Hi, I’m Robert Estrin, and this is LivingPianos.com. Today’s topic is, “Do All Piano Pedals Feel The Same?” I’m not talking about if the three pedals on a specific piano feel the same as one another. They might feel different from one another. But the question is, is there a standard way that all pianos’ pedals should feel? Believe it or not, the answer is no!
Pedals can feel drastically different from one piano to another.
Let me give you a great example. Growing up, my father Morton Estrin had several pianos. We had three or four pianos in the house through most of my childhood. Early on, there was a Steinway model S baby grand from the 1930s as well as a Baldwin L which was a more recently produced 6′ 3″ grand piano. Sitting down at the Steinway, if your foot was even leaning on the sustain pedal, it would start to hold notes. It had a very small amount of travel and it was quite hard to push. Comparing that to the Baldwin sustain pedal, which was easy to push and had a lot of travel to it, it responded completely differently! So why isn’t there a standard?
Whatever piano you play becomes your new normal and you compare all other pianos to it.
So, be sure that if you’re ever performing anywhere, try out the pedals to see how hard they are to push. See how much travel they have and at what point in the travel they start to respond. And not just the sustain pedal. The una corda, or soft pedal, for example, may seem like it isn’t even working. You may not notice any perceptible difference in sound. On other pianos, you push the pedal down, and hear a drastic change of tone! That is something that can be regulated to some extent, but there’s a certain amount that has to do with how much the piano’s been played and how it’s been voiced.
The pedals on pianos are all unique and you must be able to adjust.
Anytime you get an opportunity to play pianos, just for fun, try out the pedals so that when you have a performance, you can adjust quickly for a satisfying musical performance.
I hope this is helpful for you. Send your questions to Robert@LivingPianos.com so I can answer them in upcoming videos. See you next time here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store