Chapter 9: F-clef

Theory

Tip: before starting this chapter, please first study Chapter 1. Natural Notes through Chapter 3. Clefs!

In this chapter, you'l learn to read F-clef notes. I explain what smart notes are. You’ll learn to read those notes first. You'll do exercises to learn to read smart notes quickly and flawlessly. I'll explain how you can use smart notes to read the other notes. You will do different exercises in which you learn, step by step, to read all the notes.

1. The F-clef

Lower tones are notated using the F-clef.
The F-clef is used for voices and instruments such as the bass, the baritone, the bassoon, the trombone, the double bass, and so on.

 The F-clef indicates that the note on the second line from above is F. We then play the F tone below Middle C. The F-clef is also called the bass clef.

2. The smart notes

 In order to read all the notes, we first confine ourselves to five different notes. These notes are divided in ascending order over the grand staff. These are the 'smart notes'.

In order to learn how to read all notes well, it is important to be able to read the smart notes quickly – and flawlessly! In addition, smart notes need to be played rapidly and correctly on the instrument. Study the smart notes carefully, and repeat the relevant exercises a number of times.

1The first smart note is the F taken from the F-clef.

2The second smart note is Middle C.

3The third smart note is the note on the lowermost line: low G.

4The fourth smart note is the C below Middle C. This is placed between the lines.

5The fifth smart note is on the second ledger line below the staff: the low C.

3. Practise

Note Reading exercise 8b: practise reading F-clef smart notes with time limit.

In order to read all the notes, we make use of the smart notes.

1The first smart note is the F taken from the F-clef.
One note higher is G. One note lower is E.

2The second smart note is Middle C.
One note higher is D. One note lower is B. Two notes lower is A.

3The third smart note is the note on the lowermost line: low G.
One note higher is A. One note lower is F.

4The fourth smart note is the C below Middle C. This is placed between the lines.
One note higher is D. One note lower is B.

5The fifth smart note is on the second ledger line below the staff: the low C.
One note higher is D. Two notes higher is E. One note lower is B.

5. Practise

Note Reading exercise 8d: practise reading all F-clef notes with time limit.

Note Reading exercise 8e: F-clef: practise reading all notes with invisible clef.

6. Accidentals

This part is a short version of Chapter 6. Accidentals, adjusted for the F-clef.

This chapter teaches you about accidentals. First, you'll learn about a half step. Then, I explain what accidantals are. In the video, I show how to raise and lower tones with sharps and flats. You learn the names of the notes with a sharp and flat. You'll do exercises to practice these names.

What is a half step?

A half step is the distance from any key to the very next key up or down, with no key between.

Explanation

Half steps on the piano

What is an accidental?

Before the note a symbol can be placed that raises of lowers it. This symbol is called an accidental.

Sharps and flats

 A sharp raises a note by a half step. A flat lowers a note by a half step.

Explanation

What are the names of the notes with a sharp?

What are the names of the notes with a flat?

natural note

A A# Ab
B B# Bb
C C# Cb
D D# Db
E E# Eb
F F# Fb
G G# Gb

Practise

Note Reading exercise 8f: F-clef: practise reading notes with sharp and flat

Double sharp and double flat

In practice, you won't see double sharps and double flats often.
Are you a beginner? Then you can skip this part or do it later.

 A double sharp raises a note two half steps. A double flat lowers a note two half steps.

Explanation

What are the names of the notes with a double sharp?

What are the names of the notes with a double flat?

natural note

A A## Abb
B B## Bbb
C C## Cbb
D D## Dbb
E E## Ebb
F F## Fbb
G G## Gbb

Practise

Note Reading exercise 8g: F-clef: practise reading notes with double sharps and double flats