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Lower pedal points can provide a great sense of suspense through harmonic tension. Commonly used for intros, endings, and interludes, lower pedals can aid the musician in finding rich chord substitutions.

Comping can become more interesting when pedals are employed and chord melody playing can sound fuller while adding spice to both contrapuntal and chordal approaches.

Guitarists will find pedal points easy to play when utilizing open strings in the bass register but much trickier when fretted pedals are desired. In this in-depth class on lower pedals, specifically designed exercises will aid in developing a legato technique through utilizing pedals often beneath contrapuntal upper lines in contrary motion.

Written examples outline important chord progressions such as I, VI, II, V, Blues progressions, Rhythm Changes, and an arrangement of John Coltrane’s Naima transposed to allow the use of open lower pedals. The examples prominently feature clusters, triad pairs and quartets, diminished, augmented and melodic minor sounds and quartal harmony.

George Van Eps and Jimmy Wyble were my inspiration for putting this class together. They were both masters at holding down fretted pedals while the upper voices were at play (and masters at much more!) It’s my hope that this class will provide insight into working with lower pedals and help build the technique necessary to get a step or two closer to improvising in this style.

  • 18 pages of written materials notated in both TAB and standard notation with fingerings.
  • Running Time: 162 minutes

Class Content

Pedal Points, Part 1: Lower Pedals
Pedal Points, Part 1: Lower Pedals 02:42:00

Course Reviews


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  1. Profile photo of Michael H


    Quite simply, this is some of the best guitar instruction I have ever seen. Steve Herberman has mastered the art of teaching, and I always feel so inspired and enabled after watching his classes. Incredible value for money on this one – it runs for 2.5 hours – and each example can potentially keep us busy for hours, as we are always encouraged to use them as a starting point for our own explorations. I cannot recommend this highly enough! I want to get the other Pedal Point classes, but the material shown in this first one is going to last me for ages…

    ~ Michael Hammersley (March 20, 2018)

  2. Profile photo of James S.


    This class is like none other anywhere that I have found. A totally fresh, unique way to organize sounds.

    ~ james seaberry (August 23, 2016)

  3. Profile photo of Dave Whyte


    I totally agree with Alex’s review above.This is yet another packed to the brim lesson by Steve,with some beautiful pedal point examples to include to your vocabulary.Not only that,but theyre inspirational too to create your own.As Alex stated,theres enough in this lesson to keep you busy for quite some time(like all of Steve’s lessons)Its great value for money and a super resource.Looking forward to the next installment.
    Well done Steve!

    ~ Dave Whyte (October 21, 2015)

  4. Profile photo of Alex Link


    A new masterclass video from our modern day George Van Eps, can it be? Treat yourself to the most concise study on pedal points applied to any harmonic instrument ever, not just the guitar.

    No minute is wasted, no explanation too lengthy. I have many courses from the internet, Jazz Heaven, My Master Classes, Barry Greene, and Mike’s. While they are all great, Steve has done something here that is unparallel. I literally could not watch this course in one setting, in one day, in one week. There is that much material packed into this course.

    You get triad pairs, upper structure tensions, George Van Eps movements and much much more. And the use of pedal points is so intential that you will wonder why you never added it to your creative library of sounds. That’s a good summary of this course, a comprehensive lexicon of harmony that just happens to be focused around pedal points.

    Okay, stop reading and start downloading. This is just what the music doctor ordered. You’re looking at your credit card again. Trust me, that piece of plastic and your ears will thank you.

    Amazing job here, Steve!

    ~ Alex Link (October 19, 2015)

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