The point of playing pedal tones

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2009
    What is the point of playing pedal tones? I just learned how to play the notes under low F# by getting the feeling for the notes in my lips, but don't sense a big deal in the excersise. Does it serve any big purpose?
  2. RB-R37297

    RB-R37297 Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2009
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Some people believe it relaxes the lips, others believe it promotes embouchure control, others believe it's the key to screaming.

    I don't really have an opinion on them, actually.
  3. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    My teacher was a Claude Gordon student who really believed in using pedal tones to develop range and sound. I don't know that they did either of those things for me, though they did help relax my lips.

    I've been told that to play pedal tones properly, you should never adjust your embouchure to do it? Would like to hear what some of you other players think about this.

    Also, worthy to note. Arturo Sandoval can play pedal tones with a tonal quality that is better than most trumpet player's non-pedal tone notes.

    Obviously, he had to practice them to make them a useful part of his range.
  4. Phil

    Phil Pianissimo User

    Jun 7, 2009
    All of the above PLUS why we play high notes: because composers are calling for it more and more. Good example would be Times by Frank Campo. My personal encounters with pedal tones are Lullaby of Broadway in 42nd Street the Musical with a pedal Eb, and an orchestra audition excerpt on Caravan from Carmen, originally written for A, we were asked to play it on Bb needing the pedal F.
  5. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I don't play any music that calls for pedal tones but I practice them to help with lip flexibility. However, I cannot play them with the same embouchure that I use for other notes. I can play very easily down to F# (F with the 3rd slide out) using my normal embouchure but to go lower, I have to put my lips on the outside of the mouthpiece and let the fleshy inner part of the lips do the vibrating. When my lips become tired from practicing, I do this for a few minutes and then I can continue (sort of like slow jogging for a bit while running a 10K race).
  6. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    For me, they seem to effect nothing. I can play a down below pedal c without adjusting my chops or using false fingerings. The rest of my playing is same whether I play pedals every day or never. I used to play them as I continued Stamp #3 down to a pedal c. I haven't played them in years, but I just tried and I still can. They exist in a vacuum for me, and so they aren't part of my practice.
  7. ChaseFan

    ChaseFan Banned

    Mar 25, 2008
    "I never do pedal tones, the only time I did they just about destroyed the rest of my playing."
    Bud Brisbois quoted at

    "[Donald] Reinhardt eschewed pedal tones for trumpet players and advised several students that if they wanted to destroy their embouchures with pedal tones, they should study with someone else."
    International Trumpet Guild at


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