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Range & Pedals

Posted on July 27, 2004 by 

I heard that you have to play pedal tones to get the chops to play high.

Playing pedals CORRECTLY can teach you to relax the center of your mouth while the corners remain firm. It can aid in learning to control the airflow. And a couple of other things as well. In and of itself pedals do NOT increase your range.

Playing pedal tones teaches you to make BIG embouchure movements. But high notes NEED small adjustments.

Lets say that moving from double pedal c to pedal c is a movement of 1.
Going from pedal c to low c is a movement of 1/2.
Going from low c to middle c is a movement of 1/4.
Going from middle c to high c is a movement of 1/8.
Going from high c to double high c is a movement of 1/16.
Going from double high c to triple high c is a movement of 1/32.

Pedals are NOT helping here.

Take the book systematic approach to daily practice. It has tons of pedals and arpeggios written up through the roof. It has been in print for 25+ years. If playing pedals was ALL it took there would be 10 million trumpet players all screaming triple C’s. There are several of these types of books out there and they rely on a PHYSICAL approach to playing.

There are easier ways to approach this. They involve effective efficient use of the air stream rather than lip muscles the size of your arms.

Ever see the movie The Karate Kid? He learned with out doing specific exercises for each action. He also thought he was wasting his time. Arpeggio books are for people who like to think they are working on their range. But if you asked your high note heros; you would have been told that they didn’t learn that way.

I’ve had people take a 1-2 hour lesson and add a 5th to their range. Not a temporary increase; a real increase of useable range. All from AIR. The only catch is that they have to try to do it the way I suggest. Really try.