Attention of the Month (II): Pedalling

[anti-rclick]May 4, 2011

Last month we talked about Sitting Posture. This month let’s talk about Pedalling.

Place both feet on the floor. Have left foot securely planted on the floor. Lift right foot up onto the right pedal. Secure the right ankle firmly into the floor. Place the ball of the right foot on the pedal. Keep it stick to the pedal. Try not to lift it up as much as possible. Even when you have to lift it up, try to keep it low and close to the pedal.

You don’t have to press the pedal all the way down all the time. Most of the time we don’t. (We can use full pedal, half pedal, a quarter pedal, or even “flutter pedal”).

When you use the pedal, press the ball of the foot halfway down into the pedal while the heel of the foot is still on the floor. When you release the pedal, the ball of the foot should still be on the pedal.

Feel the sheen of your right foot (as well as the front of your right calf) is controlling the lifting up and pressing down of the foot, not the sole of the foot.

Avoid abrupt movement of lifting up or pressing down the pedal. Remember, when the physical movement in your playing is abrupt and not smooth, your music would also sound abrupt and not smooth as well.

We do not always play and press down the pedal at the same time. Sometimes we can first play a note(chord) and then use the pedal. For the same reasoning, we can first release a note (chord) and then release the pedal.

WRONG: The heel is up in the air. It should stay ON the floor at all times.

WRONG: The ball of the foot should stay ON the pedal most of the times if not all times for smooth control of pedalling, to avoid abrupt release of pedal and potential noise.

CORRECT VERSION: both heel and foot are at the right positions!

One more thing: Your body weight (center of gravity) should not be shifted to the back or front because of the use of pedal.

More on pedalling later,

Teresa Wong

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