As a rule notes from the 2nd natural are used, i.e. the pedal tones are not used – as is the case for the majority of cylindrical wind instruments.
On the cimbasso the playable natural harmonic series thus ranges from the 2nd to the 8th natural.
The five valves mean that the natural harmonic series of the fundamental F can be lowered by eleven steps, which means that the following natural harmonic series are available:
Natural harmonic series on F1: from 1st to 8th natural
Natural harmonic series from E1 down to Gb0: from 2nd to 8th natural
The chromatic scale is playable in its entirety over the whole range, with F1 as the only pedal tone; all the other notes in the instrument’s compass can be played as natural 2 and above. Naturals 2 generally have greater substance than naturals 1.
The cimbasso is a very difficult instrument, the notes speak homogeneously and evenly.