Reading Notes: Cello and Bass (Tenor Clef)

The Tenor clef looks like this:

tenor clef 2

The clef points to the letter C, which is why it is also called the C clef. That C is middle C, (2nd finger on the A string for cellos, or 3rd position on the G string for Basses)

tenor clef

One way to think about Tenor clef is that the notes are one string (a perfect 5th) over from where they would be in Bass clef. Here is where middle C is located in each clef: Treble, Bass, Alto, and Tenor.

clefs

 

Here are two video examples to help explain and demonstrate.

Tenor Clef video 1

Tenor Clef Video 2