Pedal tones

Pedals tones can be grouped in mainly two groups :

Scale, three octaves below low C

When playing pedals for relaxation, the idea is not to tighten the embouchure. This gives the embouchure and lips a nice massage, stimulating the blood flow. Care should be taken, not blowing hard, as this can cause damage to the lips.
To get to those very deep pedal tones, the lower lip will have to be out of the way. With the lower lip out of the mouthpiece, it is possible to play three octaves below low C!

Playing pedal tones for obtaining strength is another issue. Quite a few books discuss this, but fail to communicate to the reader how this is done.
How is this done? Number one is to play with closed lips. This is a gradual process that will take time to master. The way I do it is to start learning to play a low C with closed lips. This is quite difficult, unless one has very soft lips. After mastering the low C, next step is bending downwards, still with closed lips. This takes strength, and the corners will start to burn. The lower one gets, the stronger one has to be. Pedal C is the final frontier.
The nice thing about playing pedals this way, is that at the same time as it builds strength, it massages the center. So one gets a combination of a relaxing and strengthening effect. To make pedals with closed lips easier, I use a little more pucker.
Pedals for strength

After pedals with closed lips are mastered, playing those "pedal books" will be no problem. I actually think playing from such books better not be done until pedal C is mastered.
Some pedal methods : Maggio, Spaulding and Gordon's Systematic Approach

Bill Carmichael demonstrates transitions from pedals to the normal register in his video.


Copyright (c) Rune Aleksandersen 1997 - 2002