Pedal Points, Part 1: Lower Pedals Class Content | Steve Herberman
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
|Pedal Points, Part 1: Lower Pedals|
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Pedal Points Part 2: Inner Voice Open String Pedals Class Content | Steve Herberman
This masterclass will explore the inner (or middle voice) pedal point designated to open strings. Most often pedal points are employed either in the lowest or highest voice of a chord or chord progression. The use of open pedals will not only give the guitarist an “extra finger” but can often create clusters and other interesting effects when used inside of a chord. These exercises can be used as intros/interludes and endings but also as compositional textures for original music. Once the concepts are studied it will be easy to create your own inner open string pedals. The examples range in styles and consonance/dissonance.
Contrary motion never gets old! The PDF examples included with the class lean heavily on contrary motion concepts. Paired with contrary motion are diminished and whole tone exercises and also some parallel motion examples. A blues etude is included as well as George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” served up with a variety of open string inner pedals. Triad pairs paired with inner pedals are included as well as altered scale (melodic minor) over altered dominants and odd meter examples. This lesson will offer a great creative charge in working with inner open string pedal points. The next class on this subject (Pedal Points part 3) will continue along this road only with fretted notes, allowing us to explore different keys, fingerings and textures. Dig into inner pedals and learn a useful concept that will inspire creativity and offer some new and exciting textures.
16 pages of PDF examples with TAB and standard notion
Running time: 67 minutes
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Pedal Points Part 3: Inner-Voice Fretted Pedals Class Content | Steve Herberman
This masterclass explores the inner (or middle voice) pedal point designated to fretted notes. Most often pedal points are employed either in the lowest or highest voice of a chord or chord progression. The use of inner pedals in one’s chordal playing adds a unique and very satisfying sound sometimes with an abstract harmonic underpinning. Working with inner pedals are great for building left hand technique and coordination between left and right hands.
These exercises can be used as intros/interludes and endings but also as compositional textures for original music. Once the concepts are studied it will be easy to create your own inner voice fretted pedals. The examples range in styles and consonance/dissonance. Some of the harmonies are purposely ambiguous yet harmonically interesting. There are a wide variety of pedals used in the examples, many are pedal 5 and pedal 1 but you’ll notice pedal 2 (or 9) and more.
Many of the PDF examples in this class feature contrary motion between the outer two voices in the three-part harmony, a most satisfying sound. There are also chapters on diminished and whole tone exercises, as well as examples of minor blues and dominant blues progressions. Some examples demonstrate finger gymnastics of the fretting hand. The exercises will do wonders for left hand finger dexterity and right and left hand coordination.
The use of inner pedals can open up a whole other realm in one’s playing. Learn a very useful concept that will inspire creativity and offer some new and exciting textures.
- 14 pages of PDF examples with TAB and standard notion
- Running time: 80 minutes
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Pedal Points Part 4: Upper Pedals Class Content | Steve Herberman
The study and practice of employing upper pedal points is an extremely valuable technique for the harmonic guitarist. In many tunes melody notes are sustained, often at the end of a phrase. While those melody notes are ringing it’s a nice touch to add a chord below it, or play a single note or contrapuntal fill. This class is an in-depth study of the many possibilities and textures a player can employ below an upper pedal. Whether it’s melody playing, soloing, comping, composing/arranging or chord melody playing, developing the techniques to improvise below a pedal point is worth its weight in gold.
This class features 77 useful exercises over important progressions that cover the many harmonic and melodic scenarios a guitarist faces when incorporating upper pedals. The five chapters of the class include (but are not limited to) these subjects:
- Tunes Rhythm Changes, Blues and Solar using lower lines played in contrary motion as well as III-VI-II-V-I patterns with bop lines beneath a pedal.
- Diatonic Cycles using inner line motion below pedal points
- Open String Pedals on the upper half of the instrument
- Triad Enclosures: Approach note patterns that resolve into triads beneath an upper pedal
- Parallel Intervals below sustained melody notes
Working with upper pedal points will expand ones chord vocabulary and technique while adding to the player’s palette of textures on the guitar. Once the concepts and techniques are in the mind and fingers than true improvisation can transport them to another level, beyond exercises, into art!
- Running time: 2 hours, 13 min.
- 21 pages of PDF examples in standard notation and TAB
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