QUOTE(anacrusis @ Dec 10 2007, 11:31 AM)
Here's a curious thing: I can read bass clef, but only to play the piano to my not exactly wonderful standard....why is it so difficult to translate that to a bass recorder? I'm assuming it's because I do "think treble" or "think descant/tenor" to such an extent that my fingers bypass the note name when reading music - I can't do that short-cut for the bass clef yet. Wonder how long it'll take to learn...
Don't know how long it take, cos I havn't got there yet. I bypass the note name most of the time on descant/tenor. But not on treble, let alone bass. My bass clef reading isn't as fluent as my treble clef. I've been reading treble clef the whole time since I was 5. Reading bass clef from 5-9, then a gap until 6th form. (I still dabbled a little with piano and could handle it for theory purposes, but I wasn't playing from it much, let along sight-reading.) 6th form brought bass recorder in recorder ensemble and brief forays into double bass and bass guitar, so bass clef made an abrupt and rather scary return to active use.
Even now I'm doing organ (two staves of bass!), my bass clef reading can be a bit flakey. I can't imagine ever being as happy about it as I am about treble clef.
QUOTE(Maizie @ Dec 10 2007, 11:50 AM)
But equally, providing my fingers find the right place, does it matter if in my head I call it the wrong thing? I could call it G, D, Alice, Bob, whatever I wanted, as long as the right note comes out at the right time.
That's been my justification for how I currently play treble. Does it really matter if I'm sight-transposing or thinking clarinet, as long as I play the right note? And I think, as I start to tackle more advanced repertory and do more ensemble playing, that it /does/ matter a bit. Because the stuff that's going on inside my head makes me respond more slowly than I do when I playing descant/tenor. As I approach the upper grades I need the automatic jump from page to fingers. I'm not going to have time to think about it the way I do now.
If what's going on in your head has no impact on your playing, it probably doesn't matter. But if it slows you down or makes your playing more accident prone, or you have brief moments of uncertainty, then it matters. Eventually you'll hit a point where playing the right notes isn't enough - you need fast, accurate sight-reading. If you can do that still, regardless of what you're thinking, then it doesn't matter at all. Only you can really decide what's going on and how much impact, if any, it has on your playing.
For me, speed and accuracy aren't where they could/should be, so it's clear that the thinking is a problem.
The only place I can see it causing confusion for me is with scales, because if I'm playing the treble and asked for a G major scale - it depends, actually, but I'd probably need just a moment to think 'this is a treble and G is 0123456' whereas with a C instrument I'd probably not even need that tiny moment.
I'd think "that's the same as D on descant" then play /that/. ;-)
Treble I can do OK to C above the stave (that's actual C, you know, two ledger lines); once it goes above that my reading isn't very fluent; it's something I know I need to practice but the pieces I am playing at the moment don't tend to go that high...
Fluency in reading ledger lines comes with practice. So as you gradually play more pieces that use them, you'll get quicker at reading them. With descant it all fits quite neatly onto the stave (or close to it), so that makes it a lot easier. I'd prefer it if treble was written so it goes off the bottom of the stave that the top, just because it's lower than descant so that would seem more intuitive to me. Ledger lines themselves don't worry me so much, because flute uses loads of the little pests, as the idea that the lower pitched instrument goes further up the stave! (If it was the other way around, there'd be a similar conflict with tenor, so I know it's completely illogical to be bothered by it.)
I do take my bass to SRP and sight-read on it which is probably helping but it's not often enough. Sometimes people playing the bass are doubling the treble line, so we are playing the bass recorder but reading off of the treble clef, just like we are playing a 'big treble'. A lot of the more experienced bass players have trouble with it but I manage much better with that than trying to play bass-clef bass
I've been known to write bass music out in treble clef and transposed, so I could play it as if it were a descant. Teigr drwg!
(I don't make a habit of doing that though!)