Arranger keyboards such as the Yamaha Tyros 2 and the Korg PA800 are becoming extremely popular since the massive decline in electric organ sales. These arranger keyboards provide automatic bass lines, which is fine if you are playing basic triad and seventh chords. With a MIDI pedal board you can divert the bass note in the auto chord system to the bass pedal note you want and still keep the rhythmic effect or you can play your own bass line with no auto features added at all.
All exercises in this article should be practised on a one octave pedal board and you should be sat down at a keyboard with the MIDI pedal board placed directly underneath the keyboard. The pedal board should be placed so that top C on the pedal board is level with Middle C on the keyboard. Depending on the length of your legs, you can make small adjustment to the placement of the pedal board to suit. You should be able to play bottom C and top C with out any discomfort.
So here are the five top tips to help you to play the bass pedals.
1 Line your left leg up with G on the pedal board. You can then use your leg below the knee to swing to the left of G and play bottom C then swing all the way back up to play Top C. Try to keep the top part of your leg, above the knee, still.
2 When playing the bass pedal with your left foot, keep your leg still and use your ankle to make the pressing motion.
3 Play slowly, on the pedal board, C major scale, C minor scale and a chromatic scale starting with bottom C. Play these scales up and down and repeat ten times.
4 Play this sequence of notes on the pedal board starting with bottom C. C, D, E, F, D, E, F, G, E, F, G, A, F, G, A, B, G, A, B, G, C. Repeat ten times.
5 Play a chromatic scale on the pedal board with left hand chords. Starting with bottom C, play chromatically up to top C and back down again. Repeat ten times.
The important thing to remember when practising the above bass pedal exercises is to play the bass pedals slowly and stay acurate. If you play to fast to start with, you will learn to play the bass pedals wrong. If you start slow and accurate, speed will come later but you must be patient.
If you practice the above exercises every day for six months, you will be playing the bass pedals like a pro.