PIANO PEDALS are like levers which are operated by our foot and present at the base of the PIANO. We can alter the sounds of the piano in various ways with the help of the pedals, and the tone can be enhanced with various types of pedals. Let us see how these pedals were classified, their uses, and their effect in a digital piano.
Three main types of piano pedals:
- UNA CORDA or SOFT PEDAL
- SOSTENUTO PEDAL
- DAMPER PEDAL OR SUSTAIN PEDAL
With the help of these pedals, we can enjoy the piano sounds in different tones. These 3 pedals were not present in all the pianos, and some may have only two main pedals, soft and damper. Is piano pedals do wonder in the tone? From my own experience, I felt piano without pedals are like a human without a soul. Once we start learning the usage of the pedals and try to use it, we can add magic to our composed notes. These three pedals were arranged from left to right in a piano at the base.
SILENT PIANO: Some pianos may have a dummy pedal to mute the piano sound, also known as a silent piano. We can see a clear explanation in this article.
Must to Know
OTHER NAME : SOFT PEDAL /ONE STRING.
WORKING : As its name as SOFT PEDAL, the pedal makes the piano to sound softer.It is present in the left side. Once I tried pushing the soft pedal using my foot, I can see the keys in the keyboard shifting slightly right. Usually, we have three strings below each node, this slight movement in the piano makes one string struck and only 2 out of 3 were stricked when pressing the keys. This makes the piano to produce a softened and dulled effect. The soft pedal was the first pedal invented to modify the sound. In CRISTOFORI’S PIANO , instead of pedal, an hand stop will do this tone softening and present like a knob.
USE: Most commonly used by all, and it is present in a maximum of pianos for its soft and ethereal tone.
OTHER NAME : AMERICAN PEDAL.
WORKING: As it named Sostenuto, which means ‘sustaining’ and it also behaves as an sustain or damper pedal. The only difference here is that it will hold or sustain only the selected notes as per the musician’s comfort. But in damper, we don’t have the facility to sustain a selected note. This SOSTENUTO pedal is the middle pedal in the piano, which is mostly used to sustain or retain any selected notes without affecting the other notes. We can do work and control the other notes with other pedals simultaneously and the selected notes held in control of the sostenuto pedal.Actually we don’t have this pedal in older pianos. Only in modern pianos we will get this additional or optional pedal.This action of locking any particular note of selection and allowing other notes to be free is its main function.This pedal is found in all American pianos and is popularly called as American pedal.
USE: Rarely used by digital pianists and it is not required all the times.
OTHERNAME: SUSTAIN PEDAL.
WORKING: The meaning of damper is little blocks which is used to stop ringing . The damper is used to mute the piano ringing when pianist taken away his fingers from the piano.With the help of this pedal, we can sustain the music even after fingers were taken away from the key and so this pedal used to control the damper is called a damper pedal or sustain pedal.When pressed by our foot , this pedal will remove the dampers from the hammers so that the music will sustain until the pedal is released.
USE: Most commonly used by all pianists. It is tough to play the piano without the damper pedal.
Acoustic Piano Vs Digital Piano
- Acoustic piano changes the sound with the mechanism within the instrument like hammers that will hit the steel wires whereas in digital piano, the mechanism is emulated, it uses electronic speakers that will play high quality recordings taken from best acoustic pianos.
- An acoustic piano is similar to that of Cristofori’s piano, but the digital piano consists of inbuilt technologies, enhanced timbers to bless the playing with fun , and interesting and motivational.
- In acoustic piano, it is very stiff, but in case of digital piano its is very light and provides the same loud sound and enhanced touch sensitivity. The pianist doesn’t want to strain to press the keys in case of digital piano.
- Digital pianos are very helpful to produce range of sounds at the touch of a button. Some digital pianos let you to split the keyboard, this makes certain sound playing at the bottom varies to that of playing at the top. These advantages in digital piano make the play with more joy and fun.
- So you have decided to buy a piano !!! Still in confusion, what to choose between acoustic or digital? Think about the space in your home. Acoustic piano needs to be stored in a room with a temperature that doesn’t fluctuate because the humidity can affect the strings. But in the case of digital piano , you can store it anywhere at any temperature.
- So the temperature and space harm acoustic piano.
- In digital piano, we have an additional headphone facility, which will help us get some privacy. We can have our practice at late night and early morning as per our comfort without disturbing the peace of others.
- Digital pianos were allow us to connect to iPad/iPhone to start our learning easier with the help of various applications .That might not be there in acoustic pianos.
- Digital piano have the tools for composition and USB port helps you to transport your composed file.
VERSATILITY AND COST.With all these factors, we can conclude digital piano is the best.
Electronic Keyboards And Digital Piano
I know you are very interested to learn piano but still confused between electronic keyboard and digital piano. Do not worry!!! I will explain the basic difference between them. An electronic keyboard is an electronic synthesizer, a device that generates sounds by converting electric signals via amplifiers and speakers when we press any key. Electronic keyboard can produce sound of all instruments including piano. Digital pianos create the sound from sampled piano sounds and also synthesize an emulation of the piano sound electronically.. Digital pianos have 88 keys with 6 octaves similar to acoustic pianos. Electronic keyboards have 61 or 76 keys with 4 to 5 octaves, or sometimes even less.
So in an electronic keyboard or digital piano, pedals required to sustain the music or tone, we need an external sustain pedal which is available in market at lower price.
Role Of Sustain Pedals In Digital Piano
DIGITAL PIANOS may have a First and middle pedal, but we can’t play the piano without sustain pedal, So the main pedal we need for a digital piano is sustained. We can also get all the 3 pedals as an external device for digital piano. Digital piano will have a small keyboard, with the help of sustain pedal only we can enjoy our playing. We need to decide what pedals we need. As I explained the usages of the 3 pedals in this article, you can conclude and buy external pedals based upon your decision.
From my own experience, I have found digital piano is the best to buy for its various features and advantages. Affordable to our budget also. The pedals are the precious thing that add life to our music, and an experienced pianist will know its value. As you wish to buy pedals for your digital piano, with the help of this article, learn the usage of the pedals first.
Then choose your pedal with your budget for the digital pianos. The above diagrams can have a brief description of pedals. Amici sound, Roland, YAMAHA, M-audio, Casio, Hayden, and Kadence are the pedals available from lower to higher rates. Try to get the most matching pedal to your digital piano and enjoy your composition to the core. Have fun with the expressions in music and make others pedal their happiness with the help of pedals you have.