Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 11:13:09 +0200
From: "Ole J. Utnes" <>
Subject: Pedal notes as a tool.

The recent post (air pocket/corners/Jim Manley ) from Tim was very inspiring for me, especially what he said about the use of pedals (see a short quote below:)

<<This process started in the pedals.  I have never been able to
get a great sound in the pedal range and pedal C could only be
minimally accomplished.  He gets to the pedals by bending down
from low C and noticing that as you bend low C two things happen.
1 - the lips come forward and
2 - as you get on the low side of the horn, the resonance increases. >>

Several method books use pedals, but then mostly as a mean of relaxing the chops, stimulating the blood, opening the throat, etc.

Arturo Sandoval says that pedals are great for building a good embouchure and he uses them in his warm up. He says you have to play them without changing the embouchure, but he does not explain it any further. He starts his warm up with pedals, but he only plays them in an descending fashion. The good thing is that he has recorded it and you can have an aural clue to how  you should play a fat pedal C.

James Stamp also uses pedals in his main warm up (in the pre warm up he first uses breathing exercises, lip and mpc. buzzing). His exercises is IMO better that Arturos in that they take you down to the pedals and then back into the normal register again. Exercise 3c is  maybe the most effective when it comes to using pedals as a tool for building a good robust embouchure (cushion). In that exercise (after first working down to first pedal C) he starts on pedal C and work in a diatonic fashion up in larger and larger intervals (as high as you can play).
But the Stamp (Edition BIM) book lacks explanation. Roy Poper and now recently another student of Stamp (in Brass Bulletin) have tried to explain more about the how and why.

If you "fake" this exercise and use 123 on the pedal C you will (IMO) not get the same effect (as Tim talks about). This is not explained in the book, but I think Clyde Hunt says something about it. When you get a fat pedal C with open fingering and then work up into the normal register, you get that "building effect" and also a fatter and richer sound.

Btw, Clyde, do you think your great sound has something to do with your fat pedal C? I saw someone commenting on your sound, saying that you sounded very much like Claude Gordon.

Apropos Claude Gordon - Arturo has learned the use of pedals from Claude (not as a student, but by using his books).

I saw in ITG Journal that Lee Loughnane (Chicago) had started using the Gordon routines and that it (the chest up & pedals) had helped him get through his gigs and feeling very fresh afterwards.

It would be nice if we could have some thoughts from some of you teachers on TPIN, Clyde, Jeanne, Eddie & Co. about this subject. Also from students of Gordon or Stamp, if there are any?

- --
Ole Jorgen Utnes  --  "Oulee the Gentle Viking"