We’ve already learned about our first clef, the treble clef.

For most low-pitched music (where most of it is lower than middle C), we use the bass clef.

The bass clef looks like this:

bass clef symbol

The two dots on the bass clef are placed either side of the line where we can find the note F, so it’s also known as the “F clef”. This is the first F below middle C:

bass clef, F below middle C

The bass clef is used by lots of low-pitched instruments, such as the tuba (pictured), bassoon and double bass.


Note Names

We can work out the other notes from F, using the spaces and lines of the stave. Here are the notes of the lines:

bass clef notes on lines

And in the spaces:

bass clef, notes in spaces

The note above B is middle C. It’s useful to be able to write middle C in both clefs (treble and bass). We use a small line for it to sit on, like we do in the treble clef, but this time the note is above the stave.

bass clef middle C

In the treble clef, middle C is below the stave.

middle C

Bass Clef Exercises

Point your mouse at the staff (tap on mobiles) to reveal the answers.

1. Give the letter name of each of the notes marked *. The first answer is given.

bass clef ex 1 0 0bass clef ex 1 0 1bass clef ex 1 0 2bass clef ex 1 0 3bass clef ex 1 0 4bass clef ex 1 0 5bass clef ex 1 0 6bass clef ex 1 0 7bass clef ex 1 0 8bass clef ex 1 0 9bass clef ex 1 0 10

2. Write the notes. The first answer is given.

write bass clef 0 0write bass clef 0 1write bass clef 0 2write bass clef 0 3write bass clef 0 4write bass clef 0 5write bass clef 0 6write bass clef 0 7

3. Add the correct clef for each of these notes.

which clef 0 0which clef 0 1which clef 0 2which clef 0 3which clef 0 4which clef 0 5which clef 0 6