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Learning the pedals


Spider76

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Hi everybody!

 

I'm a novice organ player but I'm digging more and more my SK2, and I'm thinking about adding a pedalboard to practice bass playing.

As a first buy I don't want to commit a big budget so I'm looking at fairly basic models. Hammond and Nord offerings are expensive, choice is down to the Studiologic model (13 or 17 keys)

http://www.studiologic-music.com/products/mp_pedalboard/

 

or the crumar mojopedals

http://www.crumar.it/?a=showproduct&b=27

 

Any comment or user experience?

They look pretty similar, the crumar is cheaper and seems a little more flexible, but I like the octave-and-a-half of the Studiologic.

 

One octave really looks limited... Of course both can transpose freely, but what concerns me is, if I tranpose the pedalboard then I'm playing the pedals always in (transposed) C, and the manuals in the real key? That sounds weird... And not very good from a didactic point of view

 

Any opinions from experienced organ players are more than welcome, thank you!

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Definitely go for a pedalboard with more than an octave if you can.

I have the KeyB Pedals 18 with spans a perfect 11th interval C to F.

An octave is okay but a little limited.

www.dazzjazz.com

PhD in Jazz Organ Improvisation.

BMus (Hons) Jazz Piano.

my YouTube is Jazz Organ Bites

1961 A100.Leslie 45 & 122. MAG P-2 Organ. Kawai K300J. Yamaha CP4. Moog Matriarch. KIWI-8P.

 

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If you want to practice tapping the pedals (usually a static note) under a moving LH baseline ala Jimmy Smith style, a small pedalboard, e.g. 13 pedals will do.

 

Check this out: Larry Goldings 00:18-00:21:

[video:youtube]

 

But if you want to play ballads with LH playing chords, RH melody and feet playing bass or if you want to double the LH bass with the pedals then you will feel better with more than 13 pedals. I also felt the Hammond and Nord pedalboards were expensive (I was just learning and using only at home) so I got a 24 note pedalboard (it has slightly extended pedals that allow heel-toe practice) (499.00) from Jared Gold who is a jazz organist that designs organ accessories: http://www.jg3tech.com/#!24-note-midi-bass-pedals/c1gtt

 

It has worked well for me, I put it under my numa 1. ('till I get a dual manual!)

 

 

 

 

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I'm not familiar with the options you mentioned, but I will suggest a pedal board that will allow you to heel and toe for proper technique. TG Hammonds don't have pedal sustain, so for a smooth bass line you need to keep a pedal sounding as long as possible. I do own the Nord Pedalkeys 27 and have no difficulty with heel and toe technique. I know they're not in your price point, but if you're looking for a traditional Hammond experience consider looking at the longest pedal keyboard you can afford.

1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP

 

"It needs a Hammond"

 

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I've toyed with the idea of learning pedals and buying a pedal board. It's hard to make the plunge with zero experience on a pedal board and no practical conception of what I'm missing.

 

My temptation (as usual) is to get the cheapest, smallest pedal board, partly because I have no idea if I will end up liking or using one on any regular basis, but I suspect that I will then end up (as usual) buying a bigger, more expensive pedal board.

 

Increasingly, my gigs are jazz organ trios. Can anyone peer into the future and tell me whether I will enjoy a pedal board and eventually want/need one with more than an octave?

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Increasingly, my gigs are jazz organ trios. Can anyone peer into the future and tell me whether I will enjoy a pedal board and eventually want/need one with more than an octave?

 

Well, here's a duo with my Nord setup. Without the pedals holding everything together it would fall apart. By it's very nature not every note can sustain for as long as others (due to skips and leap intervals), and it's not as smooth as LH bass, but for me the advantages outweigh the weaknesses. I can block chord with 2 hands, I can fiddle with drawbars, and even clap to keep time by using pedals. ALSO, I'm forced to think chromatically (instead of D-G-C, I'll use D-Db-C just to keep the bassline fluid), which opens up entire new worlds of flatted 5th substitutions.

[video:youtube]

 

Here's a solo I played just for the $hits and giggles when I first got the pedals. This technique may not be what you have in mind, but it works for me.

 

[video:youtube]

 

Jake

1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP

 

"It needs a Hammond"

 

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I have the Studiologic MP17 set. They work great and are velocity sensitive and the naturals are a bit longer than the other units available. The unit is kind of light in weight so they tend to move around on hard surfaces. I used these for solo/duo gigs under a digital piano for years. The downside (coming from the organist side of my head) is the pedals hinge from the front so they feel a bit different, they are not radial which makes heal/toe not impossible but kind of awkward and I really do miss the upper half octave.

 

The KeyB 18 looks very interesting. I'm going to look into those myself since they would be easier to cart around than my MIDI converted B3 pedalboard.

Wm. David McMahan

I Play, Therefore I Am

 

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Used to play pedals all the time and loved it. First with a modified B3 with bass sustain to do the walking bass or patterns. I never used the pedals from G up so I removed them to make the pedalboard a bit lighter. Then on portable setups using various 13 note pedalboards but also always with some sustain. Still could do some good patterns with 13 notes.

If your just looking to do the tap along thing which I think is not needed with todays instruments or just hold some notes on a ballad, 13 pedals would be fine with no sustain needed. 17 is better but you can get by with 13.

A tip for learning. Dont look down as much as possible and first find low C. Tap your foot to the right and you'll hit the side of C#. Do the same for F tapping to F# on the right. Now you have two "anchors" to work from. Practice 1 -5 and 1 -4 intervals until you feel solid on them. Then start doing some scales. Heel Toe if you have the longer pedals or just toe with the short ones. After awhile your foot will just lock into your left hand chords and you won't have to think about the bass all the time.

And of course watch Barbara Dennerlin. She uses a midi set under her B. Good luck.!

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I've toyed with the idea of learning pedals and buying a pedal board. It's hard to make the plunge with zero experience on a pedal board and no practical conception of what I'm missing.

 

My temptation (as usual) is to get the cheapest, smallest pedal board, partly because I have no idea if I will end up liking or using one on any regular basis, but I suspect that I will then end up (as usual) buying a bigger, more expensive pedal board.

 

Yes Cedar, that's precisely my situation.

Do I buy the smallest cheapest option only to replace it with a "serious" one in a few months... Or do I splash and buy the best available, that will lie there unused forever?

 

I know it's up to me in the end, if I know I'll put in the hard work and study seriously, of course the better investment is to go straight for the best option. I just don't know if I'll find the physical time to dedicate, it looks like a really daunting task and days only have 24 hrs...

 

;)

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I just don't know if I'll find the physical time to dedicate, it looks like a really daunting task and days only have 24 hrs...

;)

 

If it took a genius then I couldn't do it.........

 

Jake

1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP

 

"It needs a Hammond"

 

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Hey, Jake. That was great!

 

Did you have organ lessons?

 

Wes

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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Any opinions from experienced organ players are more than welcome, thank you!

 

Where are you located? If you're in the US, vintage console Hammonds are not exceedingly expensive, depending on the model and where you live (they tend to be more $$ on the west coast and in the south).

 

My suggestion: Get a real console to practice on. You must play and learn on the real thing to understand why the clones work the way they do. The bonus is that you'll get a full size pedal board to practice on as well.

 

Look for an A100 series (A100, A101, A102, A103, A104, or A105), a 2 series organ (B2, C2), or even a CV or BV. They are priced much lower than a B3 or C3 but still give you most of the functionality but most importantly they will give you pedals and an understanding of the instrument.

 

If you're not in the US or you don't have room for a vintage console, I suggest the XPK200L from Hammond. It's relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and halfway between spinet and full sized pedals.

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Thanks Jim, I'm a bit in awe of receiving advice from the author of a couple of my favourite organ records! ;)

 

Unfortunately I'm in Italy and vintage tonewheels here are hard to come by and horribly expensive. Anyway, I wouldn't have the room (or the neighbors!) to use it.

 

I think I'll go with the hammond solution, or take a serious look at the JG3 stuff: they look like a killer price-features combination ...and they look great, too! Only concern may be reliability, me being on the other side of the pond: is the quality on par with more mainstream producers?

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I can say that with home use, the JG3 24 pedalboard has worked without issue and feels good. It does not come with a built in volume pedal - I put an inexpensive M-audio exp pedal on a wooden plank which sits between the space between the 2nd octave Eb-Gb notes - kind of where it is located on a hammond.

 

JG3 support is great per the feedback that I see on eBay, but you would have to deal with the hassle and cost of shipping from abroad if something went wrong.

 

I wonder if anyone on this forum has used or is using the JG3 pedalboards professionally? Is so how is the durability?

 

Your SK2 with an SK-25 pedalboard (includes the EXP-50 volume pedal) would get you there in terms of getting the distances and feel between your hands and feet as you develop coordination so that if you played out on the real thing, you could readily adjust. The SK-25 costs USD 2175 new, but it would have the best feel and durability. For some reason the Hammond XK Pedal Board is less (I see it for USD 1795), but the connections are suited for the XK system. Pedals seem to be priced more expensive separately than as part of a system.

 

I've wanted a classic hammond setup for home use but I can't deal with the upkeep and weight of an original right now -need to move it sometimes. I'm looking forward to getting the Hammond XK-5 system complete with lower manual and pedals when it comes out later this year.

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Hey, Jake. That was great!

 

Did you have organ lessons?

 

Wes

Only piano from 3rd grade to 8th......then got a Wurlitzer 4300 spinet organ....their first transistor/LSI product. Not a lot of R&D went into it since it crapped out every few days (even had a tech flown in and stayed in a motel 2 nights while working on it in my living room - that's a house call - ) but it never was 100%. At that time the local Hammond Organ Studio (Altenberg Piano - who still exist in Elizabeth, NJ) had open houses on some weeknights and Sunday afternoons with local artists headlining for publicity purposes. Two of the local cats were Jimmy Catalano and Vic Romano. Both were one man band powerhouses (Vic had a B-3 with 2/122's and a Clavinet on top, to his left was a Rogers Trio Organ, and on his right was a Steinway grand with a remote solenoid setup for sustain, and pickups for remote controlling an overhead marimba - way pre-MIDI - and next to the bench was a Chaimberlin Rhyth-Mate, the original tape loop drummer). Jimmy was a bit stuffy, but Vic heard me play and asked my dad if I could come for lessons. Dad said yes and that started my Hammond quest. After 2 years the head salesman (Gene Laurent, RIP) told my dad that "this kid needs a B-3. I'll give you 100% trade allowance of what you paid for your Wurlitzer if you get him a Hammond".

 

Thanks Dad. Thanks Gene. Thanks Vic.

 

I am the sum of all these people. In case you wonder, both my sons had lessons, but dropped because of other interests. My grandson, however.....

 

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL96/792815/1412465/411923805.jpg

 

Jake

1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP

 

"It needs a Hammond"

 

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Talk about lucky coincidences! I contacted Jared to have more info on his pedals and shipping to EU... And found out there was a special offer for Memorial Day weekend.

Communication was great, he was really nice and informative and even with substantial shipping costs, the pedalboard cost me less than half-sized rigs from other brands.

 

Let's hope everything goes well with overseas shipping, can't wait to put my feet on it!

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Would love to hear your thoughts on the JG3 board when it arrives! Been looking at one myself... Enjoy!
Viscount Legend, Leslie 142, Nord Stage 3 HA88, Rhodes MK1 1977, Moog Sub 37, Dave Smith Rev2, Juno 106, DX7
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I recently took delivery of a set of JG3 pedals- in my case I asked Jared for a 20-note set and he obliged. The cost was in between the 16 and 24 note versions, so there was no premium for a custom order.

 

The pedals play very well. This is the first set of rear-hinged pedals I've had a chance to spend much time with, and I've adapted to them very quickly. It's much easier to do the left-foot tapping thing with these than with my Roland PK5 (with extensions on the white notes) - on the Roland it always results in too long a note, but the JG3s are very snappy. They can be noisy, especially if you are playing at low levels. I plan to address this in future with some strategically placed felt.

 

They are incredibly light to carry, even lighter than the PK5 although they have more notes. If I was planning to use them out a lot I would definitely be thinking about a road case or at least something reasonably solid to transport them in.

 

I did have some major issues initially, and it took me a couple of weeks to resolve them:

* the lowest F note was stuck in the up position and would not move.

* the lowest C pedal was extremely wobbly from side to side.

 

Jared did provide assistance via email (forgot to mention I'm in Australia) as regards to disassembling the unit and diagnosing the F problem. In the end it required me to removing the aluminium guide and recut the slot for the F.

 

The C problem Jared suggested attempting to fix with felt. However on disassembling the hinge end, I could see where the pedal "hinge" had cracked to one side. I fixed it by adding a couple of extra screws with their heads securing the loose side.

 

After a couple of weeks I finally had a set of pedals that worked ... for about a week, when it stopped transmitting any midi info. After disassembly (again!) I deduced that one of the wires to the midi socket had been dislodged as they were trailing thru the ends of the pedals above the trigger mechanism. So a quick solder fix and I'm in business again, this time tieing the wires out if the way of the pedal mechanisms.

 

To be honest I was a bit disappointed that manufacturing issues had not only happened but the whole thing was shipped off to me on the other side of the world apparently without any final check that it actually worked. And to be brutally honest, the pedals do look good, only don't get too close or you will see the gaps in the joins in the wood, and unused holes drilled through the panels. And now that I've had to pull them apart a few times, the wood screws holding it together are showing signs of loosening.

 

Would I recommend the pedals - yes, as they do exactly what they are meant to do and well, and are still cheaper and easier to handle than anything else I could find on the market.

 

If I could offer any advice to Jared it would be to consider putting the price up a bit (say $50) and spending a bit more time on QC, making the product a bit more robust, and on producing a one-page sheet or similar that shows how to disassemble things.

Legend Live, Leslie 251, Yamaha UX1, Yamaha CP4, Hammond SK1, Ventilator and various other bitsânâpieces.
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Hi John, sorry (and a bit scared!) to read about your troubles with the JC3.

Maybe something went wrong during shipping to Australia? Looks like the guys that use them in the States didn't have any troubles...

Maybe that your unit had problems also because it was a non-standard customized model?

 

finger cross about my own overseas shipment, I'll let you know how it goes.

 

It's true Jared was fully collaborative and said in case of faults he'll send replacement parts and guide me through any eventual repair, let's just hope it's not necessary.

 

I'm also happy that you confirm all the positives of the unit: good for their intende use, extremely portable and cheaper than any competition.

 

Thanks for your honest review, we'll see!

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Spider:

 

Take a peek of a Rolsnd PK-5A 13 note pedal board. It is expensive but ruggedly built and lots of extra midi functions.

 

Also consider a used Yamaha HX-1 Electone. I have two of these 25 year old keyboards. I still am amazement at what these keyboard can do. I have seen some advertised on the net for %500.

 

Look these items up on the net to find their capabilities.

 

Bob Stiffler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Although I'm not trying to make excuses, John's pedalboard was a custom 20 note version. Hopefully a standard version will be Ok. He's spot on about the quality control however, that's really important - period! If making a custom size version there is no excuse for not doing in-house testing before shipping.

 

Anyway I hope you are as lucky with it as I have been. :)

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Well, the JC3 pedals have arrived, and so far everything is ok with them.

They work flawlessly with my SK2, are really light and portable (also very practical for stowing them away when not in use) and they're a beauty!

 

JC3%20pedals.jpg

 

They even smell of wood... love it! :love:

 

As for the negative sides... now I have no excuses, I must start to study!

:cry::D

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