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Best pedal tone exercises?


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rhatheway
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2024 7:45 am    Post subject: Best pedal tone exercises? Reply with quote

A few weeks back in one of the forums here on TH (don't remember which one) someone mentioned that he didn't really understand the reason for using pedal tones. I admit, I didn't either until I started reading some of the responses from various (and much more experienced) trumpet players. I thought I had bookmarked that discussion, but I can't find it, so I'm reposting the topic as a new question to try and collect responses in one place (in case others are interested).

So..., what are the best recommended pedal tone exercises to use? When you post answers, please explain the value of the exercises and how they relate to strengthening or developing other areas of playing the trumpet.

Thanks all!
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2024 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Playing pedal tones usually means playing the notes below low G, below staff.
In James Stamp´s method pedal C is the C one octave below C just below the staff.

I for one has used his method a couple of years finding his method a good one but it didn´t result in the development I was looking for.

In another method, the Balanced Embouchure (BE) by Jeff Smiley, the pedal tones are integrated in the very method - together with other ingenious twists of exercises. However there is a big and unique feature of this method, the pedal tones here are double pedals.
The pedal we are talking about here is the C 2 octaves below the C just below the staff!.
This way of trying to play pedal tones does force the student to shape the embouchure in such a way that these tones are produced not as horse-blaring but as well sounding, focussed tones, in tune (not that easy to begin with) where seamlessly ascending up the ladder to well above high C is the goal. These excercises are named ROll Out and pin point the development of flexibility, strength in the lip muscles, focussing on the achievment of a tight aperture and is to be combined with excercises named RI (Roll In), playing increasingly higher tones without attack and so on.

I have been using this method since 2015 thereby achieving the development I was looking for. Still improving. I was 73 when I began the be, I´ve been playing in bands since 1958 so I do have some experience.
Integrating the double pedals in a unified method thus has contributed immensely to my present "state of art".
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2024 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My take-away is that there are two fundamental goals when playing pedals.

- Use the same embouchure that you would use when playing in the staff (this is different from the pedal-range exercises in the Balanced Embouchure).

- Play from pedal range into the "normal" range (keeping the same basic embouchure formation).

Maggio has a very good set of exercises for this.
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Dayton
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2024 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So..., what are the best recommended pedal tone exercises to use?


David Hickman's "15 Advanced Embouchure Studies" or Pierre Thibaud's "Methode Pour Trompettiste Avance" have a number of really useful exercises in them. Hasrold Branch's "Pedal Tones" is not as well known but also worth considering.
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bach_again
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2024 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done wrong they are best avoided, done right they can help - but don't do so universally.

I would advise lessons from someone who can adequately teach Stamp - and I mean someone well versed in the approach and in the methodology, not someone with a passing knowledge. A student of Stamp or McNab (or McNab himself). Get as close to the source as possible. Otherwise just leave well enough alone, you can do more damage than good going at it wrong.

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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2024 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Best pedal tone exercises? Reply with quote

rhatheway wrote:
I thought I had bookmarked that discussion, but I can't find it


The discussion disappeared into the ether.

I think kehaulani mostly covered the "how." If you want to get better at them, do them more. I was introduced to the Stamp book in 7th grade and have been able to play open pedal C since the end of 7th grade; as such I recommend the Stamp book. Because I could basically always play them, I cannot vouch for whether or not the pursuit of pedal tones will do anything for your playing. It's all a fun journey, enjoy!
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stuartissimo
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2024 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Best pedal tone exercises? Reply with quote

abontrumpet wrote:
I think kehaulani mostly covered the "how."

That’s the important bit right? The particular variant of the exercise is less important than how it is practiced?
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2024 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: Best pedal tone exercises? Reply with quote

stuartissimo wrote:
abontrumpet wrote:
I think kehaulani mostly covered the "how."

That’s the important bit right? The particular variant of the exercise is less important than how it is practiced?


In my opinion, yes!
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Xikahon
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2024 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Start with a comfortable low note (such as low C or G). Gradually descend chromatically to pedal C (or lower if you can). Hold each note for 10-20 seconds, focusing on a steady airflow and consistent pitch.
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2024 3:57 am    Post subject: Re: Best pedal tone exercises? Reply with quote

abontrumpet wrote:
stuartissimo wrote:
abontrumpet wrote:
I think kehaulani mostly covered the "how."

That’s the important bit right? The particular variant of the exercise is less important than how it is practiced?


In my opinion, yes!


Hmm!I wouldn´t agree in so few words. Look, if someone told you to begin every day nailing a high D advocating this is the way to the heaven of high notes I absolutely would question this advice, in spite of the way you performed it.

Not all ways lead to Rome. It´s fully possible to go astray. Besides that I´ve driven to Rome and tried to drive inside it. Ugh!!!! This was prior to the discopvery of the GPS. 1500 km to Rome and 1500 back.
So you gotta get something really beneficial out of such an enterprise.

No - certain excercises are better than others. Which ones are the most beneficial for the individual in question might vary.

Initially the double pedals seemed quite peculiar but when I got hold of the right way to perform them they have demonstrated their value.
So they helped me - in a way that the Stampian pedals did not. Although I did the Stampian pedals the right way.

Feel free to enjoy my infinite wisdom
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2024 5:02 am    Post subject: Re: Best pedal tone exercises? Reply with quote

Seymor B Fudd wrote:
Hmm!I wouldn´t agree in so few words.

No - certain excercises are better than others. Which ones are the most beneficial for the individual in question might vary.

Initially the double pedals seemed quite peculiar but when I got hold of the right way to perform them they have demonstrated their value.
So they helped me - in a way that the Stampian pedals did not. Although I did the Stampian pedals the right way.


You disagree with me and then immediately contradict it in your rebuttal. You say essentially "I disagree that HOW you play something is more important than WHAT you play (my claim) -- but once I learned HOW to play them 'the right way' then they demonstrated their value." So thank you for agreeing with me lol.

Pedals can't really be "Stampian", just as there is no such thing as a Stampian beautiful C in the staff. They are simply a collection of ordered notes. Music is just a collection of ordered notes. You should be able to play all the notes in any order. To do that, you must be able to achieve different orders. If you cannot achieve different orders, then your craft is still under construction.

Furthermore, there are no "exercises" that are "better" than others. There are exercises that meet you and your skill level more effectively (which leads to quicker improvement or that "aha" moment), but ultimately, it comes back to "you must be able to achieve all combinations of notes equally well."
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2024 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1)"I disagree that HOW you play something is more important than WHAT you play (my claim) -- but once I learned HOW to play them 'the right way' then they demonstrated their value." So thank you for agreeing with me lol.

In all humility (I´m not the argueing typ) I have to say that I can´t find the contradiction. The essence of what I said was that as I, extensively, have been playing the pedals (simple pedals, the pedals commonly referred to as pedals) the way that say Stamp have outlined in his system and later on the double pedals as outlined by Jeff Smiley, I have found the latter, in my case, to be superior. A game changer. In spite of me playing the pedals in the way Stamp prescribed them to be played.
Maybe we might agree on that the very process of learning to play a certain excercise is a goal in itself?

2)Of course there are no Stampian pedals. Pedals are out there (or down there) irrespective of who use them - kind of invariants of our physical world. Naming them Stampian was done solely to put the use of them in a system probably known to many.

3)Yes I agree that the way you play a certain exercise is of outmost importance.

However

4)I disagree with a)"Furthermore, there are no "exercises" that are "better" than others." I maintain that there is! Some excercises are better than others.

I agree that "There are exercises that meet you and your skill level more effectively (which leads to quicker improvement or that "aha" moment), but ultimately, it comes back to "you mut be able to achieve all combinations of notes equally well."

The last part (ultimately....)seems very reasonable.

So: a discussion of more or less worthwile exercises might be straight ahead?

Or?
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2024 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seymor B Fudd wrote:

4)I disagree with a)"Furthermore, there are no "exercises" that are "better" than others." I maintain that there is! Some excercises are better than others.


After reading your response, I think we ultimately agree, but perhaps we may be saying the same thing just in different ways (getting hung up on the definition of an exercise). Thanks for the discussion!
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So do I! Maybe this after all boiled down to a play of words. But the essential thing is that some form of playing is involved.
Yes thanks!

However maybe some exercises are better than others?

Anyway - not having a teacher until I was well above 70 (began at 15) I kept playing on a fairly high amateur level - and I do think that the Charles Colin (Advanced) Lip Flexibilities are to be thanked for that. Plus of course my (almost) nerdy way of practicing them.

Of course not the whole story; the greater part of all these years playing front row cornet in a brass band must have contributed. I mean, the very music with it´s demand of technique, the double tongue, you name it, probably in itself constituted kind of teaching. Playing music such as the Thievish Magpie; Merry wives of windsor; Slavonic Rhapsody (Friedman) required a lot of practicing....all these hours....sigh...
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nchKebtdDsw ) (Friedmann) not that fast ...
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u21vcOjSEc8 ) Merry Wives of windsor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe72816Xzyg (Magpie)

But the Lip flexibilities!!! Helped me the most. But that was me. With my chops/constitution.

So maybe an interesting topic might be: what kind of excercises/musical life have been the main ingredients in your musical development??

I will start a new tread ASAP!
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO there's a long list of things to work on that are more beneficial than pedals.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2024 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
what are the best recommended pedal tone exercises to use?


Play pedals on the pedal resonance first, and primarily.

It is NOT an octave below low C for the open instrument.

There is no such thing as a "double" pedal. At least, not as a harmonic resonance.
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rhatheway
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2024 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back to my original post...

While it seems there is some agreement on the value of playing pedal tones, what I can't find are fingering charts that agree how the notes should be fingered for the pedal tones that begin below the low F#. For pedal tones, I've seen the same notes listed as being fingered 1-2, 2-3, 1-2-3, and 1-3, along with some recommendations that the fingering really doesn't matter, you just have to lip the tone to where it needs to be.

Is there one source that everyone agrees on that shows the proper fingerings to use for these pedal tones? Or do you just use the same fingerings as notes in the staff?
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Dayton
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2024 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
what I can't find are fingering charts that agree how the notes should be fingered for the pedal tones that begin below the low F#.


You can use literally any fingering for the F below the staff on down to the second C# below the staff. What you are doing is "creating" a note that doesn't exist naturally on the trumpet by bending from the note above it based on whatever fingering you use. The pedal tones beginning with pedal C, on the other hand, are real notes that slot best with their common fingerings.

1-2-3 is sometimes recommended for the F below the staff on down to the second C# below the staff (I think of them as "false" pedals but they are typically called pedal F down to pedal C#). That is because 1-2-3 is the easiest way to achieve those pitches given that you are bending from low F#, which is the real note closest to those pitches.

In contrast, fingering pedal F down to pedal C# with the fingerings from an octave above is sometimes recommended as an aid to help you get the pitch right. The idea is that it is easier for you to conceptualize the pitch you are trying to bend to if you are using a fingering you are already accustomed to. I find that it also makes it easier to incorporate those notes into technical exercises such as those in Claude Gordon's 30 Velocity Studies if I am not using 1-2-3 for every one of them. Plus, it makes it conceptually easier to link those pitches with actual pedal tones (pedal C and below) if you aren't using 1-2-3 for them.

Unless you are planning to incorporate pedal tones into a performance, I don't think it matters much until you get to pedal C. Use whatever fingerings make the pedal tones most useful to you.
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Rhondo
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2024 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but just to be clear, pedal tones begin with the F below the F# below the staff that is the bottom (123) note shown on standard fingering charts?

I see that Lowell Little’s ‘Embouchure Builder’ exercises stop at the F#.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2024 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rhondo wrote:
Sorry, but just to be clear, pedal tones begin with the F below the F# below the staff that is the bottom (123) note shown on standard fingering charts? ...

-------------------------
'Real pedal tones' are the 1st harmonic (which theoretically should be 1 octave lower than their 2nd harmonic) when played with the same fingerings used for the 2nd harmonic. On trumpet, the below the staff C (played 'open') is the highest pitched 2nd harmonic. The remaining lower 2nd harmonics are fingered 2 / 1 / 12 or 3 / 23 / 13 / 123.

Those 1st harmonic are actual resonant frequencies, but they likely won't be in tune.

When sounding non-harmonic notes lower than 123 low F# - what you are really doing is forcing your lips to vibrate in a way that is fighting against the instrument's internal resonances. Using 123 for those 'false pedals' might work easier because 123 gives the longest tubing and might not fight as hard against your lip manipulations.
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