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Use of Pedal?? #1290825
10/20/09 06:38 PM
10/20/09 06:38 PM
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Philippines
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onherkeys Offline OP
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I was under the impression that pedal should be used always. But i read in one of the posts here that it is possible to create a good sound even without it. Actually, there are times that the sound becomes distorted whenever i use the pedal. so, should i practice my pieces without the use of the pedal?

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Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: onherkeys] #1290851
10/20/09 07:21 PM
10/20/09 07:21 PM
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Posts: 112
Plymouth, Devon, UK
RobM Offline
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As with many other things in life, moderation is the key. wink

It really does depend on what you're playing though; baroque classical music, for example, should never be played using the (sustain/damper) pedal, whereas most modern music (especially new-age stuff that I tend to play) will require use of the pedal. Sheet music will generally imply when the pedal should NOT be used by mentioning that a section is to played staccato.

The general rule of thumb as far as I understand it is to lift the pedal before moving to a new chord and then depress it again - you won't go too far wrong by doing this. This way, the notes will not blend together and sound distorted or 'muddy'. I'm sure other people will be able to offer more technical advice than this, but I think you'll eventually just get a feel for what is right.

Welcome to the forum by the way! smile


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Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: onherkeys] #1290855
10/20/09 07:24 PM
10/20/09 07:24 PM
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By "pedal" I assume you mean the damper (right) pedal.

When and how to use all of the pedals is largely a matter of taste. Many composers indicate pedal use in the score but not all do. Personally, I find that some music (Bach for example) sounds better sans pedal. It is possible to create good sound without it but what constitutes "good sound" is mostly subjective.

I suppose the bottom line is to follow the composers direction (if given) as you learn a piece then experiment.


Greg
Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: onherkeys] #1290863
10/20/09 07:39 PM
10/20/09 07:39 PM
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Posts: 29
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montag Offline
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I'm an ABSOLUT beginner, and there's no way that the Moonlight Sonata I started with sounds decent without the all-the-time pedal.

Last edited by montag; 10/20/09 07:39 PM.
Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: montag] #1290868
10/20/09 07:53 PM
10/20/09 07:53 PM
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When first learning a piece, I recommend against it. You must first learn to do a good legato (and if it calls for staccato, then there's no need for pedal at all). Sometimes the pedal can disguise poor playing habits. It can also be a bit overwhelming to add right at the beginning stages of a piece. Learn the notes and rhythms without, then decide if it is stylistically appropriate to add pedal. Use professional recordings as reference if there's no indication in the score.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: RobM] #1290998
10/21/09 01:43 AM
10/21/09 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RobM
As with many other things in life, moderation is the key. wink

It really does depend on what you're playing though; baroque classical music, for example, should never be played using the (sustain/damper) pedal, whereas most modern music (especially new-age stuff that I tend to play) will require use of the pedal. Sheet music will generally imply when the pedal should NOT be used by mentioning that a section is to played staccato.

The general rule of thumb as far as I understand it is to lift the pedal before moving to a new chord and then depress it again - you won't go too far wrong by doing this. This way, the notes will not blend together and sound distorted or 'muddy'. I'm sure other people will be able to offer more technical advice than this, but I think you'll eventually just get a feel for what is right.

Welcome to the forum by the way! smile


Well actually, i'm playing the piece, "Allegro Cantabile" [from the anime, Nodame Cantabile]. anyhoo, there's a part in the piece where when i try to play it with the pedal the sound gets so distorted. and if i try to play it without the pedal, it seems dull and wrong. I've been practicing it for quite a while already and it starting to wear me out. =p well, anyway, i'll try your advice: moderation is the key. =]

Thank you for welcoming me. =]

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: BB Player] #1291001
10/21/09 01:50 AM
10/21/09 01:50 AM
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onherkeys Offline OP
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Originally Posted by BB Player
By "pedal" I assume you mean the damper (right) pedal.

When and how to use all of the pedals is largely a matter of taste. Many composers indicate pedal use in the score but not all do. Personally, I find that some music (Bach for example) sounds better sans pedal. It is possible to create good sound without it but what constitutes "good sound" is mostly subjective.

I suppose the bottom line is to follow the composers direction (if given) as you learn a piece then experiment.


oh, so that's what it's called: damper. =]

well, actually, i'm a pedal lover. whenever i play a piece, i always use the pedal because i thought it makes the sound better [except of course if its staccato]. now i realize, that's not always the case. I'll try to experiment and see what happens. :]

thank you! =]

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: montag] #1291003
10/21/09 01:52 AM
10/21/09 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by montag
I'm an ABSOLUT beginner, and there's no way that the Moonlight Sonata I started with sounds decent without the all-the-time pedal.


harhar.. that is soooo true!! :p I played Moonlight Sonata and it sounds better with pedal. Is it supposed to be played without it [the pedal]?

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Morodiene] #1291008
10/21/09 02:21 AM
10/21/09 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
When first learning a piece, I recommend against it. You must first learn to do a good legato (and if it calls for staccato, then there's no need for pedal at all). Sometimes the pedal can disguise poor playing habits. It can also be a bit overwhelming to add right at the beginning stages of a piece. Learn the notes and rhythms without, then decide if it is stylistically appropriate to add pedal. Use professional recordings as reference if there's no indication in the score.


Oh my. Honestly, I have difficulty in "connecting" the notes so i rely with the pedal. You made me realize it's not a good practice. :p what do you suggest should i do? Does the pressure i applied on my fingers affect the sound? Do i have to press hard to have a good legato even without the pedal?

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: onherkeys] #1291016
10/21/09 02:52 AM
10/21/09 02:52 AM
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Your pedal is your clutch on a manual transmission, It's there for a reason. USE IT!

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: mr_super-hunky] #1291068
10/21/09 06:27 AM
10/21/09 06:27 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline
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Here are two videos from my Clair de lune from Scratch series that might help you better understand the basics of using the damper pedal to connect notes:




Let me know if you find these helpful smile

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: onherkeys] #1291079
10/21/09 06:48 AM
10/21/09 06:48 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 635
Manila
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Originally Posted by onherkeys
what do you suggest should i do? Does the pressure i applied on my fingers affect the sound? Do i have to press hard to have a good legato even without the pedal?


P.S. I am most certainly not a teacher but I had problems playing legato at the beginning (corrected by my teacher) so I know a bit about it. It doesn't have anything to do with the pressure applied on the fingers. Do you know how legato playing sounds? I suggest you ask someone who is a knowledgeable pianist to play something legato for you. It's easier to get the hint that way. Basically you make the notes overlap each other slightly. The more overlap, the more legato. This means you start hitting the next note while the previous note is still held down.

To the more knowledgeable pianists, please correct me if I my idea is wrong.


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Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: mr_super-hunky] #1291093
10/21/09 07:39 AM
10/21/09 07:39 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 861
Bristol, UK
EJR Offline
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Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
Your pedal is your clutch on a manual transmission, It's there for a reason. USE IT!


I think an "Automatic" pedal would be useful with settings for Baroque, Classical, romantic etc....

I hate pedalling and always overdo it.... laugh

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: mr_super-hunky] #1291113
10/21/09 08:09 AM
10/21/09 08:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
S
sotto voce Offline
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Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
Your pedal is your clutch on a manual transmission, It's there for a reason. USE IT!

But use it only when shifting gears. Don't ride it!

Steven

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: sotto voce] #1291155
10/21/09 09:09 AM
10/21/09 09:09 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,521
Jersey Shore
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Mark... Online content
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Jersey Shore
We always debate about having a teacher especially in the early phases of learning and this thread bears it out in spades...

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: onherkeys] #1291157
10/21/09 09:13 AM
10/21/09 09:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by onherkeys
Originally Posted by Morodiene
When first learning a piece, I recommend against it. You must first learn to do a good legato (and if it calls for staccato, then there's no need for pedal at all). Sometimes the pedal can disguise poor playing habits. It can also be a bit overwhelming to add right at the beginning stages of a piece. Learn the notes and rhythms without, then decide if it is stylistically appropriate to add pedal. Use professional recordings as reference if there's no indication in the score.


Oh my. Honestly, I have difficulty in "connecting" the notes so i rely with the pedal. You made me realize it's not a good practice. :p what do you suggest should i do? Does the pressure i applied on my fingers affect the sound? Do i have to press hard to have a good legato even without the pedal?


There are times when it is not possible to play legato without the pedal (large leaps for instance), it all depends on the piece. To play proper legato, you must walk from finger to finger and have no space in sound between keys. Just like when we walk on our feet, we don't hop from one to the next, there is a point at which both feet are touching the floor. Use your ears to guide you in this. The pedal shoudl be used more for the tone it provides, and not for substituting a good legato (except in the above instance of large leaps).


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Morodiene] #1291201
10/21/09 10:07 AM
10/21/09 10:07 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,803
Decatur, Texas
Studio Joe Offline
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
To play proper legato, you must walk from finger to finger and have no space in sound between keys. Just like when we walk on our feet, we don't hop from one to the next, there is a point at which both feet are touching the floor.


Great analogy Morodiene.


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Hugh Sung] #1291239
10/21/09 11:24 AM
10/21/09 11:24 AM
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Cambridgeshire, UK
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Those two vids are great Hugh, they helped tremendously, thanks!


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Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: onherkeys] #1291255
10/21/09 12:01 PM
10/21/09 12:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,304
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Online blank

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Originally Posted by onherkeys


Well actually, i'm playing the piece, "Allegro Cantabile" [from the anime, Nodame Cantabile]. anyhoo, there's a part in the piece where when i try to play it with the pedal the sound gets so distorted. and if i try to play it without the pedal, it seems dull and wrong.


Welcome to the forum, onherkeys! If there's a general rule of thumb at all to pedaling (other than 'use it in moderation'), it's to pedal with chord changes. It could be that there's a chord change going on in this section that sounds distorted, so you need to lift off and pedal again with the new chord. If you can scan or post a few lines from the sheet music, I'm sure we can give you advice about where/whether to pedal in the piece.

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Monica K.] #1291408
10/21/09 04:10 PM
10/21/09 04:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Portland, Oregon
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Cassandra Hall Offline
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Portland, Oregon
The correct terminology for the pedal technique RobM is reffering to is "Overlapping Pedal"

The Sustain pedal is on the right and the Damper pedal is on the left

You might get more insight on this by making an inquiry in the Piano Teachers forum. I'm sure you would get some more info there.

I play the Moonlight Sonata and it uses lots of overlapping pedal technique.


Kind Regards,

Zoe Hall
Kawai KG-2
Kawai MP9000
Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Cassandra Hall] #1291434
10/21/09 04:49 PM
10/21/09 04:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,803
Decatur, Texas
Studio Joe Offline
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Originally Posted by Cassandra Hall
The Sustain pedal is on the right and the Damper pedal is on the left


Sustain and damper are different names for the same pedal. Notes are sustained when the pedal is depressed, and damped when it is released. Sustain/damper
is the one on the right. The one on the left is the soft pedal (una chorda).

Last edited by Studio Joe; 10/21/09 04:56 PM.

Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Studio Joe] #1291467
10/21/09 06:11 PM
10/21/09 06:11 PM
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Posts: 10
Portland, Oregon
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Cassandra Hall Offline
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I thought the soft pedal was the damper! Ha, thanks for insight.


Kind Regards,

Zoe Hall
Kawai KG-2
Kawai MP9000
Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Cassandra Hall] #1291533
10/21/09 07:52 PM
10/21/09 07:52 PM
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Philippines
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onherkeys Offline OP
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Photobucket

here is the piece that i'm trying to play. Whenever I play this part with the pedal, the sound gets so distorted. should i play it without it, the pedal?

Last edited by onherkeys; 10/21/09 07:55 PM.
Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Cassandra Hall] #1291544
10/21/09 08:30 PM
10/21/09 08:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Cassandra Hall
The correct terminology for the pedal technique RobM is reffering to is "Overlapping Pedal"

The Sustain pedal is on the right and the Damper pedal is on the left

You might get more insight on this by making an inquiry in the Piano Teachers forum. I'm sure you would get some more info there.

I play the Moonlight Sonata and it uses lots of overlapping pedal technique.

sustain and Damper refer to the same pedal. Damper is the name used on acoustic pianos and sustain is used on digitals. The Damper pedal refers to the dampers lifting off the strings. This does not happen with the left pedal (which is referred to as the una corda or soft pedal). The term sustain pedal most likely is a cross over from guitar with foot switches which then were adapted for the early synthesizers.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Studio Joe] #1291545
10/21/09 08:31 PM
10/21/09 08:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Studio Joe
Originally Posted by Cassandra Hall
The Sustain pedal is on the right and the Damper pedal is on the left


Sustain and damper are different names for the same pedal. Notes are sustained when the pedal is depressed, and damped when it is released. Sustain/damper
is the one on the right. The one on the left is the soft pedal (una chorda).


Opps, sorry Joe, you got it before me. smile


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Hugh Sung] #1291668
10/22/09 02:29 AM
10/22/09 02:29 AM
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Posts: 11
Philippines
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onherkeys Offline OP
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Philippines
Originally Posted by Hugh Sung
Here are two videos from my Clair de lune from Scratch series that might help you better understand the basics of using the damper pedal to connect notes:




Let me know if you find these helpful smile



wow! this is great!! :] thank you very much! =] I'll be visiting your site; i want to learn claire de lune. =]

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: onherkeys] #1291713
10/22/09 07:55 AM
10/22/09 07:55 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline
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Originally Posted by onherkeys
Originally Posted by Hugh Sung
Here are two videos from my Clair de lune from Scratch series that might help you better understand the basics of using the damper pedal to connect notes:




Let me know if you find these helpful smile



wow! this is great!! :] thank you very much! =] I'll be visiting your site; i want to learn claire de lune. =]


You're welcome! I'll see if I can sketch out a suggested pedaling for your piece - it sounds very pretty!

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Hugh Sung] #1291743
10/22/09 08:57 AM
10/22/09 08:57 AM
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Posts: 466
Philadelphia, PA
Hugh Sung Offline
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Philadelphia, PA
Here's a suggested pedaling for you:

[Linked Image]

The red pedaling line shows a basic option that tries to make the melody line (in highlight blue on the top staff) clear. The highlighted yellow options are slightly more advanced options that try to make some of the passing tones clear as well (you could add an extra pedal in m. 48 right in between that last two changes if you'd like a cleaner sound).

Let me know if this helps make the piece sound better smile

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: Hugh Sung] #1292074
10/22/09 07:09 PM
10/22/09 07:09 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 11
Philippines
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onherkeys Offline OP
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Philippines
oh my, thank you!! I can't wait to try it later. =] It will definitely sound better. =] thank you, thank you! I'll let you know what happens when i try it. =] thanks a lot, Hugh Sung! =]

Re: Use of Pedal?? [Re: onherkeys] #1292144
10/22/09 09:06 PM
10/22/09 09:06 PM
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Posts: 578
Boston, MA
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OldFingers Offline
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Hugh Sung, I found your You-tube lecture on the use of the damper pedal to be excellent. Thank you for your generosity.

Bob


Aspiring Retirement Home Lounge Pianist
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