The Bass or F Clef Notes
A B C D E F G A
When you start learning how to read music you are usually learning to read the treble clef / G clef first.Since many instruments use only the treble clef to notate music, most music theory students already know this clef well and how to read it, but tend to fall behind when it comes to reading bass clef notes fluently. But you know what? It is very easy to learn!
The bass clef, or F clef show where the bass or low sounding notes are. The staff showing the low pitched note with a bass clef is also called a Bass Staff. Today you will mostly see the bass clef written like this:
As with all music clefs, the Bass Clef identifies a note that you can then use to relate all the other notes to. In this case this note is bass F, (the first F found below "middle C") and that is also why it's called an F clef.
The note F is on the second line between the dots.
The F clef / bass clef has been written in different ways throughout time and is actually a stylized figure of the letter F:
The Bass clef written in Mensural Notation from the Middle ages.
This old "reversed" bass clef could be found in hymn books up to recently.
J.S Bach wrote the F clef like this! (Ha!)
So, if you know where bass F is, it is then relatively easy to figure out the rest of the notes. You do know the alphabet forwards and backwards, right? Ascending notes on the staff go forward in the alphabet, and descending go backward.
So the next note one step up from F is...G! The next (starting the alphabet again) is A, then B and so on. Going down from F is...E! Then D, C and so on.