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Peddling Pedals

Alan W. Ward (275) · [archive]
Style: Jazz · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 60
Pages: 1 2

A pedal point (or just plain 'pedals') are a sustained or repeated note around which other notes move.

They're useful in jazz playing as an intro and/or outro to a tune, and are great for creating tension during a solo.

Pedals are usually heard in the bass, or on the guitar, on the lower strings.

Players commonly use the 5th degree of the scale as a pedal. ie. in the key of Bb, F is a great candidate as a pedal, as it will resolve nicely back to the tonic

In this example, which could be an intro to the ballad 'My Romance' (in Bb), I used 5th degree of the scale (F) as a pedal around which the harmony moved, but in this case I used the pedal as the top note of the chord voicings.

The chord are: (2 beats each of) Bb6/9, Eb 6/9, Dmin7b5, G7, Cmin11, B9#11, Bb6/9, (1 beat each of) Cmin9 and F7.
Peddling Pedals