I am currently converting the entire Essential Music Theory site to https to give visitors a more secure browsing experience. Everything should be fine but apologies if anything doesn't work quite as expected over the next couple of weeks.
Simon (12 November 2017)
The bass clef is also known as the F clef and looks like this:
When used on a modern stave the dots are either side of the 4th line, showing that note is F.
This is how the bass (or F) clef looks on the staff.
The notes on the bass staff follow the same pattern as other notes on the music staff: E - G - B - D - F - A - C, the bottom line of the bass staff is a G. Click here for more information on this order of notes which, once learned, tells you both the lines and the spaces in the bass staff, and on the treble staff as well! In fact, it is well worth learning to read the entire grand staff in addition to the bass staff if you are learning to read music!
Notes on the bass staff may be on a line or in a space. Click here for more information and examples of this.
The notes on the lines of the bass staff follow the pattern above, starting on G
G - B - D - F - A
Middle C is on a line above the bass staff. This line is part of the 'invisible' line which runs between the treble and bass staves when using the Grand Staff. Click here to read more about the invisible Middle C line
The notes in the spaces of the bass staff follow the pattern above as
well, with an added bonus! The bass clef is also known as the F clef,
and the note below the stave is F which makes it easy to remember. The
spaces on the bass stave are F - A - C - E - G - B.
Test your knowledge with a free online music theory quiz! Click here to take a test on the notes of the bass staff. Remember, the more you practice reading the notes on the bass staff the better you will become at reading them. The key is to keep practicing reading the notes either by revising them yourself or by taking the quizzes on this site. Tip:
If you know the bottom line and the bottom space of the staff, you can
always work out the rest of the bass notes by going up using the
For more help check out my new theory book Essential Music Theory: Learn To Read And Appreciate Music Vol. 1 available for iPad and Mac OS.
Or get it on the iBooks Store!
You need to read my other book!
Make more progress, whatever your instrument, whatever your style.