Have you ever observed the pedal technique of a world-class organist? It
seems like he or she can play effortlessly for hours at a top speed. How do you develop speed in your pedal technique? In this article, I will share with you 4 tips which will help you to achieve this level of proficiency.
1) Play scales for the pedals. The single most important exercise that the
legendary French organist Marcel Dupre used when he was unable to play the
manuals due to his wrist injury was pedals scales. Practicing pedal scales on
the organ in all major and minor keys will develop flexibility of an ankle which
is the secret to a perfect pedal technique.
2) Play arpeggios for the pedals. If you want even more benefit you can go
one step further. Take 1 new major and minor key a week and play arpeggios on a tonic chord. You can also practice arpeggios on a dominant seventh chord and a diminished seventh chord which is built on a 7th scale degree (or raised 7th scale degree in minor).
3) Practice slowly to achieve speed. Although it sounds counterintuitive, it
is best to take a slow practice tempo in which you can avoid mistakes and play
fluently. Then little by little you can raise the tempo until you reach your desired speed. However, be careful not to force yourself to play faster because it has to be a natural process. You will play faster when you are ready for it.
4) Correct your mistakes. If you make a mistake in pressing the wrong note or playing the notes in uneven rhythms, always go back, slow down and play
correctly at least 3 times in a row. This way you will form correct practicing
Note that if you are a beginner at the organ, it is better to postpone practicing pedal scales and arpeggios for a later date. Instead, take up some easier exercises for alternate toes first.
Use the above exercises and tips and start perfecting your pedal technique
today. To achieve such level when you can play the pedals fast and effortlessly may take many months of practice but I can assure you that you will start seeing some tremendous changes in your pedal playing very soon.
By the way, do you want to learn to play the King of Instruments - the pipe
organ? If so, download my FREE video guide How to Master Any Organ
Composition in which I will show you my EXACT steps, techniques, and methods that I use to practice, learn and master any piece of organ
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Our Hauptwerk Setup:
Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.