Hiding Bass Clef Top Line

• May 16, 2019 - 18:09

Is there any way to hide the top line of just the bass clef on a piano score?
I have tried putting a white line on top of it but I just end up with a grey line.


I'm not sure why you want to do this, but you can reduce the number of lines on the staff in staff properties. If you want to adjust the notes, there's a way in version 3, just ask.

In reply to by mike320

Unfortunately that hides the bottom line of the bass clef stave rather than the top.

I am trying to transcribe some MS piano scores to guitar tab. To this end I have managed to get my head around the treble clef but the bass clef is being awkward. However, if I can hide the bass clef top line then I can manually draw an extra stave line below the bottom line, and then bass clef notes would read just like the treble clef.

In reply to by yonah_ag

I don't understand why you are doing this. Why not simply change the piano to a guitar and add a linked tablature clef to it? I'm obviously missing something, but you are definitely going about this the wrong way.

Edit: another thing to consider is that if you use the treble clef with an 8 below it, this will put the bass clef notes on the right line like you are describing.

In reply to by mike320

I've tried the treble clef with an 8 but it just sends all the treble notes to a higher range. The bass clef notes are unaffected. Here is the effect I'm trying to achieve: the black stave is MS standard and red is my tweak (but imagine the top bass clef line invisible).

This is the effect of treble clef 8:

MS files:

In reply to by yonah_ag


These are the notes you would need to play on the guitar to make the same pitch as you did on the piano. The Guitar sounds an octave lower than the piano. There is no need to adjust the staff on the bass clef, just use the treble clef with the 8 under it. I expect that you realize that the notes that are written on both staves are the same note.

In reply to by mike320

Ah! I see what you mean now: apply the treble 8 to the bass clef of the stave. This does indeed make the notes readable.

I'm not sure what you mean about the guitar sounding an octave lower than piano since I only play guitar, (and really only from TAB scores). I would've thought that given the same notes in the clef that all instruments would play the same note, i.e. Hz frequency.

Thanks for the help, this will make things much easier.

In reply to by yonah_ag

There have been many discussion of transposing instruments in these forums because people don't understand them.

Since you don't read standard western music (notes on staves), it probably doesn't matter a whole lot, but if you are going to venture into it with things like this, it's a good idea to have a little bit of understanding. About half of all instruments sound a different pitch than the note that is written on the staff. This is usually to keep the middle notes on the staff they are written. The guitar is one such instrument. If you play The open low E string it is written in the space below the third ledger line below the treble clef. For the piano to play a note the sounds the same it would be written an octave below that and probably notated on the bass clef (as the note one ledger line below the bass clef).

The guitar is not the only instrument that transposes exactly one octave, The double bass does also and is written on the bass clef. There are several instruments that transpose up an octave (or 2 in the case of the Glockenspiel) so all of the notes don't get written on ledger lines. For most of these instruments, you would likely overlook the fact that when you press the concert pitch button (to see the transposed notes) the only difference is the octave indicator above or below the clef, as will happen if you see a standard guitar staff. Much of the guitar music is written using the treble clef with the 8 below it.

If you decided you wanted to play Saxophone music on your guitar, you would find that it has a completely different transposition. When you click the concert pitch button, all of the notes will move and the key signature will change. Depending on which saxophone it is, the clef might change as well. There are a few rare exceptions to this since there is some sax music written in concert pitch. The point of telling you this it to let you know that if you and a sax both play a written middle C in your own music, you will get different notes. This also applies to a lot of instruments. So if ever you decide to transcribe music from any other instrument, with the possible exception of the lute, you will likely need to consider the transposition of both the guitar and the other instrument. MuseScore simplifies this when you know how to use the tools.

In reply to by mike320

Thanks for the free music lesson. As you say, it's not something that a tab only guitar player would come across. MS tab must automatically take care of this transposition because playback matches a real guitar.

I'm slowly getting to grips with treble clef and I can see that it would be much harder to read with stacks of ledger lines. (It's bad enough for the early frets on the low E string).

The trouble with most teach yourself books and apps is that they prioritise learning the note names for the places on the stave. This is of no help in actually playing the notes. On seeing a note on the stave I don't need to know its name, I just need to know where to play it on the fretboard. Sure, there can be multiple places to play the same note but you soon learn the fretboard patterns without knowing the note names.

Now it's time to start transposing a piano score!

In reply to by kacattac

True, note names are a vital fundamental method of communicating music from one person to another. However, throughout history much music has been communicated using different methods and MuseScore has added several of these methods (like tablatures) and will likely add others in the future. This makes MuseScore a great tool, especially since it has tools that make translating these different methods easy. Displaying note names on the noteheads is one thing that comes to mind.

In reply to by mike320

@mike320: Is there a way in MS to display the note names automatically with TAB? Maybe instead of lyrics, or as a superscript to the fret no.?

Can I add a linked TAB stave to an existing score which has treble and bass clef? I have tried but can only get an empty, unlinked stave.

In reply to by yonah_ag

You need to unite the two staves into one since that's how most Guitar music is written. I would select the two staves and then use Tool->Implode, then select the first staff and use implode one more time. This will make all similar rhythms int chords and keep dissimilar rhythms in another voice, but all on one staff.

With one staff adding a standard staff or tablature staff is easy. Select the staff under the instrument and click add Linked staff and change the staff type to the proper type, that is the one that's not already there. Linked staves make it so both staves show the same information. If you have the proper transposition, then the open low E string will show its 0 on the string and a note below the third ledger line.

In the standard staff, right click it, choose staff/part properties, click Advanced Staff Properties then choose the note name scheme you like, probably Pitch Names. As is shown in the preview, this will insert note names into the head of each note.

If you want to continue using two staves, you could add a linked staff to each existing staff and set it's type and then set the notehead scheme for each standard staff so you can see the note names. The tablature for the top clef would likely use the top 3 strings and the tablature for the bottom would likely use the bottom 3 strings with a little bit of overlap of a string in each direction. This may lead to the occasional conflict I'm sure you know how to resolve.

In reply to by kacattac

@kacattac: A good point. We need a common language to communicate with other people by talking/writing and music is like a language with a defined syntax and grammar. Maybe one day I'll move beyond solo guitar.

I am learning treble clef and I do like the way that the shape of the score reflects how the music sounds – unlike with tab.

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