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Pedals for piano

Pedals offer a system that allows you to control the functionality and modification of the sounds produced from the piano, not to be confused with a guitar pedal. The basic idea of pedals is to add value to the sound or attenuate it according to the requirement of a musical piece. Pianists make use of these pedals to add dynamics to their performance and it makes playing this instrument much more interesting. Although the proper use of pedals is an art that pianists can only learn over time and with practice, once you have a good understanding of how to use these pedals intelligently, you will be able to make your performance even more soulful.

Most acoustic pianos are equipped with two or three pedals, but it's the sustain pedal that allows the notes to continue playing after removing pressure from the key, which is most important whether you're playing an old-fashioned, upright or electric keyboard. However, unlike a standard acoustic piano, not all electric pianos or digital pianos are equipped with their own sustain pedals. And even when they do, the included equipment often leaves something to be desired in terms of quality.

The good news: you can easily purchase a sustain pedal for your piano/piano, whether you want to add it to your setup or upgrade the cheap pedal that came with your digital piano kit.

Not all sustain pedals are created equal in terms of quality and responsiveness. Here's what to look for when buying a pedal.

Polarity: There is no manufacturer polarity standard, meaning a pedal that works perfectly with one piano can have the opposite effect - turning the sustain off rather than on - on another piano. One way to avoid this is to simply buy a pedal from the same manufacturer as the piano. You can also find a pedal with a polarity switch, making the device more or less universally compatible.

Action: When you press it, you should feel more or less the same resistance and responsiveness from a sustain pedal on an electric piano as on an acoustic piano.

Non-slip: To prevent the pedal from sliding backwards while playing, it's important to have some sort of rubberized bottom or rubber feet. This will also keep the pedal somewhat protected from hard or rough surfaces like cement.

Durability: Look for pedals made from hard-wearing materials and that won't give out after just a few months of regular use.

Common digital piano pedals

1. Volume pedal:

Digital pianos usually come with volume pedals. The purpose and characteristics of these pedals intended for a digital piano are very similar to the pedals found in a regular acoustic piano. Most digital pianos come with this pedal, which is often built into the system. If you use this pedal, a signal is sent to the internal system of your piano telling it whether you want to raise or lower the volume.
Aside from the basic volume pedal, the three basic types of pedals found on a grand piano are usually also designated with a digital piano. Although you may find some instruments with these triple pedals, some may only have two or even fewer.

2. Una Corda Pedal:

This is another standard pedal that is included in the package of most digital pianos and is often referred to as the soft pedal. As you can identify by the name, this piano pedal is used to make the sound look softer but at the same time makes it look more distant. Speaking of grand pianos; when you hit a key, three hammers hit the strings to produce the sound. The function of this pedal is to create an effect that only allows two of the three hammers to strike the strings inside the piano, causing the sound to be much softer than it otherwise is.
In the case of a digital piano, this una corda pedal performs a similar function, but the effect is created using a switch. This pedal for a digital piano can also change the sound of instruments other than piano such as guitar, accordion and others. Thus making the sound more authentic. Moreover, it also performs modulation function and controls the effects like pitch, vibratos, velocity and other effects associated with the sound produced.

3. Sustain Pedal:

Usually, this is located towards the right side of the pedals in a grand piano. The most commonly used sustain pedal is a high pedal and is truly the soul of playing the piano. This piano maintains the sound by removing the dampers from the strings, allowing them to vibrate freely until the pedal is depressed. Thus, all notes will be played continuously until the vibration stops on its own or you release the sustain pedal. This pedal can create complex connections such as legato passages with connected notes and is used to add value to the piano tone.

On the other hand, digital pianos don't actually have any strings, dampers and vibrations, thus the pedal with a digital piano is designed to create an effect as close to that found with a real piano. Although the sustain effect with a digital piano wouldn't be as interesting as with a real piano, but this switch-operated pedal would support a similar effect. Most digital pianos contain this pedal.
Half pedal: Half pedal involves only pressing down on the sustain pedal so that the dampers only slightly touch the strings, thus giving you an impressive variation with sound. This effect is usually only used by professional piano players beforehand, and this effect works brilliantly well with higher pitched sounds. Many modern digital pianos also include the half pedal effect.

4. Sostenuto:

The term Sostenuto also means sustain, but this is different from the sustain pedal we described earlier. This center pedal on a grand piano is actually a tone support pedal, designed to sustain only the notes that a pianist chooses to sustain. This means that dampers on only those notes/keys will be sustained/hold that have been depressed while the pedal is depressed. It would not sustain other notes. This pedal is not commonly used and is found with all digital pianos, and many pianists actually don't even need this pedal.


Even if you own a digital piano and not a real grand piano, it's still important for you to understand the functionality and use of these pedals so you can improve your performance by adding more tone and expression to what you play. Understand the role of pedals and learn how you can use them to control your performance and make it more versatile, so it looks like you're playing a real instrument. Aside from these basic pedals, you can also add other pedals to your digital piano. These pedals are additional accessories that you can purchase, install and use at a later date - including here at SoundStoreXL.