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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hhsTrumpet, Sep 16, 2012.
I've been trying to learn how to play the pedal C (open fingering). How should i approach this?
Like it's low C....but an octave lower.
I can see that, but how should I play it?
Like any other note. Relax. Yeah, you can move your embouchure to two thirds top lip and get that puppy out but it's not doing you any good!
I'm hitting an A instead of a C and i can't lip it up. any suggestions?
Go chromatic down from low C. Open your apeture a lot, spread those teeth, lower the jaw, and play those rich pedal tones.
That's actually very common, no worries. Once you build up strength and sit everything right, you'll start gaining better control. Just keep working on it.
There's a problem here. Why not first ask yourself "Why do I need to play a pedal C open?..."
I know what you're thinking: Some high range book is demanding that you play the Pedal C open. And you think that this is a pre-requisite for high note production. However and although you may not realize it the person or persons who wrote that book:
1. Didn't know much about the physics of playing high notes.
2. His method may or may not be of of much help to you.
Brisbois, who was able to pick off a well articulated TRIPLE C (not just the DHC but TRIPLE) claimed that "doing pedals almost screwed me up"
So like I said the question is: "Why do I need to play a pedal c open?"
Here's my guess. I would bet that after my 37 years of road and professional career and being in possession of a usable A above High C that probably I've got more bandstand range than you do. Correct? OK this isn't a brag share but probably I'm on the money there. Now having said that check this out:
I frankly think that I would have much difficulty playing a Pedal C open on the trumpet. Flugel horn? No problem the tone centers well on the flugel due to the design of the bell. Yet over on the trumpet I probably could play the Pedal C open but it would require a lot of practice and even then I'd still likely blow the thing flat in pitch. In fact I kinda remember that I used to be able to blow the Pedal C open. Not that it did me any good at the time though. Not range-wise.
OK so IF. Yes IF my range is something you would be satisfied with and IF perhaps my embouchure is similar to yours
Then why the hell would you need to play a Pedal C open????
The whole missing ingredient in your question is rationality.
okay 357 noted ...
Not hijacking but I am interested in this same thing and this is how far I have gotten on it
I have noticed two ways of getting to the Pedal C...
one is lipping up from below .. ( very hard ... the tone is more full but hard to get the pitch)
and the other is trying to catch the quesi pedal C that is sharp and pull it down. ( not as full but you can fill it up). It has the same feeling as playing a first line E open by the way.
I have heard people rip this pedal tone as well and would love to know which is way to approached it.
Couple of things here:
1. I can actually explain the possible benefit of having the ability to blow a Pedal c open. Which is more than the original advocate of the exercise did. I have to guess here but I think it was probably Claude Gordon. And I might be wrong. Gordon may have said to play them any finger combination. But it was someone of his stature. Definitely a pedal tone for range advocate anyway. Another professor from New England advocated it but he had a lot of other irrational ideas too. Since both these men are dead I won't speak ill of them. The "pedal C open" was a really popular technique in the Boston area back in the 1970's
2. Some trumpet players will be able to play the Pedal C open easier than others. This however doesn't necessarily mean they have particularly good chops for range or other matters.
This guy I met in a community orchestra some 40 years ago could bomb a Pedal C open as good as the flugel on his Conn Constellation. I own the same horn myself (a spare) and yet can not do it so well. So anyway this guy blows a Pedal C open just like he was playing a flugel and yet he doesn't have a usable High D!
The reason one might possibly derive some benefit from blowing the Pedal c open is that it requires a HELL OF A SET OF MOUTH CORNERS just to pull it off. And at the same time as one flexes the mouth corners he needs to keep the inner vibrating surface of his lips very relaxed. This is the condition I promote in my:
"Tension/Suppleness Threshold Factor" or T/STF abbreviated.
(the last time I checked this concept out here it didn't show up on a T/M search even though only I wrote a topic about it a month ago. If anyone wants to know about it? Please write and I will send.)
Yet if building strong mouth corners is the goal that these pedal tone/high note gurus promote then why didn't they say so in the first place?
Next: Not everyone needs strong mouth corners to blow high notes. Nor gains much benefit from pedals either. Its a mixed bag.
So my advice to the O/P is to use his own better judgment and play the pedals any way he wants. Or don't play them.
There's an argument against playing pedals too much as well. Ask me about that one sometime. Excessive pedals can become a habit which can encourage over training. Goes like this:
You play really hard one night. Past the point where your fatigue causes a significant drop off in range/power. So you take ten minutes off and blow a bunch of pedals. Now you feel like your old self again and play even longer. Pushing yourself back AGAIN into a serious state of fatigue.
Not satisfied with your performance you blow another set of pedals, recover and repeat the whole process. When you should have just put the horn in the case and started all over again in the am.
Then he repeats the whole counter-productive scene in the days and weeks following until HE'S REALLY SCREWED UP!!!
Some of these "Pedal Tone Addicts" I've met (they really are hooked on them) have tone problems and amateurish qualities on the band stand.
Reason? They're in a perpetual state of over trained chops. And they can't see it.