When describing finger positions, is the octave below middle c described as low c, low d, etc? Is the next octave bass c, bass d, etc? Or do I have that backwards?
Mark M., New York
I believe the octave below middle C is bass C, and then further below that is low C. And I believe the reason is that, when one gets to reading on the staff, the octave below middle C makes the bulk of the notes in the main area of the bass staff.
Sheri R., California
Another way to make it easy for you or your students (given that you/they already know that the name of the symbol on top is treble clef and on the bottom is bass clef) is to look at it logically. The high C is the highest on page. The low C is the lowest. So those correspond to the “high” C and “low” C. (They are also 2 ledger lines above treble clef and 2 line below bass clef and on the piano they are 2 C’s away from the middle C so the number 2 helps find them on piano as well as on the page–some of my students can find it on piano but forget how it’s written on page so I tell them about this 2 “trick.”)
Middle Cs are obvious (middle of staff, middle of piano).
That leaves treble and bass C’s. The number 2 again (2 spaces from top and bottom of clefs) helps with the page and the names are easy because they are the only C’s on stave and correspond with name of clef.