The Cool Bass Clef

by Karl Hitzemann

"The Cool Bass Clef" is another in a series of songs we've come up with to help kids with various musical concepts. For this song the topic is, of course, the bass clef. The lyrics of the song tell your singers that the bass clef is an old-fashioned "F" (sometimes called the "F clef") and that its two dots surround the "F" line on the music staff. They also state the names for the line and space notes when the bass clef is "sittin' right there." Notice that at measure 17, after the singers sing the note names of the spaces, the accompaniment actually plays each of those notes. The same is true at measure 21 for the line notes. You might consider having a group say the note names in time starting on beat one of measure 17 and measure 21 as they are played in the accompaniment. Or, say a mnemonic device like "All Cows Eat Grass!" and "Great Big Dogs Fight Animals!" This will really help them remember the note names. Of course coming up with your own mnemonic devices would be fun and challenging, too.

This laid back rock tune features an awesome rhythm section which includes, appropriately, a Fender six-string "bass" guitar, sometimes called a "tick-tock" bass. You can clearly hear it played in measures where the kids aren't singing. This will really help make the point that the bass clef is typically used for low instruments like a cello or tuba, and for baritone and bass singers.

"The Cool Bass Clef" would work great in the classroom as a learning tool, but it would also be fun in just about any performance setting. Your singers could look "cool" wearing sunglasses while performing it. And it would be really "cool" to have a big cardboard bass clef (maybe the art teacher can help with that?) to pass around as they sing the song.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.