Using the Pedals on the Piano

Glenn Sutton teaches guitar, electric bass, keyboard, theory and improvisation for over 30 years, he specializes in rock, blues, jazz, Latin, Brazilian, classical, country, and folk.

Understanding everything you can about an instrument before you learn how to play it is important. It is part of the upkeep of the instrument and when it comes to a piano you need to know more about it than the names of the black and white keys on the keyboard. For example, if you don’t want to knock your piano out of tune, it’s essential that you use the proper moving equipment, such as a dolly or make sure the piano has wheels on it and your don’t bang it against anything when you move it.

pedals on the piano Piano Lessons Poway 619-306-3664

Pedals on the piano
Piano Lessons Poway 619-306-3664

In addition to general upkeep, the piano is an instrument that requires plenty of study so that you can enjoy it for a long time. When you learn how to play the piano, you learn the keys and what note each plays. This is a well known and recognizable sound. However, a piano also has foot pedals that alter the sound of the keys. Most people don’t understand how the pedals fit into the playing of the piano. A piano teacher will work with you so that you can coordinate your hands and feet in order to play the piano properly.

The foot pedals alter the way the hammer hits the strings when it is pressed at the same time as a piano key. The left pedal on the piano helps to move the hammer closer to the strings if it is an upright piano. If the piano is a grand piano, the pedal moves the hammers slightly to the left of the string. This helps create a softer sound from the grand piano and gives the piece of music you are playing a lighter timbre.

The right pedal on the piano lifts all of the dampers from the strings when it is pressed. This makes the chord or note that is played last longer. The strings continue vibrating until the pedal is raised and the dampers set back down on them. In addition to the chord lasting longer, any sympathetic string or strings will vibrate as well even if they have not been played. This helps enrich the sound and make more complicated and resounding.

The middle pedal, which is typically found on concert and grand pianos, may or may not be used depending on the piece of music that is being played and the preference of the player. The pedal, when pressed, sustains some notes that are played while dampening or negating others. More than likely you will not need to worry about using the middle pedal unless you are an advanced piano player.

The left and right pedals will be used the most by an intermediate piano player. New students may need to practice with the left pedal in order to get a feel for how it enhances the sound. The right pedal will be explored as the piano player improves as there are other things the pedal does when it is used other than those mentioned here.

Glenn Sutton
Ozzie’s Music
12222 Poway Road,
Suite #27
Poway,
California 92064

Phone 619-306-3664
858-679-6997

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