Beginning Piano Lessons – Learning The Bass Clef Staff

My article entitled Beginning Piano Lessons – Learning The Treble Clef Staff, demonstrated how to read the top of two staves within a music sheet. It produces high notes that are played with your right hand.

The bottom staff, which contains the Bass Clef, tends to be learned after you’ve become comfortable with the higher pitch keys. Today, we will run through this staff and become acquainted with its use.

What is the Bass Clef?

The Bass Clef, also called the F clef because of the two dots surrounding the line on its staff, demonstrates the lower pitch keys on your piano keyboard. Sometimes coordinating your left hand with your right during your piano lessons, can be difficult since most people have problems playing well with their left hand. The best answer to this is to practice with your left hand as much as possible until you get the hang of it.

Take a look at the image below and see how the F clef looks and sits on its own staff:


Bass Clef Staff

Bass Clef Staff

What Piano Keys Represent The Bass Clef Lines?

The F clef lines represent the following keys on the piano keyboard – G B D F A:


Bass Clef with Named Staff Lines

F Clef with Named Staff Lines

Here’s the mnemonic I was taught for these keys:

Good Boys Do Fine Always

And these are the keys you’ll play:

Bass Clef Staff Keys

Bass Clef Staff Keys


What Piano Keys Does The Bass Clef Spaces Represent?

The spaces on the F clef represent the following letters – A C E G:


Bass Clef with Names for Staff Spaces

F Clef with Names for Staff Spaces

There wasn’t a mnemonic I was taught (or maybe I just don’t remember) for these letters so I just said to myself “ace” with the letter “g” at the end. Meh. It helped me but I’m sure you can think of something more helpful. Give me your suggestions below.

Here are the keys you’ll press for the spaces:

Bass Clef Staff Space Keys

Bass Clef Staff Space Keys

How Are Keys Represented Above & Below The Staff Lines

The keys to be played on this staff doesn’t stop with these five lines and four spaces. The range of the low pitches can go lower or a bit higher using ledger lines. They are short lines that demonstrate the notes you’ll play from the middle to far left of your piano keyboard:

Bass Clef Staff Lines Above Below

Bass Clef Staff Lines Above Below


To review the contents of this lesson, take a look at this video called How to Read the Bass Clef Staff.


If you’ve absorbed the names of both the lines and spaces for the F Clef, click the following link to download some exercises that will test your memory: Bass Clef Exercises


Familiarizing yourself with the keys for the F clef for your left hand may be a challenge but with daily practice, you’ll know it like the back of your hand. HA!

Did you practice playing the keys from the staff above? Share your experience in the comments below.

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