Piano Pedalling Techniques – From Beginner to Advanced

If you are a pianist who is just starting out or are an intermediate then you will have come across this situation where you listen to someone play and it just sounds exquisite but once you try to replicate the same piece of music, it sounds nowhere close to what you had heard. This is often down to the use of the piano pedals. They might look mundane but at the feet of a skilled pianist, they can create magic. It is, however, one aspect of piano playing that is often ignored. Mastering piano pedalling can separate you from the hordes of soulless pianists out there. It is the little things that gives music life and separates the great musicians from the ordinary ones.

The pedals on a piano might not seem like much but can become one of the biggest tool in your arsenal if you want to take your piano playing to the next level. Today we will explore the various techniques involved in the usage of pedals ranging from the basic to the advanced. These techniques are especially helpful if you have a plateau in your journey as a musician and would like to kick things up a notch.


piano pedalling


Before we begin, it is necessary to identify the pedals. Most modern pianos have two. Digital pianos usually have one and some older pianos and grand pianos might have three but we won’t look at the third one as it is not that useful or readily available.

In pianos with three pedals, these two will be on the right and left as described above with an extra pedal in the middle that is very rarely used.


Let us now take a look at the various basic techniques:



The more advanced techniques:


These are by no means the exhaustive list of techniques but these are the most fundamental ones. Almost every other technique out there is a variant of one of these. Once you have become sufficiently proficient with these you can explore further and invent your own techniques. Experiment with soft pedal using the above techniques and you will soon get an idea of when you need to use which technique.


Some tips:


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