#1
Okay so some background.
I have some basic theory knowledge, but recently wanted to to build on that and cement what I know, learn some stuff in further detail. As a ground rock to that I felt it was needed to learn to read standard notation rarther than just tab music.

First step done, I have some questions about the stave (or staff, which is the correct tense here?).

On the bass clef, from my understanding the notes go from a G (on the line, of the lowest staff line) to the octave of the A (on the highest line).

My first question is this:
That first G on the bass clef, when playing it on my bass guitar, would that be the lowest G possible in standard tuning (i.e. 3rd Fret E string), or would it be the octave of this note (open G string/5th fret D string etc), or does it vary from song to song and listening is the key here?

Second Question:
The notes on the Staff again on the bass clef (using the first gap, i.e an F note) are fairly straight forward.
And I understand accidentals from the use of sharp, double sharp, flat, double flat and natural signs.
However, if there are sharps at the start of the piece (Say one sharp, saying that the piece is in G Major) does that make all the relavent notes automatically sharped (or flatted) unless otherwise stated.
So in this case all "normal" F notes would infact be played as an F#?

Thanks in advance, and I hope this makes sense!

TL;DR:
1) How do I know what octave to play in?
2) Is notation based on key?
#2
Guitar music is notated an octave higher than it sounds. You would play 3rd fret on E string for the low G but it actually sounds an octave lower.

The accidentals (sharps or flats) at the beginning of the piece (before the time signature) are in effect for the entire piece.
#3
Yes bottom staff line G is G on the 3rd fret 4th string. Also yes an F note should be played sharp unless there is some accidental sign telling you otherwise preceding it in the key of G major. You just know what octave a note is in after reading sheet music for that instrument for a long time.

For example on guitar E on the 6th string open is the space below the third ledger line below the staff, and E on the 12th string 1st fret is on the third ledger line above the staff. It's a good idea to find out where middle C is on both your instrument and on the clef you're reading in because middle C is in the 4th octave. That way you can always compare notes and easily find in what octave you should play a note.
#4
Thanks for both quick responses. Helped me make sense of this (the book I'm reading from surprising doesn't specify it anywhere!) and now I can move on and try to get comfertable with reading off the staff!
#5
Yes it is the lowest G possible - there is no "reason" why that is true it just is and is the same for all bass guitar music. It is also pretty convenient (though as i understand it some instruments, such as piccolos, are written an octave above or below "true" pitch to make it more readable)

Notation itself is not based on key - the bottom line of the bass clef is ALWAYS G irrespective of key, you do however get "key signatures". If a flat or sharp is repeated thoughout the piece (such as the F#/C# in D major) they are included at the beginning of each line and continue throughout all the bars in that line.



Here for example the F#/C# written before the time sig show all F and C line notes are sharps. meaning this piece goes:

D-E-F#
A-A-F#
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

Learn theory
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#6
Quote by doive
Yes it is the lowest G possible - there is no "reason" why that is true it just is and is the same for all bass guitar music. It is also pretty convenient (though as i understand it some instruments, such as piccolos, are written an octave above or below "true" pitch to make it more readable)

Notation itself is not based on key - the bottom line of the bass clef is ALWAYS G irrespective of key, you do however get "key signatures". If a flat or sharp is repeated thoughout the piece (such as the F#/C# in D major) they are included at the beginning of each line and continue throughout all the bars in that line.



Here for example the F#/C# written before the time sig show all F and C line notes are sharps. meaning this piece goes:

D-E-F#
A-A-F#



Thats what I thought but didn't know how to articulate it properly.
Again, thanks a lot for the info!
#7
Quote by RobinTrower12
Guitar music is notated an octave higher than it sounds. You would play 3rd fret on E string for the low G but it actually sounds an octave lower.


this makes it much easier to read.
Quote by AllenHB
Seriously you're thinking about music theory all wrong. It doesn't tell you how to write, it' examines what's already written.
#8
When I was in the school band playing bass the G on the lowest line on the sheet music could have been just about any G on the fret board. It depended if we were playing Tuba sheet music, string bass, or electric bass. (tuba you had to octave EVERYTHING) and if you gonna start reading sheet music get a simple theory book like essential elements or or some "How to play electric bass sheet music"