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#3159318 09/25/21 02:13 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
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I have often wondered how others play or use the foot pedal for sustain. I was taught to depress the pedal each time a new chord appeared. I use the pedal in 95% or more of my playing. How, or how often do you use the sustain pedal? What is the correct way to use pedal? Do some of you play a number and use very little pedal if any at all? Thank you

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I'm guessing a lot of us tend to pedal rather automatically. I think this is a mistake. I recently discovered that a passage I'd been pedaling sounded much better dry. Hard to make yourself think about it always and to break the automatic habit, but something we should all try to do.

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Sustain pedal for a foot - the same as a key for a finger; and it is necessary to work on the development of a similar scale of sensitivity, using the ear (I have only 21 fixed positions, the great pianists have many dozens). There are pianists who don't even wear shoes and only use their fingers to press.

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Always changing the pedal with each chord change is too general: you need to use your ears to determine when to change the pedal. If it sounds too blurry, change the pedal. If it sounds too dry, use the pedal. There may be some pieces or parts of pieces where you want a blurred effect, so you would want to leave the pedal down. Try the soft pedal and listen for the change in piano tone (not just softness). You may want to add it for specific measures or sections. Experiment

Think of the pedal as not connecting to the keys but connecting to your ears.

The book ‘Pedal Preludes’ is a set of simple music and a set of pedal exercises with each one, so you can explore all of the pedal choices, I highly recommend it and you can find it used


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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I may pedal per phrase. Quicker stuff, I don't pedal all. If it sounds muddy, pick your foot up.


nada

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