Pedal points

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by leffe luffer, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. What the hell are they??
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    In Jazz it tends to mean that the bass player stays on one note while the chords continue to change - usually outlined by the pianist. Of course this means you have to find a part of the chord sequence where one note will "fit" - you are not just playing one note regardless.

    Some Jazz tunes have a pedal point written into them, some have an obvious pedal note - but other times it might be a case of the bass player and pianist re-harmonising on the fly! Which is quite a demanding skill!! ;)
  4. Lets say you play something like this.

    S=slap, T=tap

    S T S T S T S T S

    Could the open E be considered a "pedal point"?
  5. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    This is an approach I often take to writing basslines, by looking at the individual notes in each chord in a progression you can often find the most simple way to outline the changes and create nice feeling of movement by pedalling through the first three chords then making a small subtle change for the last chord before the resolve, for example.

    Anyhow, pedalling basically means that the part (on one insruemnt or between several as per Bruce's example) - has one note that remains statsic whiel all the other notes play off it.

    The most obvious example I can think of is those simple blues basslines. This kinda thing:

    E E F# E G E F# E

    Kinda like the Dr Who theme tune! :)

    Yes, absolutley.
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Although it is much the same, I think a drone is somewhat different.
    A pedal point/tone is usually, if not always the bass tone, the lowest tone playing - while a drone is just a single repeating note that could be anywhere, higher or lower than the melody or whatever...
  7. You mean like the bass parts in Van Halen songs?

  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    That's it.. or U2 numbers ;)
  9. Inthepocket


    Oct 3, 2003
    In jazz ....Pedal points in bass playing usually refers to "pedalling" the 5th of the given tonality .....

    So just say you had a 2 5 1 progression in F major....

    Egs. | Gmi7 | C7 | Fmaj7 | Fmaj 7 |

    You could pedal the note C for the whole 4 bars, because the key of F is implied throughout ...........Sure there is plenty of other notes you could pedal, but remember that the 5th is usually the strongest note to base a pedal point around, due to the fact that the 5th is a note that ALWAYS sounds like it wants to resolve....

    If you're playing a blues in F, try pedalling the C(5th of the tonic) for a bar or two! You will be able to hear 1st hand the sort of tension it creates, but make sure you resolve it strongly, otherwise the effect wont be as solid....
  10. There are a few examples of songs and styles located at the link below.

    Pedal Points

    ;) Treena
  11. chardin


    Sep 18, 2000
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