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  • Writer's pictureAmy Taylor

3 Steps For Learning To Read Bass Clef Notes

Interested in learning how to read bass clef notes? Check out the video below.

Here are some tips to help you read the bass clef notes while also playing with both hands at the same time.

Perhaps you are already a good keyboard player, you have the cords down in your left hand and you can accompany with your right hand. But you're trying to make the jump between being able to do that and being able to play separate notes with your left hand while reading the bass clef.

Expectations for reading bass clef notes

First, I think the most important thing is to have reasonable expectations for yourself. If you're able to play piano at an advanced level but you’re reading at a lower level, it's important to set your expectation at a reasonable place. So that when you're teaching yourself how to read notes in the bass clef, you're not expecting yourself to be performing at an advanced level.

Writing exercise

Second, get an easy intro level book with notes that are very simple, for example, one note at a time, as seen in this photo.

Use the book and with a pencil, write in the letter names under each note. As an exercise, you can do this to three-to-five pages a day, where you are just writing in the names of the left hand. Eventually your eye will start to pick up what the names of the notes are. This is an exercise that you will need to do separately from actually playing the piano, it would just be a written exercise.

Playing exercise

Third, get a fresh book, don't use the same book that you wrote all of those notes previously. Get something fresh and start playing the left hand notes by themselves. The reason you would want to do this for the fresh book is because you don't want to train your eyes to look at the letters that you’ve written in, like the D the F sharps the A, and so on, and miss out on actually reading the notes themselves. Because that can become sort of a handicap.

Remember, when you get your fresh music book, to keep it at the easiest possible level. It should be almost too easy to play. By doing so you will know you're in the right spot because you can build on your knowledge of the letter names and your ability to play in different ways.

Those are my tips for training your left hand. The first step is to train your eye and the second step is too slowly start training your hand to do what your eyes are already capable of doing.

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