If you are in a music situation where you hear the words pedal tones or the word drone you may wonder what these are. They are tones that lie over the music over a period of time. Knowing these terms will help make you a more educated musician. In this lesson you will learn the differences between these 2 words and learn how they are used.
A pedal tone is the most common technique used. It was used in classical music by the great composers, and it is still used today in nearly every genre of music. A pedal tone is a repeated note, typically with other notes around it. When a pedal tone is being performed the player will keep returning to the note even though he is playing other notes. The pedal note is typically in the bass (lowest) note, however there are instances where the pedal note is in the highest note. Most musical instruments we know of today do this because the ability of the instrument is not capable of playing a drone.
A drone is a note that is played and held continuously throughout a piece of the song or the entire song. A drone does not stop at all and it does not change notes. Typically the instruments that use this are bagpipes or an organ. This is not nearly as popular of a technique as the pedal tone is. Once again most common instruments in this era cannot play a drone. The note can be played in any octave; it does not have to be in any certain range.
How do you apply this to your playing? Well, there are licks that utilize pedal tones. On guitar you can use a pedal tone in your solo to enhance your creativity. They sound very neat and are fun to play. There is not really any way to utilize a drone unless you play the kind of instrument that can play them. Knowing this knowledge will make you more educated about music and you will understand what people are talking about if they mention these terms.
A note that underlies melody is either known as a pedal tone or a drone. A pedal tone is a repeated note that typically has other notes played between the pedal note. A drone is a note that is held throughout the chords without stopping. Most instruments this day in age can only play pedal tones. Pedal tones are cool things you can use in your soloing to make you a better player. Share your thoughts below.