What is the lowest note you have ever reached on your instrument?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by mikelyons, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I think I have plumbed the depths on my Eb Bass by reaching a pedal G. That's an octave below the G third space below the staff (six leger lines below) is there anything below that?
  2. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    New York City
    Pedal F#, easy.
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - and what about the lower false pedals? ;)
  4. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Leeds - Yorkshire - UK
    Are we talking about producing a note and sustaining it long enough to gain musical acceptance of its correct pitch which is usable when played in conjunction with other instruments of an ensemble, or just a horrible semi indeterminate pitch bass f*rt ?

    - Wilkie
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Brighouse, Yorkshire
    I get a pedal Bb on a good day on my BB. I've certainly not got a spectacular low register by any stretch of the imagination though.

    I once dropped middle F down the octave at the end of a piece onto 1st and 4th, and found the chap next to me (an Eb player by trade) had second guessed me and dropped the octave below that in as well.

    It's not so much a note as a noise... but what a noise!

    The chap in question is a long-standing friend of mine, Tony "Tuba" Whittingham from Hepworth, and it's a rank offence to full-time BB players like myself that he's as good on BB as he is when he only picks one up two or three times a year.

    I dread to think of the number of ledger lines players like Dean Morley and Simon Gresswell can command. Certainly enough to intrude on the next stave on a manuscript pad.

    I heard they're both banned from playing in California in case they set the San Andreas fault off.... ;)
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  6. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Depends on the player ... not many go to these depths. I was always amazed at Steve Syke's cadenza in Czardas when he used false pedals (... and in tune as well).
  7. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    I've had a false double pedal G (concert) on my tenor.

    That would be 2 octaves below written A 2 ledgers below Bb treble clef.

    Full notes, I can get a good solid double pedal concert Bb on a bass trom.
    Both triggers and 7th will get that!

    On my tenor I have to settle for concert C cos my slide isn't long enough :(
  8. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Double pedal Bb for me (concert pitch).

    You tube has plenty of examples of people claiming to be able to play triple pedals but when you listen to their lowest notes, they're no lower than the ones before that they claim are the octave above. Generally they are horrendously out of tune as well.
  9. Mrs Fruity

    Mrs Fruity Member

    North East
    I once taped my husband's bass mouthpiece to my tenor horn (I should get out more) I'm not sure what pedals I managed, but there were reports of whales swimming up the River Don later that day....
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Hadleigh, Essex
    The lowest I've played "in anger" on BBb is the pedal A (treble clef), but usually stick at Bb.

    On EEb I find down to pedal G quite comfortably, and have played down to the D below when properly warmed up, and everything going well.
  11. TubaGeek

    TubaGeek Member

    Isn't it odd that when two bass players meet for the first time, they seem to fight to establish "Dominance" by having a low note contest.

    Not unlike dogs...Nah, just kidding around. Just makes me laugh is all!

    I haven't got an enormous low register - But to be honest, you probably won't find tuba parts, even in orchestral works, that go below the concert pedal Eb...
  12. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    yeah can do (on bass trom) - but don't ask for any more than a gentle mp in volume

    p.s. can't pedle much on EEb yet but will work on it
  13. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Farnham, Surrey, UK
    No worse than trumpeters and high notes (and possibly nicer sounding)

    I managed a double pedal D on my old flugel (4 valve thing) - I know that's not too much in relation to the bass world, but it still annoyed the euphonium student I was working with at the time - I could play lower than he could!
  14. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    A bit of nomenclature - "double pedal" = fake notes starting downwards for an octave from an octave below pedal C (talking in transposing treble clef). I suspect you mean simply "pedal" (i.e. under 7 leger lines), which is impressive enough.

    I can play quite low quite loudly. I think it's probably morally good to resist the temptation to willy-wave here, though... However, here's an exercise which we can all do to release the beast within - take a bari sax mouthpiece/leadpipe and tape it (carefully - don't damage the finish!) to the mouthpipe of a BBb tuba; blow into it in the usual single-reed way (it's not hard to make some sound). It most easily vibrates at the lowest available frequency on the length of tubing - which is a fartalicious pedal C with no valves down, and an earth-shaking C# almost an octave below that with all 4 valves down [and you can play it loudly!]. We tried the same experiment with a 80 metre length of 1" diameter gas pipe that we'd bought for hosaphone purposes - you could feel each successive pressure peak - about 3 a second!
  15. wilias

    wilias New Member

    Trefor, Gwynedd
    On a good day I can play down to triple pedal C (Bb pitch) on cornet.
  16. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    Preston, UK
    Treble clef F (the one 2 octaves below stave!) is usable (when warm and quiet!) on BBb, G is a lot more secure though, and is written in at least 2 test pieces (Journey to the Centre of the Earth and a recent finals piece..?) , as is Ab in Revelation, where it's solo and loud and long!

    The quality of the octave being played above is what matters though, IMHO.
  17. Its not something that concerns me. Lowest I've had to play in a solo/piece is pedal B.

    In a band I would leave all the really low stuff to the BBb's.
    Practice whats neccesary I say.
  18. tubadaz

    tubadaz Member

    F (Concert) two Octaves below the Bass Clef is the lowest I've managed on my EEb Tuba.
    I tried it for a bet when I was playing the Vaughan Williams Folk Song Suite in Concert Band - the second movement goes down to the F an octave down and the rest of the section bet me I couldn't pedal it! Needless to say, I won the bet!!:D
  19. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Dead right, there's no point in even putting pedals in if the normal register above it isn't a quality sound. Many bands try tho.....

    Yeah, I mean the one in ext 5th plus both triggers one octave below the standard pedal Bb (open 1st position). As you know it's not a fake note, I always thought that it was the only 'double pedal' on a Bass Trom. What's it really called then?

    On the sax mouthpiece thing, that sounds like far too much fun :biggrin:
  20. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Actually, I meant TrumpetMike's "double pedal", not yours... I call that second octave pedal Bb on all the tubing a 'double pedal' too, but I agree it's probably not technically correct to do so... Dunno what a better term is - "Bb at the same pitch as double pedal Bb, but played properly, not in that cheating way that involves faking it using positions as for a major 7th higher", maybe?
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