#1
In sheet music are basslines always written out using the bass clef, or are basslines also found on other clefs as well? I'm interested in learning to read sheet music and I'm a bass player so overall I'm just wondering if I need to focus on anything besides the bass clef?

Any info is appreciated
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#2
Yes
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#3
99.99% of the music you will get is in Bass Clef. I've only ever had one piece that went into another clef, but it was for a stand-up bass. Never seen it for electric though. Unless you wanna play double-bass stuff on your bass I would imagine you won't ever see it.
#4
Bass will be on the bass clef
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#5
Quote by Drmckool
Bass will be on the bass clef

Indeed


I could only imagine seeing a very rare alto or tenor clef. I'm not familiar with tenor but a very rare piece could be written in alto.
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#9
Youll find quite often that music goes into tenor clef. But the vast majority is bass clef transposed an octave up (yes, bass is a transposing instrument. The C you play is actually an octave lower than the one written on the page)
#10
Usually, it's written in bass clef - the lines are GBDFA (or Good Bassists Deserve Flagons of Ale...). I was going over this recently with my eldest kid, and it worked okay, 'cos we were only transcribing a Placebo song.
But when I do my own stuff, I've had the habit of starting with the first stave on the page being treble clef, the second being bass, third treble, fourth bass, and so on. It saves on horribly messy ledger lines, of which I am horribly guilty.
Recently, I've started using Musette notation software, and it seems quite amenable to this way of working. Just as well; my old scrip books look like the wanderings of a drunk spider...
#11
Bass goes in the bass clef. Usually six string + bass parts are written in both bass and treble because it's easier than having insane ledgar lines for the higher range.

Sometimes you may have to read a part written in the treble clef for another instrument. But the clefs are designed for specific ranges, so bass goes in the bass.
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#12
Quote by tubatom868686
Youll find quite often that music goes into tenor clef. But the vast majority is bass clef transposed an octave up (yes, bass is a transposing instrument. The C you play is actually an octave lower than the one written on the page)

I always wondered about why it was so high on the staff. and I always thought it was non-transposing. It's concert pitch so you don't transpose.
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#13
Thank you all for the wealth of information. That takes care of my question.
Quote by las7
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#14
Quote by BladeSlinger
I always wondered about why it was so high on the staff. and I always thought it was non-transposing. It's concert pitch so you don't transpose.


Well, even though its still technically concert pitch your still transposing. If a director told everyone to play a C, you would still play your C. But the C you see on the music is actually an octave above the C that it represents on the bass. So it still is considered a transposing instrument.
#15
Quote by NoOne0507
99.99% of the music you will get is in Bass Clef. I've only ever had one piece that went into another clef, but it was for a stand-up bass. Never seen it for electric though. Unless you wanna play double-bass stuff on your bass I would imagine you won't ever see it.

But surely there is no difference between the register that electric bass and stand up bass play in.
In dance band music it is the same for both electric and upright bass, they don't each have a separate pad.
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#16
Quote by tubatom868686
Well, even though its still technically concert pitch your still transposing. If a director told everyone to play a C, you would still play your C. But the C you see on the music is actually an octave above the C that it represents on the bass. So it still is considered a transposing instrument.

How odd.
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#17
i just want to add that this is all not necessarily true. especially when playing with a jazz group. there IS a real book in bass clef (which i have), but more often than not you're going to be given your sheet music in treble clef just because that's what everyone else is going to be using. it's definitely beneficial to learn to read treble clef. it'll help with soloing in a tune at least if they don't want you to play the head melody.
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#18
Quote by tubatom868686
Youll find quite often that music goes into tenor clef. But the vast majority is bass clef transposed an octave up (yes, bass is a transposing instrument. The C you play is actually an octave lower than the one written on the page)

So you mean the E3 we see at the bottom of a bass clef is actually an E2 when played on a bass in standard tuning?
#19
Quote by primusfan
i just want to add that this is all not necessarily true. especially when playing with a jazz group. there IS a real book in bass clef (which i have), but more often than not you're going to be given your sheet music in treble clef just because that's what everyone else is going to be using. it's definitely beneficial to learn to read treble clef. it'll help with soloing in a tune at least if they don't want you to play the head melody.


True, but that's the nature of RB charts. The treble clef part is the melody, and the bass works off the changes. However, there are tunes with written bass parts in the book. "Footprints", "Maiden Voyage", "Stolen Moments", "So What", "A Night In Tunisia", among others... bass parts written in bass clef.

Originally Posted by BladeSlinger
I always wondered about why it was so high on the staff. and I always thought it was non-transposing. It's concert pitch so you don't transpose.


Correct.
#20
Quote by John Swift
But surely there is no difference between the register that electric bass and stand up bass play in.
In dance band music it is the same for both electric and upright bass, they don't each have a separate pad.

Correct. But I have yet to see a part for electric bass in tenor clef (although I will admit I am just a college freshman so my real studies have only begun). But I have seen it for standup bass on some random piece I forget the name of, and I have two books for stand-up that go into tenor clef.

Also, good name, I love Johnathan Swift.
#22
Quote by primusfan
i just want to add that this is all not necessarily true. especially when playing with a jazz group. there IS a real book in bass clef (which i have), but more often than not you're going to be given your sheet music in treble clef just because that's what everyone else is going to be using. it's definitely beneficial to learn to read treble clef. it'll help with soloing in a tune at least if they don't want you to play the head melody.


This is important to remember. Most of the actual bass parts you get will be in bass clef. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that every one you see in a jazz setting will be in bass clef and at least 99% of classical bass scores would be in bass clef as well. However, for a lot of jazz combo stuff, like said above, you'll be working out of a Real Book, which, for the most part are in treble clef. So, treble clef is very important to learn for a jazz musician. Other clefs, for any type of music, aren't incredibly important. Some high cello music will use the tenor clef and bass rarely ever goes near the higher range of a cello.
#23
The "C" note played on the fifth fret of the "G" string equates to Middle "C" on the Grand Staff. In other words, every note played above this "C" note will appear in the treble clef in standard notation. Most leaders and arrangers avoid writing notes this high for the bass because it is easier for bass players to read in the bass clef.

This is the big drawback with standard notation. Unless there are guidelines in the piece to tell you that a section is to be played an octave or two higher than it is written, there is no way to know where on the neck, exactly, the piece is supposed to be played. That is one advantage of tablature.
#24
Quote by FatalGear41
The "C" note played on the fifth fret of the "G" string equates to Middle "C" on the Grand Staff. In other words, every note played above this "C" note will appear in the treble clef in standard notation. Most leaders and arrangers avoid writing notes this high for the bass because it is easier for bass players to read in the bass clef.

This is the big drawback with standard notation. Unless there are guidelines in the piece to tell you that a section is to be played an octave or two higher than it is written, there is no way to know where on the neck, exactly, the piece is supposed to be played. That is one advantage of tablature.


On the Grand Staff, notes above above Middle C of course will be written in the treble clef.
However, bass parts that extend above the "written" Middle C will remain in the bass clef, and notated with ledger lines.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but standard notation offers a vast array of "guidelines" from top to bottom. It's multi tiered, omnidirectional language gives the musician every thing he/she needs to play the notes and interpret the music. The only thing it wont do is play the music for you.
#25
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
This is important to remember. Most of the actual bass parts you get will be in bass clef. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that every one you see in a jazz setting will be in bass clef and at least 99% of classical bass scores would be in bass clef as well. However, for a lot of jazz combo stuff, like said above, you'll be working out of a Real Book, which, for the most part are in treble clef. So, treble clef is very important to learn for a jazz musician. Other clefs, for any type of music, aren't incredibly important. Some high cello music will use the tenor clef and bass rarely ever goes near the higher range of a cello.



Uh...I play bass and of the 6 symphonies I have in my folder right now, 5 of them have parts in tenor clef