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Play like a pro and achieve the perfect sound with a great selection of Keyboard Pedals
Whether you are a touring musician or a new student of music practicing at home, keyboards can be a great alternative to a piano, especially given that they take up less space and are exceedingly more portable. Of course when playing a keyboard, many musicians want an experience as close as possible to that of a genuine piano, and that includes the traditional foot operated pedal effects. Help ensure your keyboard is delivering the most authentic experience with these Keyboard Pedals.
The importance of keyboard pedals
Keyboard pedals are essential in order for a musician to be able to perform most piano music as it is written. However, while the 3 standard pedals are typically built into a traditional piano, this is not always the case with electronic keyboards. In fact, keyboard pedals are often treated as an additional accessory that can be connected or disconnected at will (typically via a universal ¼ inch input jack), and some keyboards may not even include them with the initial purchase.
Since these pedals so easily interchangeable, consumers also have a number of different options when choosing a new pedal accessory for their keyboard. Some pedal accessories may only offer one or two of the three traditional pedal effects. They can also vary in quality, with better pedals registering their effect by degrees depending on how far down they are depressed, while pedals of a lesser quality may only register a binary “on” or “off” degree of effect.
Regardless, most keyboardists will certainly require at least some type of keyboard pedal to ensure that their instrument can perform at the same high level as a traditional piano.
Types of keyboard pedals
As previously mentioned, most pianos have three pedals, each of which induces a unique and specific effect on the instrument. A keyboard pedal accessory may include all three pedals, or a combination of one or two of them. Of course the mechanical effects of these pedals are only emulated in a keyboard, as they don’t actually have the physical parts that are manipulated in a traditional piano.
Here is a rundown of the specific pedals and their uses:
The furthest pedal to the left is typically the Una Corda pedal. This pedal thins the tone of the piano by shifting the action slightly to the right, causing the hammer not to strike all of the string.
In the middle tends to rest the Sostenuto pedal. The Sostenuto pedal acts as a selective damper, providing sustain to the notes in every key that was pressed down at the time the pedal was engaged. All other keys will remain unaffected, even if the pedal remains depressed.
The final, and potentially most important pedal is the damper pedal. This pedal is so commonly used in piano arrangements that it is almost impossible to go without, and as such it is the most regularly available keyboard pedal, even as a standalone single-pedal unit. The damper adds sustain to every note that is struck once it is engaged, prolonging the sound by raising the dampers in the piano and allowing the strings to vibrate sympathetically.
Other types of keyboard pedals
The interchangeability of keyboard pedals also allows for the use of a variety of other pedals and effects that aren’t typically part of a traditional piano configuration. A great example of this is a volume pedal, which enables players to dynamically control the volume of their keyboard with their foot, leaving them free to keep both hands on the keys while still making volume adjustments.