Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
Vidas: Let’s start Episode 152 of #AskVidasAndAusra podcast. And this question was sent by Willem. He writes:
“Maybe a dumb question but how would you play your new “10 Day Pedal Playing Challenge”, two octaves lower than is written?”
So, the situation, Ausra, is that, remember we took those exercises from the French solfège treatise, right? And we applied it to pedal practice, and created a course on it. Do you remember it?
Ausra: Yes, I remember it.
Vidas: Why did you need those sightreading exercises for your solfège classes?
Ausra: Well, that’s a part of the curriculum.
Vidas: Mhmm. And specifically for you, of course, children in school have their own methodical material, but you had to prepare something of your own, right?
Ausra: Well, yes. We have some special occasions, but we need special exercises, so this was one of those.
Vidas: Was it for a special competition?
Vidas: Excellent. So...we searched for suitable material, and we found those exercises in the French system for singing solfège.
Vidas: For ear training. And then we thought, “What would happen if people would play it with their feet on the pedals? Would that be a good idea?”
Ausra: “Yes! We could do pedal exercises!” So that’s what we did.
Vidas: But of course, people sing those exercises in treble clef, right?
Ausra: Well, not necessarily; if you are a man, after puberty, of course you sing in the bass clef. I mean, not in the bass clef, but in the range of the bass clef.
Vidas: Yeah, you transpose it one octave down.
Ausra: That’s right. And that’s what you do when you play the pedal on the organ, too.
Vidas: You just have to figure out whether you need to transpose it one octave lower or two octaves lower. Because...what’s the lowest note in those exercises? Primarily treble C.
Vidas: Like soprano.
Vidas: So, if the lowest note for the feet is C, this means you could be playing one octave lower in the tenor range, or two octaves lower in the bass range. Right?
Ausra: Yes, sounds right.
Vidas: Anything else you would like to add? For people who will be practicing this course?
Ausra: Well, I’m just thinking is it harder to sing those melodies than to play them in the pedal? And I would think that some of them are harder to sing, actually.
Vidas: Definitely, because of those high leaps, up and down; and to play those leaps you could use both feet.
Ausra: That’s right.
Vidas: And to sing them, you need to use your voice, and it’s particularly challenging sometimes.
Ausra: It is. Actually, everybody complained after that competition, that these were hard examples!
Vidas: Oh, tell us a little bit how it went--those singing the part, of course!
Ausra: Well, it went fine. But everybody complained afterward, later, although we all did either good or even better. So…
Vidas: So the competition went in 3 levels, right? For the 10th grade, 11th grade, and the 12th grade. And then you prepared a set of exercises for each grade, right, Ausra?
Vidas: And was it too difficult for, let’s say, 10th graders?
Ausra: Actually no...I think it was still okay, and for 11th graders too. But for the 12th graders, those were especially hard, to sing.
Vidas: Very chromatic and lots of modulations.
Vidas: I see. Do you think that people would...Would people be able to play with their feet in a slow tempo, successfully?
Ausra: Yes, I think so.
Vidas: Those exercises that we converted into the 10-day Pedal Playing Challenge? Excellent. So guys, try it out. Of course we recommend extremely slow tempo. Do you think, Ausra, they could play it just once, or practice repeatedly?
Ausra: Well, of course you could practice repeatedly.
Ausra: Because it’s more beneficial. You could get more out of it.
Vidas: Like etudes, right?
Vidas: And then, maybe one exercise per day. But some people need more days for one exercise, don’t you think?
Ausra: Of course.
Vidas: Like, up to 1 week, maybe?
Ausra: Yes, or even a month. I don’t know, it depends on the person.
Vidas: It doesn’t matter, actually, how much time you spend; it’s important just that you spend quality time, right? And you master each exercise to your satisfaction, that you feel that you’re progressing, right?
Ausra: Yes, that’s true.
Vidas: Excellent. So, please, guys, send us more of your questions; we love helping you grow. And send us your feedback about this course, right? And remember to transpose it one octave or two octaves down, because you will be playing it from the treble clef. Thank you, guys! This was Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
Vidas: And remember, when you practice…
Ausra: Miracles happen.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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