Pedal Pitch

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by AKtrumpet, May 1, 2011.

  1. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
    Hi TM!
    I've been trying to get out pedals with the correct pitch for quite a while and while I can produce some very, very low "sounds" I cant seem to lock in the pitch of say, a pedal C.

    I'd much appreciate some tips, perhaps some valve combinations, or otherwise that would aid me in maintaining the pitch center as I go lower.

    Obviously it takes practice and experimentation as well as listening to those who are capable of producing the notes with the pitch center.

    This was helpful: YouTube - Exploring Pedal Tones (Pedal C to Double C) Trumpet Tips & Tricks with Charlie Porter
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  2. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Wow, I had no idea that the low pedal C was considered a "real" pedal tone, while the pedal F just below the lowest "normal" note, F#, was actually FALSE. That's good to know. Perhaps during the summer I will experiment a little with that.

    I've never been consistent with hitting the pedal C, either, except for the times that I am practicing pedals daily. But maybe if we keep the "real" pedal tones separate from the "false" ones we can have more success as we practice pedals?
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    below the normal resonating range of the trumpet, there is no "pitch center" by definition. It is all part of your chops and I find the tongue position is critical to coax the horn into doing things that it does not want to. The problem is that with the cylindrical bore and small bell, there is not enough "horn effect" to create the standing wave precisely.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    For me, getting the pedal C to proper pitch involves (again, for me) a set of muscles that start round my eyeteeth and end up on the sides of my chin. I think they are the mentalis muscles (not sure, I'm not a doctor), but training them in a low-impact way (like in-tune pedal tones) can help in the upper register.

    My experience, anyway.

    Have fun!
  5. RustoleusMaximus

    RustoleusMaximus Pianissimo User

    Feb 1, 2008
    My two cents ... drop your jaw; open your apeture; blow relaxed. Any valve combination works better (for me) on the low pedal C. If you pivot at all; you will naturally pivot up slightly to reach the pedals. Concentrate on a good steady tone rather than just a splat ... fart type noise.
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    open relaxed aperture -- and lots and lots of easy moving nice air.
  7. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010

    Perhaps you could clarify further what you mean. I think I understand what you're saying; the ability of our body combined with the specifics of the horn disallow us the potential to achieve a standing pitch, rather we achieve a wavering one. Is this assertion correct?

    If that is indeed what you're arguing the man in the video I posted above achieved the Pedal C with a standing pitch. He also argues that the harmonic series beings with the Pedal C. Again, I could be wrong in discerning you information, so please, clarify.

    Thanks for the help. I'm a high school student with little education in the physics or science of the instrument so I would appreciate enlightenment on the matter! :lol:
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    My previous instructor had me warm up working down to pedal C ... the C was a monster.. he always said not to worry about it... said to play it flat and eventually I will get there. It actually bugged me... so I was in the band room one day and one of his students who happened to be visiting the Jr College I was attending.. so I asked him if he could hit one. He picked up his horn and without even looking for the note belted it out. The guy was a great lead player .... so my gut tells me that as your chops become stronger and your high range increases you will develop the lip strentgh the play the pedal C
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    All of the above and incorporate it into your chromatic scale routine (you should have one). Pedals are excellent range builders. Currently in my warm-up I get up to high G and descend 2 octaves below low C. Developing lip flexibility/dexterity is what this does for you like no other exercise I know of (although I am always looking for more).:play:
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    the trumpet is not "amplifying" the lip buzz. That buzz actually gets a resonance going in the trumpet. For any particular valve combination (or none at all) you have a choice of several notes.

    The pedal note would be one wavelength in the trumpet. Low C is 2 wavelengths, G is 3, 3rd space C is 4, E is 5, G is 6, a flat high Bb is 7 and 8 wavelengths are high C.

    The problem with pedal notes is that the bell is too small and the bore too cylindrical to really support the resonance (this is a VERY simplified explanation). The pedal C on a trumpet is therefore pretty fuzzy and mostly too flat. If one practices enough, they can get better control of the chops and then have the strength to "bend" the pitch to where our ears think it belongs. Due to the previously mentioned limitations in resonance, the pedal does not "sound" like the other notes on a trumpet.


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