Perfect Pedalling

So useful ahhh

Melanie Spanswick

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We all know there’s no such thing as ‘perfect’ piano playing, but hopefully these tips might be helpful.

The sustaining or damper pedal is one of the most important assets for a pianist. It adds another dimension to the piano timbre, and can provide a whole variety of sound layers. The most commonly used pedal, being the furthest right of the two or three pedals on a standard upright or grand piano, it’s played by the right foot (as demonstrated by my foot in the photo above). When depressed, the sustain pedal literally moves all the dampers away from the strings, which allows them to vibrate with ease, and they will continue vibrating until the sound ceases, or the pedal is released. Look inside the instrument and watch the dampers (on a grand) being lifted as the pedal is depressed.

It began life as a hand stop, examples of which survive on some of the…

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