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#2223258 - 01/30/14 05:23 PM Pedaling Question  
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 22
corysold Offline
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corysold  Offline
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My teacher is out of town until next week, so I can't ask her, but I have a pedaling question. The song I'm working on has chords as dotted half notes tied together for 6 total beats. The pedaling matches those 6 beats. Do I hold the notes and the pedal or does the pedal take care of the longer note. Seems redundant to hold the keys and the pedal, but it is my first foray into pedaling (sort of on my own) so I'm not certain. Thanks.

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#2223274 - 01/30/14 06:22 PM Re: Pedaling Question [Re: corysold]  
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Joyce_dup1 Offline
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It depends on what notes follow. Normally, you would hold both the notes and the pedal. In other words, you should not let the pedal do the work for you. You should be able to play correctly with or without the pedal. However, in some instances, the following note is a distance away so it is necessary to allow the pedal to sustain the note while you reach for the next note. If you keep these two considerations in mind, and always pedal by ear, listening carefully for blurred notes or gaps in the legatos, you should develop the proper pedaling.

#2223310 - 01/30/14 08:05 PM Re: Pedaling Question [Re: corysold]  
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JohnSprung Offline
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There's a widely held view that the pedal should be used as little as possible. Sort of, to paraphrase Jefferson, that pianist is best who pedals least. I'd say, try it that way, and compare with a more liberal approach to the dampers.

Try playing without the pedal. Get it as close to right as you can that way, then only pedal where you have to. Play it that way several times, listen carefully, then add more pedal if you like more pedal.


-- J.S.

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#2223315 - 01/30/14 08:15 PM Re: Pedaling Question [Re: corysold]  
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earlofmar Offline
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I am just learning to pedal also my teacher and most things I have read here suggest it is less a thing that can be taught but more something you develop as a feel for the piece. Pedal only where required seems to be basic but there are those who use it too much (me).


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2223350 - 01/30/14 09:49 PM Re: Pedaling Question [Re: earlofmar]  
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anrpiano Offline
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And then once you have figured out what you want to do, the venue you are playing in may completely changed everything your have thought about doing. Some halls are so dead that you need to squeeze every bit of sound out of the piano so you let the pedal ring on, and other halls have so much reverb that you better not pedal anything.

But on the other hand since you are just starting out, you have some very good advice so far. Don't use the pedal to cover up sloppy finger work. (A very great temptation) Listen, Listen, Listen. Clarity is paramount, don't blur or blend notes which don't belong together. With the pedal, less is better.

Just for perspective, Andras Schiff will play a 2 hour concert of Bach's music and never once touch the damper pedal.


Andrew Remillard
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#2223535 - 01/31/14 09:53 AM Re: Pedaling Question [Re: corysold]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Originally Posted by corysold
My teacher is out of town until next week, so I can't ask her, but I have a pedaling question. The song I'm working on has chords as dotted half notes tied together for 6 total beats. The pedaling matches those 6 beats. Do I hold the notes and the pedal or does the pedal take care of the longer note. Seems redundant to hold the keys and the pedal, but it is my first foray into pedaling (sort of on my own) so I'm not certain. Thanks.


It's a good rule of "thumb" that whenever possible to hold the keys down while pedaling. If you need to "cheat' and lift off the keys and rely completely on the pedal to hold the notes, however, you can. But if your hand has nothing better to do during that time, best to hold down the notes.

There will be times where it's necessary to hold down the notes because you need to re-pedal for something the other hand is doing, and if you've lifted off the keys because of habit, then those notes will be lost.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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