Piano Pedals, How to Use Them

Do you require piano pedals to play?

Many of us find the piano to be scary in and of itself; you must ultimately learn to distinguish between your left and right hands.

Therefore, when you add your legs and feet into the mix, the task appears to be much more difficult.

Is it necessary for a student to have a piano with pedal choices? In this post, we will look at piano pedals.

It is unlikely that you will need pedals when learning to play the keyboard or digital piano when you first start out.

The fact that playing the piano does not require the use of pedals will be welcomed by most novices. You will, however, need to become familiar with the pedals at some point, ideally sooner rather than later.

Why are Piano Pedals Important? 

Piano pedals help to complement the music by making the notes sustain longer or by highlighting the softer dynamics. They consequently intensify the emotional impact of the music.

With the help of pedals, you may regulate the operation of the piano and the music it produces, as well as modify its tone.

The primary concept behind pedals is to enhance the richness of the sound or diminish it depending on the needs of a particular musical work.

It is common for pianists to employ these pedals to enhance the dynamic range of their performances, which makes playing the piano a fascinating experience.

The appropriate use of pedals is an art that pianists can only master through time and practice.

If you have a firm grip on how to utilize these pedals wisely, you will be able to make your performance even more soulful.

Modern acoustic and digital pianos usually come with three pedals.

You may have seen some older Asian pianos or some beautiful European pianos which only have two pedals. Some keyboards may come with one pedal. Let’s start with the names of these piano pedals.


The Name of Three Piano Pedals

piano 3 pedals

1.   The first is the sustain or damper, the furthest right on a piano

2.   The second is the soft, the furthest left on a piano

3.    the third is the sostenuto

Sustain Pedal

The sustain pedal, or damper pedal, is an absolute must-have.

When you play the notes, push the sustain pedal down, let the sound ring, and then lift up your foot to stop the sound.

This is one of the most magical sounds you can create on the piano. It is also one of the most essential functions in making music on a piano.

If a keyboard comes with one pedal, it will be the sustain pedal.

More recently, manufacturers have been supplying “half-damper” functions with digital pianos. It is to mimic the foot control of an acoustic piano more closely.

The half-damper function allows the player to push the pedal down part of the way or release it slowly to control some very subtle effects that an acoustic piano provides.

Soft Pedal

As the name indicates, the soft pedal makes the piano or keyboard sound softer.

When you push down the soft pedal on an acoustic piano, the keys shift slightly to the right.

Normally, each hammer hits three strings; by shifting the keys to the right, each hammer only strikes one of the strings; hence, the sound is slightly softer. The digital pianos with the soft pedal mimic the same function.

Sostenuto Pedal

I would argue that the third pedal is not significant.

Acoustic pianos made prior to the twentieth century do not have a third one.

Its usage is often associated with more sophisticated techniques. It is not necessary for any of the conventional repertoires.

Because it is not present on many acoustic pianos, most players have always learned to play without using it. Your youngster will only need to master it if he or she intends to take up piano as a full-time profession.

On the other hand, you may also interested in reading more details about the sostenuto pedal (the middle pedal).

Shopping for a Digital Piano

There are many types of digital pianos.

Many portable ones and keyboards do not come equipped with pedals like a regular feature.

Even though some are sold as a package with pedals, the majority merely feature an input area where you may connect pedals if you so choose.

When shopping for a digital piano or keyboard, the most crucial item to check for is whether it has a pedal or pedals for the instrument.

At the very least, you’ll need a sustain pedal. If it is a digital piano rather than a smaller keyboard, it is likely to feature a second or third pedal in addition to the first.

In Conclusion…

The three pedals allow the student to practice the methods that will be required to play with the pedals with more advanced piano pieces when you progress.

If you decide to invest your money in a digital piano that includes all three pedals, be certain that the model you choose contains a function known as half-damper.

Some of the models of digital instruments with three pedals do not support the half-damper effect, which is a crucial skill to know how to use properly.

With pedals on your digital piano, you can enhance your learning and performing experiences.

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