The Damper Pedal

The Damper Pedal

The Damper Pedal

The damper pedal allows a pianist to lift his fingers while still hearing the sound he just played. The pedal is helpful to make chordal sections sound “full.” The damper pedal adds a whole new dimension to music and many piano students want to use it.

To play the damper pedal, make sure your foot is properly positioned. Leave your heel on the floor where it will allow you to use the front half of your foot as a lever which presses onto the damper pedal. Don’t put your foot too close or too far from the pedal. Make sure you feel comfortable and relaxed. In music some songs call for the pedal being pressed down throughout the entire song, other songs require the pedal to be used off and on. Whatever the case, if you’re having trouble remembering when to press and lift the pedal, always think of this: the finger moves first. Before the pedal is used, play the first note. Before the pedal is lifted, lift your finger. Before long the coordination of foot and hand will seem natural but beginners may find this tip helpful.

The damper pedal helps make songs interesting to listen to. However, be sure not to overuse it as the song can go from sounding lovely to becoming muddied. Particularly when songs are made up of scale-like passages, the pedal will most likely need to be used very little. However, in many piano pieces the damper pedal is a great tool for adding expression and musicality.


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