Clef Studies

A Common-Sense Approach to learning Tenor and Alto Clef

This 56-page book uses a mixture of exercises and short etudes to help teach tenor and alto clef quickly and effectively. Using a system of “guidepost notes,” students learn a few easily recognizable pitches and then progress smoothly to more challenging material. The first main section of the book focuses on tenor clef (75 exercises); the second on alto clef (36 exercises). Six final etudes use all three clefs.

Special sections are devoted to the skills of reading B-flat treble clef and bass clef transposed as tenor clef down an octave. Unlike other popular methods, these original exercises and etudes avoid rote learning and “playing by ear.”

Most of the etudes include pedagogical commentary and also serve as good musical character studies. Melodies sometimes take unexpected turns to keep students on their toes. Can also be used as sight-reading practice for more advanced students. Effective for bassoon and cello as well.

Here’s what people are saying …

I plan on making this book my primary method for the teaching of tenor and alto clef. What I like most is Brad’s use of a “Guidepost” system that most of my students will understand and remember. Other great aspects of the book are the pacing (it progresses quite nicely), the written commentary, and the use of new unfamiliar melodies. Congratulations on adding a new and relevant book to the resources for trombone.

Keith Jackson
Professor of Low Brass, West Virginia University

Great book, well organized. A very interesting and useful step by step method to learning clefs. Particularly useful is Brad’s idea of guidepost notes. Highly recommended!

Don Lucas
Trombone Soloist and professor at Boston University