TUITION
BEGIN NER'S THEORY
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ELLEN O'REILLY
ELLEN CONTINUES HER
MISSION TO MAKE SIGHT-
READING EASY AND FUN
H
ello again bass buddies,
hope you are all keeping
it low! In the last issue we
had a look at the musical
stave, which was part of
my evil scheme to get you
all reading music.
.. As discussed
in last month's column, the stave
is the framework that keeps all
the musical information in place.
By looking at the stave we have
already seen what notes each of
the lines and spaces represent,
for bass (which is indicated by the
bass clef
at the beginning of the
stave) the lines from bottom to
top are: G B D F A and the spaces
from bottom to top are: A C E G.
These notes can be seen as they
appear on the stave in
Example 1
.
There is a handy way to learn
off by heart all your notes on the
stave: use rhymes to remember
the order the notes go in. The
rhyme for the lines is as follows:
G
ood
B
oys
D
eserve
F
ruit
A
lways.
The rhyme for the spaces goes
like this:
A
ll
C
ows
E
at
G
rass.
Each capital letter in the rhyme
represents a different note on
the stave. So, now we know what
each note is on the stave but
what about the
value
of that note?
What I mean by the value is, how
long do we hold a note for? How
EXAMPLE 1
G
B
D
F
A
A
C
E
G
EXAMPLE 2
many beats in a bar is it worth? So let's take a look at how notes are broken up to represent different beats and
what they look like.
Take a look over at
Example 2
, this shows four of the many ways note values can be divided up. The note
to the left is called a whole note, which lasts for four beats, so play a low E as indicated in the example, and
let it ring out for four beats, counting 1 2 3 4. The next note is called a half note and that is written when a
note needs to be played for two beats, so play a low E on beats one and three counting to four as you do so.
The next four notes in
Example 2
are called quarter notes because they represent each beat, so play a low E
on your bass and as you play, count each note: 1 2 3 4. The final bar in
Example 2
shows eight notes: for these,
play both the downbeat and upbeat (the downbeat being the number you give the beat and the upbeat being
the &' between the numbers). So play two notes per beat here counting up to four, as 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.
The following diagram shows exactly how each note is divided, with the whole note at the top. This is
divided into half notes, then quarter notes and so on.
"THE RHYME FOR THE LINES IS AS FOLLOWS:
GOOD BOYS DESERVE FRUIT ALWAYS"
A good way of counting out the beats as you play these different note values is to tap out each beat with
your foot: the down beat is when your foot hits the floor, the upbeat is when your foot is mid air. Give these
exercises a go and you'll be a sight-reading whiz in no time!
r
г
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