Reading Bass Clef

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Practica Musica will display several measures of notation.  Play the notes you see at whatever speed you can. Rhythm doesn’t count at all; this is just an exercise in reading the pitches.

You have three options for entering pitches:

  1. Use an external keyboard you’ve connected to your computer with a MIDI interface. (I use a Roland UM-ONE, but check with a salesperson for help in finding a good interface to connect your computer to your keyboard.)
  2. Click the keys on the on-screen piano keyboard.
  3. Play the letter keys of the computer as a ‘piano,’ using the following keymap:


Note that you must play each note in the correct OCTAVE; e.g., middle C is different from the C on the third space of the treble clef. The on-screen keyboard will indicate which key you are playing; middle C is marked with a yellow triangle, seen below. (If you don’t see the yellow triangle, try selecting a different Keyframe appearance in the “Options” menu.)


As you progress through this exercise, you will reach levels of increasing difficulty:

  • Level 1 tests only the five diatonic notes (white keys) in Left Hand C Position.
  • Level 2 tests all diatonic notes between the bottom line of the bass clef and the top line of the bass clef.
  • Level 3 tests all diatonic notes between 2 ledger lines below and 2 ledger lines above the bass clef.
  • Level 4 tests the same notes as Level 3, but adds key signatures of up to 5 sharps or flats. (In other words, some answers in Level 4 will be black keys.)