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How to Play Pedals on the Trombone

Play Pedals on the Trombone

How to Play Pedals on the Trombone. For a trombone player, pedal tones is an essential part of any brass musician's skill set. These lowest tones add great depth to a piece of music as well as adding booming edge when blown hard to make the trombone bell rattle. Here's how to blow pedal tones on a trombone.

Know how to play a trombone before you try to make pedal tones. For basic instructions, check out eHow article, "How to Begin to Play the Trombone." You should know how to make a good embouchure (mouth position) and make a good sound in this rich-sounding, low brass instrument before you attempt pedal tones.

Sit up and hold the trombone in the proper position, then position the mouthpiece on your mouth.

Take a deep breath and blow into the mouthpiece while dropping the jaw to open up your mouth and throat. Drop your tongue toward the bottom of your mouth and relax your mouth without losing the buzzing embouchure.

Find the lowest notes your trombone can make and blow through them. The lower the note, the greater the vibration of the air and the instrument.

Tip

The lowest playable note on a tenor trombone is around pedal E. A tenor trombone with a trigger and an F-attachment can hit two full tones lower than this, a pedal C. A musician playing a bass trombone with a double rotor and depending upon the tuning and pitch of the rotors, can hit as low as a double-pedal B-flat, but this is mostly for show.

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