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Pedal Height? #2869155
07/14/19 07:58 AM
07/14/19 07:58 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 122
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Patrick Cox Offline OP
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I have been experiencing some soreness and swelling in my right ankle. And I am wondering if my pedals are too high causing too much bend at the ankle. So, what is the proper height for the pedals?

Thanks!

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Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2869159
07/14/19 08:33 AM
07/14/19 08:33 AM
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Hi Patrick,

Let me reframe your question to "What is the comfortable height for you?" Anything else really does not matter. Pedal height is adjustable. I suggest having a conversation with your piano technician the next time he visits. Prepare him for the conversation before he arrives because the right answer might be pedal height at all, but pedal spring strength.

Good Luck!


Rich Galassini
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Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2869176
07/14/19 09:34 AM
07/14/19 09:34 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,534
Southeast US
ShiroKuro Offline
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I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I don't think piano is the cause but I think it exacerbates it, so I have done a lot to try to make sure pedaling isn't making it worse, and I also try to do stretching and strengthening exercises for my ankle and heel. So Patrick, I feel your pain -- Literally! whome

As Rich said, it's probably go to talk with a tech about the pedals, but in the meantime, there are a few things you might try that don't involve changing the piano. First, do you play/practice with shoes on? If not, you might want to start doing that. A good, leather loafer, something with a 1-2 inch heel would be a good start.

Also, make sure your weight is balanced on your rear end on the bench, not on your right leg/foot. When you play, do you pull your left foot back so your heel raises up? If you do, try bringing your left foot out so that it can be flat on the floor, and maybe send a little bit of your weight onto the left rather than right foot.

The other thing I'll recommend is something I did, which was to buy a small indoor door mat and then fold it twice (in half and then in half again). I got some massive butterfly clips to hold it in that folded shape, it's maybe 12" by 10" after being folded? Anyway, I position that so that when I play, my right heel rests on the mat. The mat when folded is small enough that it doesn't need to go under the pedals (which would be bad) and it doesn't go under the bench either. It lifts my heel up just enough to make a positive difference, and even though I wear shoes, I think having the cushion of the mat helps. I bought a solid black mat so it doesn't stand out, and I leave it under the piano all the time, so when I sit down to play, it's ready for me.

Beyond that, you might do some gentle ankle stretches before and after playing, sitting in a chair with shoes off, hold your leg out and rotate your ankle in both directions, maybe 5 revolutions in each direction. Then sort of point your toes and imagine that you're drawing shapes in the air with your toes, some people say write the alphabet with your toes, but you get the point, you're really moving and rotating your ankle this way.

You might also do some standing heel lifts, where you stand up and raise up onto your toes and back down again. Do it for 5-10 repetitions, don't allow your heel to go all the way to the floor each time you come back down. This should also be done without shoes, and as you do it, imagine that you're gripping the floor with your toes. Doing this on a flexible bathmat is especially good. This should definitely help the swelling of the ankle.

Good luck!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2869292
07/14/19 04:19 PM
07/14/19 04:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 262
North Tx
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dhull100 Online blank
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If there is actually significant swelling, a visit to a healthcare provider would be in order. It takes some significant inflammation / injury for that to happen, which is of course assuming the cause is musculoskeletal. It would be a shame to be worsening a joint injury or missing another cause altogether.

Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2869308
07/14/19 05:26 PM
07/14/19 05:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 122
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Patrick Cox Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dhull100
If there is actually significant swelling, a visit to a healthcare provider would be in order. It takes some significant inflammation / injury for that to happen, which is of course assuming the cause is musculoskeletal. It would be a shame to be worsening a joint injury or missing another cause altogether.


Thanks, yes I plan on calling my doctor tomorrow. I think it is likely tendinitis though (due to repetitive overuse.) I had something similar with my elbow. Ankle swelling is not that significant but it is there. That's what happens when you stop playing for 20 years and then jump back in 100% at 50 like you've been playing the whole time!


Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Hi Patrick,

Let me reframe your question to "What is the comfortable height for you?" Anything else really does not matter. Pedal height is adjustable. I suggest having a conversation with your piano technician the next time he visits. Prepare him for the conversation before he arrives because the right answer might be pedal height at all, but pedal spring strength.

Good Luck!


Thanks Rich. Let me ask you this. Do you know the range of available pedal heights for a Yamaha YUS5 and an AvantGrande N2? I just emailed my technician to schedule an appointment! Thanks!

Re: Pedal Height? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2869312
07/14/19 05:32 PM
07/14/19 05:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 122
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Patrick Cox Offline OP
Full Member
Patrick Cox  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 122
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I don't think piano is the cause but I think it exacerbates it, so I have done a lot to try to make sure pedaling isn't making it worse, and I also try to do stretching and strengthening exercises for my ankle and heel. So Patrick, I feel your pain -- Literally! whome

As Rich said, it's probably go to talk with a tech about the pedals, but in the meantime, there are a few things you might try that don't involve changing the piano. First, do you play/practice with shoes on? If not, you might want to start doing that. A good, leather loafer, something with a 1-2 inch heel would be a good start.

Also, make sure your weight is balanced on your rear end on the bench, not on your right leg/foot. When you play, do you pull your left foot back so your heel raises up? If you do, try bringing your left foot out so that it can be flat on the floor, and maybe send a little bit of your weight onto the left rather than right foot.

The other thing I'll recommend is something I did, which was to buy a small indoor door mat and then fold it twice (in half and then in half again). I got some massive butterfly clips to hold it in that folded shape, it's maybe 12" by 10" after being folded? Anyway, I position that so that when I play, my right heel rests on the mat. The mat when folded is small enough that it doesn't need to go under the pedals (which would be bad) and it doesn't go under the bench either. It lifts my heel up just enough to make a positive difference, and even though I wear shoes, I think having the cushion of the mat helps. I bought a solid black mat so it doesn't stand out, and I leave it under the piano all the time, so when I sit down to play, it's ready for me.

Beyond that, you might do some gentle ankle stretches before and after playing, sitting in a chair with shoes off, hold your leg out and rotate your ankle in both directions, maybe 5 revolutions in each direction. Then sort of point your toes and imagine that you're drawing shapes in the air with your toes, some people say write the alphabet with your toes, but you get the point, you're really moving and rotating your ankle this way.

You might also do some standing heel lifts, where you stand up and raise up onto your toes and back down again. Do it for 5-10 repetitions, don't allow your heel to go all the way to the floor each time you come back down. This should also be done without shoes, and as you do it, imagine that you're gripping the floor with your toes. Doing this on a flexible bathmat is especially good. This should definitely help the swelling of the ankle.

Good luck!



Thanks, I appreciate your suggestions. They are all good ones. I definitely need to start stretching! I do have an excellent teacher who I see every couple of months and I have emailed him about my issue. So I will get some suggestions from him when I see him next month. Thanks again!

Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2869355
07/14/19 08:39 PM
07/14/19 08:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,367
Queensland, Australia
backto_study_piano Offline
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Queensland, Australia
Originally Posted by Patrick Cox
I have been experiencing some soreness and swelling in my right ankle. And I am wondering if my pedals are too high causing too much bend at the ankle. So, what is the proper height for the pedals?

Thanks!

What is your piano?

And do you have castor cups under the castors?

My first grand was delivered and the removalists installed castor cups. A couple of days later, I had a very sore Rt Ankle. I didn't attribute it to the piano - as I'd also just retired and was doing a lot more walking. Doc - he sent me for x-rays. Meantime, after one longer practise session I got up and realised it was the piano. I took out the Castor Cups, and wound the bench higher - end of problem, though it took a while to ease the pain.

How is your posture - if you're sitting too low, that can affect the angle of your ankle. You can try a mat under your heel to change the angle of your Ankle - but if you're sitting too low, it will make it worse.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Pedal Height? [Re: backto_study_piano] #2869739
07/16/19 06:34 AM
07/16/19 06:34 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 122
P
Patrick Cox Offline OP
Full Member
Patrick Cox  Offline OP
Full Member
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Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 122
Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
Originally Posted by Patrick Cox
I have been experiencing some soreness and swelling in my right ankle. And I am wondering if my pedals are too high causing too much bend at the ankle. So, what is the proper height for the pedals?

Thanks!

What is your piano?

And do you have castor cups under the castors?

My first grand was delivered and the removalists installed castor cups. A couple of days later, I had a very sore Rt Ankle. I didn't attribute it to the piano - as I'd also just retired and was doing a lot more walking. Doc - he sent me for x-rays. Meantime, after one longer practise session I got up and realised it was the piano. I took out the Castor Cups, and wound the bench higher - end of problem, though it took a while to ease the pain.

How is your posture - if you're sitting too low, that can affect the angle of your ankle. You can try a mat under your heel to change the angle of your Ankle - but if you're sitting too low, it will make it worse.


Hi, I have a Yamaha YUS5 and a Yamaha AvantGrand N2. Neither are on casters. The pedals on the YUS5 are about an inch higher than the N2 and they are more firm as well. I think that is the piano that caused my issue. My technician is going to look at it tomorrow. I will also meet with my teacher soon and will discuss this as well. Thanks for your suggestions.

Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2869794
07/16/19 10:45 AM
07/16/19 10:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,534
Southeast US
ShiroKuro Offline
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ShiroKuro  Offline
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Southeast US
Ugh, an inch probably actually makes a huge difference when you move from one instrument to the other.

I am shopping for a grand right now, and I notice when I play in a dealer's shop, the pedal height on the grands is usually perfect. And I also notice those grands are never on casters. I most likely will have casters to protect the hardwood floors. So I'll probably still be using the dang mat under my heel! :P


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Pedal Height? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2869805
07/16/19 11:26 AM
07/16/19 11:26 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,966
SE USA
WhoDwaldi Offline
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Ugh, an inch probably actually makes a huge difference when you move from one instrument to the other.

I am shopping for a grand right now, and I notice when I play in a dealer's shop, the pedal height on the grands is usually perfect. And I also notice those grands are never on casters. I most likely will have casters to protect the hardwood floors. So I'll probably still be using the dang mat under my heel! :P


I wonder if some caster cups put the piano up higher than others? The original plastic Kawai cups that came with my piano seem quite high.

I've been in studios with loop-pile commercial carpeting: the pianos (not on casters) have about the perfect pedal height.

Concert grands in recital halls are normally on a dolly with big rubber wheels that put the pedals very high. And the piano can bounce up and down with crashing chords. 😆


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2869815
07/16/19 11:56 AM
07/16/19 11:56 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,534
Southeast US
ShiroKuro Offline
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Quote
I wonder if some caster cups put the piano up higher than others?


I would imagine there are, and that's something I'll look into carefully when I'm at that stage.

Re those dollies, I know exactly what you mean! I hate that way piano moves when they're up on one!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2869838
07/16/19 01:21 PM
07/16/19 01:21 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,965
Victoria, BC
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In my experience, on dollies for concert grands the wheels of the piano are removed and the legs sit on the dolly at the same level they would be if the piano (on its wheels) were not on a dolly. I have, therefore, not noticed any difference in pedal height from what I would consider "normal."

I have experienced and watched some very vigorous playing on the grands in question (both concert and 7-foot grands) without noticing any movement of the piano. Perhaps it depends on the quality of the dolly and, of course, the wheels of the dolly have to be locked.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2869865
07/16/19 02:59 PM
07/16/19 02:59 PM
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Posts: 1,550
Southwest
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Add some more solutions to the mix. I too have experienced plantar fasciitis. I went to my podiatrist and was prescribed orthotics. That solved the problem.
The other thing that changes the pedal height issues is the height of your piano bench. There are adjustable benches and additional piano padding which may help. Also your tech can adjust your pedal height.
I use orthotics all the time and added a soft thick folded wool blanket on top of my padded piano bench and am pretty much all set. I don’t know your age but a day will come when you’re gonna be shopping for reading glasses and additional lighting for your playing. Everything is certainly solvable so you can play your piano most if not all of your life. Best of Luck!


J & J
Yamaha C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
Pianos - the reason God made trees!
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Re: Pedal Height? [Re: BruceD] #2869943
07/16/19 08:43 PM
07/16/19 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
In my experience, on dollies for concert grands the wheels of the piano are removed and the legs sit on the dolly at the same level they would be if the piano (on its wheels) were not on a dolly. I have, therefore, not noticed any difference in pedal height from what I would consider "normal."

I have experienced and watched some very vigorous playing on the grands in question (both concert and 7-foot grands) without noticing any movement of the piano. Perhaps it depends on the quality of the dolly and, of course, the wheels of the dolly have to be locked.

Regards,


A sagging spot in a stage always seems to line up with the pedals, making them higher.

Pianos can, indeed, bounce on dollies--not so much from violent pounding as from certain rhythms of repeated chords that get things moving.

I've noticed bigger and better casters on concert grand pianos, better stage flooring, and fewer dollies in recent years.


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Pedal Height? [Re: BruceD] #2870031
07/17/19 09:05 AM
07/17/19 09:05 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
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Queensland, Australia
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Agreed - I've only experienced one piano on a dolly - and the pedal height was fine. The actual castors of the piano had been removed, and I suspect the dolly had it at the same height as before.

As J&J suggested (and I'd mentioned earlier) the height of your bench is critical - too low and it affects the angle of your knee and ankle. I have an extra closed cell pad on top of the fully extended adjustable bench.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2870044
07/17/19 10:03 AM
07/17/19 10:03 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,534
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The pianos I've played on dollies have been poorly maintained grands in practice rooms at a university -- so there you go!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Pedal Height? [Re: Patrick Cox] #2870050
07/17/19 10:30 AM
07/17/19 10:30 AM
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About one minute in, he talks about an old Bechstein's low pedals.





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Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"

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