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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpettrax, Sep 9, 2009.
Is there such an animal? Has anyone used these and are there any for "beginners"?
The Stamp book and the Claude Gordon Books deal with pedal tones. I don't know if they would be considered beginner but there are some good excersises.
Personally I wouldn´t start playing pedals too soon.
The reason for this is that they kind of invite you
to use your lips differently, i.e. to change your
embouchure in order to play them.
If you´re not careful, they may disturb you if you´re
at an early stage of your playing.
The typical scenario is when you start playing the
notes on the staff downwards and then descend to
pedals; if you can´t get back to all the notes on the
staff again without changing your embouchure or even
remove the lips from the mouthpiece, this is a clear
indication that you try to play them the wrong way.
What I say above is entirely my personal opinion!
There are far better "specialists" on embouchures
in here than I am! My personal experience, however,
tells me what I´ve said . . .
"Bud never believed that pedal tones were good for anyone interested in developing a good high register...
I never do pedal tones, the only time I did they just about destroyed the rest of my playing."
famous Bud Brisbois quoted at Seeley Music at
Clyde Hunt, in his "Sail the Seven C's" programme, includes pedal notes. He claims that his publication is a rendering of all the good stuff (in plain language) from all the other methods, and there is a really nice 11page dissertation about how and why he practices. Mr Hunt has other CDs available too.
Trumpet pedagogy cd recordings, method books and sheet music
Carlton McBeth's publication of the Maggio method is available, but after doing it after I started my comeback, I urge you to read it carefully should you attempt going down that road. Claude Gordon himself studied with him and he incorporated pedals into his method, but perhaps not to the extent that Maggio did.
Personally, I don't think that this is a beginner style method; the pedals are a different animal altogether and I'd hate to see the use of them (or abuse of them) delay your growth. Research well and dive in with the assistance of a teacher or local pro who can guide you.
This is only my own personal opinion (from my own experiance), but I would only use pedal tones with a teacher who really understands what they can do for/to a player, and asigns them for a particualar purpose. I don't agree with the idea of just "doing some pedals" everyday without any particular idea as to what they may accomplish.
Other things are easier to recommend broadly, like long tones or lip slurs, but I look at pedals as more of specialty thing. For me, and I did them daily for a long time, the results were neutral at best. When I stopped, nothing got worse and some things may have gotten better. In my playing, they seem to exist in a vaccuum. I can play an open pedal C with the best of them, and could still do it the first day I played after a six month heath layoff, but whether I do them or not, nothing else changes in my playing.
I agree that pedals should not be attemted to early in one's development. When/if they are a teacher with experience should be guide you not only in how, but also why to practice pedal tones. There are many great players who disagree on pedal tones so don't be too eager to jump into this arena. Doing pedals improperly will do no good and may even hurt your progress.
I used to be a maniac and do them religiously then started running into guys, great players, who never did them, their opinions ranging from simply not necessary to something like Bud's opinion above.
Some friends of mine that studied with Harold Mitchell said that he said they were not necessary and an incredible lead trumpet player, Frank Minear, thought more like Bud in the quote above. Funny thing is Frank played so great I started doing some of his stuff, nervously quit the pedals, and everything was fine. So I don't know if when done correctly they are necessarily bad but I can definitely say they are not necessary.
My thoughts on it now are a little bit of it done correctly is ok, not necessary though.
Good to see your comments, and again, thanks for the forward on the Minear warmup, which indeed, does not contain pedals. My thought is when they work for me is the flexibility department where one must keep their embouchure steady through the possible range of the horn, plus they aid me in gaining some relaxed vibration in the chops when stiff, say during a warmup. Frankly (no pun intended), they don't do much when you've already gotten swollen, but then, not much else works well when that happens either.