Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 07:19:10 -0700
From: Blake Dournaee <>
Subject: Re: RANGE IN BEGINNERS (Pedals?)

As a Claude Gordon fan, here is my take on this matter:

>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.

Considering Arturo's experience with Claude, and the fact that he learned on Claude's method, the introduction of pedals at the
beginning of his book is not at all unusual.

>I have started many beginners over the years and many are able to play, right
>off the bat, first space F and second line G and work up and down from there.
>Anybody have any thoughts on proper time to begin to teach pedal tones? I
>understand that there are at least a couple of different purposes for pedals,
>one as a relaxation device, and the other as sort of embouchure fine tuning,
>adjustment and strengthener. Would one start younger with pedals if one only
>was interested in relaxation or warm-down than for strengthening?

        Agreed, some people use the pedals (and different types of, eg: Jeanne) for different purposes. The idea Arturo is getting at by introducing the pedals this early(I believe), is getting some feel for tongue level on the instrument.

        The theory is, that concentrating on the pedal notes gives your embochure the correct feel for the rest of the instrument. By starting out focusing on the correct tongue position for each note, you will eliminate the worry and frustration of focusing on the lips - they will take care of themselves.

   I would say that there are many, many different theories on pedal tones and methods, but I believe this is the theory Arturo was trying to get across.

Blake Dournaee
Cal Poly State University.