Getting air into extreme lower pedal register

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Seedhouse, May 11, 2004.

  1. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Hello, i've been trying my hardest to get loads of air to make my pedal register (below pedal C) much broader (and louder!) than it is at the moment, with no luck. Can anyone provide any help?
  2. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Have you tried a bigger mouthpiece? Mind you, that makes the upper register a bit of a challenge sometimes.... (I play on a Wick 2AL mostly...)

    Play Eb Bass parts for a while (on your Euph) - might involve learning to read bass cleff / in Eb if you can't already...

    Dances & Arias has got a pedal G in it...

    It really just comes down to "practice", of course.

  3. BassBlaster

    BassBlaster Member

    Just get promoted to BBb bass for 6 months, when you go back to that lical instument, you probably will be depressed, but stick with it because now you will play properly, pedal notes and all!!!.
  4. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Oddly enough, the book "Double high C in 37 weeks" by Spaulding, has helped my low register (incuding pedals) quite abit. Be wary though, the fingerings suggested don't work quite right for baritone and euphonium, so you will have to fill the the piece as you see fit.

  5. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Open Embourcour (sp!!!!)
    Good Posture
    Use your Diaphragm

  6. Hey seedhouse...

    I've always reckoned pedals need alot of attention because to play them with the same correct embourchure that you use on your normal range on the eupho can prove quite a challenge of control and sensitivity. Try shoving a few teatowels down your bell (carefull though, if they're old they might leave faint scratches on that lovely shiny prestige bell) and then using a piano or keyboard to match the pitches up as you go down the pedal scale. The resistance will make it heaps harder to hold it steady and you should gain alot more control in the end. Once you've trained your chops to be super-strict and keep the pitch dead in check, try shoving some more air down the thing.

    I guess different things work for different people.

    I gather from your website you take alot of advice from Steve Mead.... No one seems to have mastered keeping pedals broad and fullsome better than he, so I guess you're already on the right track!!!
  7. Hey Alex,

    Try something. Blow that pedal C (Bb bass clef) good and strong. No valves to resist or redirect that airflow. Next try the B using both alternate fingerings and see which seems the most resistant. More valves mean more resistance or redirection. What'll be tough is compensating for the resistance and keep it tuned. Dr. Bowman is a master of blowing down there.

    Do tubists have similar problems in the bottomland?

    Ken F.
  8. Big Fella

    Big Fella Member

    I attempt to play BBb bass, and was told many years ago, to improve any sound, or air flow, practise with a mute in. Hurts like hell when you first start, but you get used to it evetually

    Just need to practise regulary and you will manage to get more air through..
  9. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    The way I started getting them was to slur down from the octave above. I also did a load of low practice with a practice mute in which seemed to help the whole air thing...
  10. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    Don't over-breath either - you tighten up your chest and this actually restricts your airflow.
  11. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Can't actually recommend this one - I'm still finding it challenging to find the tuning on some of the upper notes folowing my return to my 'ickle euph.

    It hurts when your "first instrument" feels all wrong when you play it after having been sat in a BB seat for a while...

  12. tubaplayer

    tubaplayer Member

    I think the main thing is just practice. In your daily practice and playing you will probably spend 75-90% in the stave and above. It would be a good idea to swop that around for a while. Let the middle stave register look after itself and do 75% low register playing. Not only will it improve your low register, but it will strengthen the muscles to increase your high register playing.

    Also, just concentrate on a good solid breath. Think about the shape you are forming with your mouth and how you attack the note.
  13. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    I can play comfortably to about pedal F below pedal C ... and I hold no secrets about how I manage it.

    Every day, in your warm-ups, start off with pedal notes. Gets the lip buzzing nicely.
  14. BoozyBTrom

    BoozyBTrom Member

    Dont try too hard. Just relax into it and let it happen naturally.

    I found the harder i tried the quieter and more restricted it became.

    And use more upper lip then lower lip when pedaling. ( A tip to me from Doug Yeo that!!)

    Good Luck
  15. By "open emboucher", I hope you didn't mean open your aperture.........that is fatal, I have been down that road.

    The trouble is it works to get a deep full sound - but at the cost of your range and endurance.

    I suppose the answer to this question lies in "firm corners, but soft centre" and only ONE embouchure - that works right through the range.
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Steven Mead refuses to pivot at all to make these notes sound better, with the result that, although he plays a pedal D (i.e. 1st harmonic) and a super G with an identical embouchure position, neither note is as good-sounding as it might be. I applaud the principle, but in practise, many inferior players make more of the lowest pedals than he does by gurning into the mouthpiece.
  17. i would just like to mention that its no longer your diaphram you use its you stomach muscles as it was proven in an american thesis that the diaphram is too thin a muscle to be used properly when filling a brass instrument so now you have to say stomach muscles. also i find when pedaling on my BBb bass it helps to take a nice big breath and relax and let the pedals flow!!
  18. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    "Extreme lower register"... makes it sound like its hard to do. :wink:

    All I do is rasp my lips (kinda like what a horse does)... basically the only advice I can give is play the note then vary your air flow pressure/lip position till you find a way to do it... trial and error work :)
  19. It is pretty well accepted now - that when people say squeeze the diaphram..........they mean use all those stomach, back and side muscles.
  20. tim

    tim Member

    You could email Steven Mead about it but im not sure where he is at the moment u'd probably know better than i do! Ive always been naturally very good in my pedal register coz i loved playing pedals as a kid :twisted:

    Steven mentioned having a second embouchure in the lower register. Dave Thornton is definetly a master of this. I was watching him with white river brass and he was doubling joe cooks tuba part and it was all V-I stuff and his face was incredible the animation but hes definetly one to ask advice of. Also Joe Cook has a fantastic lower range and hed be well worth emailing.


    He doesn't have time to keep it upto date at the mo but it has contact details.

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