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Reading Music on the Electric Bass
Standard Notation - Primer

Music is written on what is called a staff, which consists of 5 lines and the 4 spaces between those lines.

staff

 

Notes are written either on the line or in a space.

notes on the staff

 

Music for bass is written in what is called bass clef. It is also sometimes referred to as F clef. This is because the symbol itself looks like the letter F, and also the 2 dots in the clef surround the F note on the staff.

bass clef

 

Notes that are outside of the range of the staff's lines and spaces use and extension of the staff called a ledger line.

ledger lines

 

Music is divided into sections called measures by vertical lines called bar lines.

measure

 

A final double bar line is used indicates the end of a piece of music.

final double bar line

 

A repeat sign is used to play a section of music again. (Looks the same as a final double bar line only with 2 dots.)

repeat sign

 

Here are the dumb little sayings to remember the names of the notes on the staff. The lines are Good, Boys, Do, Fine, Always, and the spaces are All, Cows, Eat, Grass. Avoid it as much as possible.

dumb little sayings

 

Reading the notes on the open strings of the bass



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