Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 09:48:53 -0500
From: John Daniel <>
Subject: Re: RANGE IN BEGINNERS (Pedals?)

>The other day an adult beginner student of mine brought in the first volume of
>the Arturo Sandoval method (with CD), with which I was not previously
>familiar. Among the first lessons, not surprisingly, was a page or two of long
>tone studies, using the very modest range of the typical beginner. What was
>unusual was that Arturo introduced pedal tones in the same exercises,
>essentially encouraging all beginners to start work in the pedal register
>almost immediately, including, if I counted the leger lines correctly, down to
>pedal C.
This pedal tone thing, I've been really hot and cold with.  At this point I still use them myself quite a bit at the very beginning of my warm up.  As far as introducing them to students, that's pretty much all I do anymore. Just show them in an innocent way and not give the idea that these must be learned in order to be a good player.  Some students get more mileage out of them than others.  I suppose it is possible to devise a magical approach to playing in which pedal tones are the cornerstone, but I've had more luck starting students on high C, not that I'm endorsing that idea either.  The two reasons I make moderate use of pedals:

1.  It really does get the lip vibrating freely in a short amount of time.
2.  It helps us with the concept of centering the notes with our air.

Point #1 is so basic that it can be used at any level of playing, in which case trying to play specific pitches in the pedal register is irrelevant.
Point #2 is a much more sophisticated notion, which can't be rushed.

John Daniel