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Topic Options
#703666 - 10/15/02 09:36 PM Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Greetings!

Just curious if anyone has any suggested exercises I can try to increase my stamina and endurance when pedalling. I've been doing the pedalling technique exercises out of the Gleason text, but can't do them for a long period of time before exhaustion sets in. I thought it may have been my technique, but my teacher says I'm doing just fine in that department.

For some strange reason, I start feeling sore around the hip joint (both right and left side) and in addition to that, the very top of the quadricep muscles in both the right and left leg (closest to the hip joints) start feeling really tired and sore. Knees are fine, so are the lower legs, and there is no soreness in the ankle areas.

Thoughts and ideas are welcomed.

Thanks!

Lyn F.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703667 - 10/15/02 10:07 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
kdurling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 37
Loc: Berkeley, California
Lyn -

It sounds to me like you might need to experiment with the bench height. The impression I get from your description is that you are expending too much effort trying to keep your feet the right distance from the pedals. There really shouldn't be a marked effort involved - your feet should more or less hang to the right position. OTOH, I don't know how long you've been doing this, and there ARE some new muscle groups to cultivate. Make sure that you feel balanced on your tail bone, and aren't arching your back to try to keep your feet up, however subtely.

Hope this helps!
_________________________
Ken

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#703668 - 10/16/02 12:04 AM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Peace, Ken.

I just started lessons the latter part of August with my current teacher (and a small snippet of what I've gone through is contained in some earlier threads in this particular section of the message boards). So I haven't really been doing this all that long. I've just started putting manuals together with pedals, and for me it's a bit difficult to ensure that I attack the pedal at the same time as the keys on the manual.

But of course, I have to get over my discomfort when I'm playing the pedals. I practice on a couple organs at the church where I take my lessons; the one in the sanctuary, you can adjust the height of the bench, the one in the chapel has a fixed-height bench.

Thanks for your answer.

Lyn F.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703669 - 10/16/02 10:18 AM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
kdurling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 37
Loc: Berkeley, California
Lyn -

Even on a "fixed-height" bench, I've often put short lengths of 2x4 under the feet - I have long legs. It's harder to deal with when you can't get the bench *low* enough, but I don't think that sounds like your problem. Keep us posted!
_________________________
Ken

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#703670 - 10/16/02 11:31 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
 Quote:
Originally posted by kdurling:
It's harder to deal with when you can't get the bench *low* enough, but I don't think that sounds like your problem.[/b]
Hmmm, I don't know. I have problems with the fixed height bench, because when I'm sitting at that bench, when my legs hang down below me, my feet can't even reach the pedals. I have to slide way forward on the bench for my feet to even reach a pedal, and even that, there is the danger of sliding so far forward on the bench that I'll actually fall off. (Believe it or not, that nearly happened to me the other day when I was practicing my pedal exercises! )

Guess it's something I'll bring up to my teacher the next time I have a lesson. It gets frustrating when it starts to hurt when I'm practicing.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703671 - 10/17/02 09:22 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
kdurling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 37
Loc: Berkeley, California
Yeah, ouch. That's not good. YOu need a lower bench on that instrument. Time to break out the Skilsaw! Just kidding. Hope your teacher can help out.
_________________________
Ken

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#703672 - 02/22/04 09:55 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
DR LO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 98
Loc: Southwest Iowa
Lyn,
When i first started playing organ my calfs hurt a lot, almost to the point where I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs in under a minute. After practicing more, i didn't notice it anymore. I'm also a little over 6" so i definatly don't have a problem with reaching the pedals. Good luck

--DR LO

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#703673 - 02/24/04 07:58 AM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Wow, haven't seen this thread in ages[/b]! Since I started this thread, I've gotten used to playing on different organs with different bench heights. The one I practice on mostly has removable blocks, which when removed puts the bench at just the right height for me. The one I'm learning on has the adjustable height bench. I can usually tell when my teacher's been on it - even if I pivot my ankles, I still would be hitting air, he has such long legs! And then, whenever I go home to San Diego, there is still yet another organ I practice on there, and the bench is fixed height, no blocks (or, at least none that I can see) so I managed to learn how to compensate for that such that I keep my balance and I don't slide into the pedalboard (which was actually happening when I first started learning to put manuals and pedals together

DR LO, thanks for the visit down Memory Lane.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703674 - 04/06/04 07:20 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
shapenotes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 21
Loc: Tennessee
As I play on electric organs, and have never played a pipe organ in my LIFE, \:\(
my right foot, manned at the volume pedal at all times so I can fade out at the end so I don't leave a big RUUUUURRRRR, often cramps.

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#703675 - 04/13/04 06:18 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Oh yes, the new thing for me to get used to - having to manipulate the swell and great pedals. I don't use the crescendo pedal though - no reason to at this point.

I'm going to be playing in a Masterclass this Saturday, Todd Wilson of the Cleveland Institute of Music will be the one giving the class. I'll be playing Boelmann's "Priere a Notre Dame" and beleive me, I'm using the swell and great pedals a lot through that entire piece.

I'm just getting used to manipulating those pedals, not to mention figuring out the little toe studs as well.

Still lots yet to learn, and to work on.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703676 - 04/14/04 09:45 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
RickG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 947
Loc: Texas
Lyn,
Todd Wilson is a very fine player. I have met him and I have heard him a couple of times at AGO conventions. He is a very charming fellow and his wife, Ann, is also a concert organist as well.
_________________________
RickG

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#703677 - 04/14/04 11:47 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
I'm looking forward to his recital on Friday. The recital program is posted:

http://www.ncneighbors.com/news.wsi?group_id=279&news_id=3

And the featured instrument is a beautiful 44-rank, 3-manual Casavant. Here is a link:

http://www.highlandumc.org/organ.htm

If that doesn't work, then just click on "Ministries", then "Organ" and you'll get to that page. I practiced my piece on that organ this morning, and oh my gosh, what a glorious sound. The enchamades were installed about a year and a half ago, and they add so much to this organ. I can see why the Organist at that church is always in there practising. With such an instrument, I would have done the same myself.

I'm looking forward to Saturday. There will be 4 of us participating in this Masterclass. We'll play our pieces, and then Todd will be working with us individually for 30 minutes. At first, I was getting really nervous, but now, I'm just looking forward to it all.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703678 - 04/15/04 07:39 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
Tavner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 376
Loc: San Diego
Lyn, hope your Master Class goes well. Give us a review. I met Todd once several years ago. He and my oldest brother both studied with the same teacher in college (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music).

He's a superb player. You should enjoy his concert.
_________________________
Tavner

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#703679 - 10/26/05 11:41 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Wow, haven't been back here in ages. Sorry, didn't provide a review of the Wilson recital and Masterclass, but I've since participated in another Masterclass, this time given by Delbert Disselhorst of U Iowa. He's a really nice fellow, and a very patient teacher. This took place on a 3-manual, 47-rank Flentrop, had to deal with a flat pedalboard. That wasn't the problem, the bench height was. With the blocks, in either position, the bench was too high. With the blocks off, the bench was too low. Oh well, guess I can't win, I just have short legs.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703680 - 11/07/05 03:05 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
big al Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/29/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Mars, PA
Hello, ChemicalGrl. I don't come here very often myself anymore, but dropped in on a whim. It sounds like you are really progressing as an organist. Are you playing regularly in any venue? Please feel free to provide an update if you are so inclined.

Big Al

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#703681 - 11/08/05 05:49 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
Tavner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 376
Loc: San Diego
ChemicalGrl, FYI, I read a review in the most recent issue of American Record Guide of Todd's recording of works by the English organist, George Thalben Ball. Ball was organist at the Temple Church in London for 40 or so years. He composed quite a bit and was a great player. I'll post the label and number later in case you're interested.
_________________________
Tavner

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#703682 - 11/14/05 06:58 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
Tavner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 376
Loc: San Diego
Unfortunately, the Thalben-Ball CD is out-of-stock at the moment. Here's the link on the JAV web site: pipeorgancds
_________________________
Tavner

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#703683 - 12/11/05 06:44 AM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
virtuosic1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 523
Loc: NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by ChemicalGrl:
Greetings!

Just curious if anyone has any suggested exercises I can try to increase my stamina and endurance when pedalling. I've been doing the pedalling technique exercises out of the Gleason text, but can't do them for a long period of time before exhaustion sets in. I thought it may have been my technique, but my teacher says I'm doing just fine in that department.

For some strange reason, I start feeling sore around the hip joint (both right and left side) and in addition to that, the very top of the quadricep muscles in both the right and left leg (closest to the hip joints) start feeling really tired and sore. Knees are fine, so are the lower legs, and there is no soreness in the ankle areas.

Thoughts and ideas are welcomed.

Thanks!

Lyn F. [/b]
Yes, there are exercises that you can do that will definitely improve your stamina.

Here's several:

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/GluteusMaximus/LVStandingHipExtension.html

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/HipAbductor/LVSeatedHipAbduction.html

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/HipAdductors/LVSeatedHipAdduction.html

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Soleus/LVSeatedCalfRaise.html

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/TibialisAnterior/LV45ReverseCalfPress.html

http://www.exrx.net/Articulations/Knee.html#anchor26532

and don't forget the most important thing. Flexability:

http://www.cmcrossroads.com/bradapp/docs/rec/stretching/stretching_5.html#SEC38

Build up your lower body and core strength/stamina with these exercises/stretching and you'll be dancing like a ballerina on the pedalboard.
_________________________
My version of Lennie Tristano's "Scene and Variation":

http://d.turboupload.com/d/1410287/R1_0010.MP3.html

A downloadable file with examples of my jazz improvising (Accompaniament on Fender Rhodes, lead lines on Acoustic piano):

http://d.turboupload.com/d/229801/R1_0001.MP3.html

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#703684 - 12/15/05 02:18 AM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
virtuosic1: Thanks so much for the links!

Tavner: thanks for the heads up on the Thalben Ball. BTW - I'll be in San Diego for the holidays visiting family. Whereabouts in San Diego are you? My parents are in South San Diego/Nestor area.

big al: I play the occasional late Sunday afternoon service in the Episcopal Church on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. I've also played some Methodist, Lutheran and Catholic services. I'm scheduled to play an early morning (5.30am!!!) Mass this coming Saturday. So I'm getting my chances to play. My organ teacher has been on sabbatical this semester, so I spent that time taking piano lessons to improve my keyboard technique. Organ lessons will start up next month.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703685 - 12/16/05 05:44 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
Tavner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 376
Loc: San Diego
Lyn, I live in Sabre Springs which is in North County just off I-15 on the way to Poway. Too bad I will be in Cincinnati visiting my family over the Holidays, otherwise it would be nice to make contact and talk about the organ and piano. My oldest brother is an organist/university teacher. The last few years he's made a few discs for the Naxos Organ Encyclopedia project: 3 of Dupre works, a Saint-Saens, and a Guillmant one that's due out next year. Whenever I see him we always talk about organ repertoire and recordings of great pianists.

I really want to get Todd's Thalben-Ball Cd. It should be really interesting.
_________________________
Tavner

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#703686 - 01/29/06 06:44 PM Re: Suggested exercises to improve pedalling endurance?
caperflutist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/06
Posts: 124
Loc: Cape Breton
Lars Nilson system of technical exercises for the pedals is a goo dbook
_________________________
Ya lyublyu ruskuyu muzyku

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