music away from the instrument as well.

I'm sure it bears some similarities to some methods, as this was the way I was taught to read music many moons ago. This is what I use to teach my students when they are learning to recognize notes. All the images where created by hand by me in Adobe Illustrator, and I have written up the entire Instructable myself for my students. Please don't accuse when you don't have the facts.

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If that's the case, you have my apologies. I suppose there are only so many ways to depict the same old information, when you get down to it. Of course, learning mnemonics for the staff isn't the same as learning to read music.