Buying pedals for electronic instruments is not such a simple matter

Buying pedals for electronic instruments is not such a simple matter

See Foot controllers, pedals in the store

There are several types of electronic pedals: sustain, expression, function, and footswitches. The expression and function pedals can work like a potentiometer, e.g. smoothly changing the modulation and remaining in a fixed position with the foot movement (passive pedal). When buying this type of controller, make sure that it is compatible with your instrument. On the other hand, the sustain pedals, although they can be plugged into any keyboard, piano or synthesizer, come in many types and can become a pianist’s headache.

Do I need pedals?

In fact, it is possible to play the entire repertoire of songs without using the pedals. This applies especially to pieces performed on the keyboard (although e.g. footswitches can be very helpful), but also to a large part of classical piano music, e.g. the polyphonic work of JS Bach. Most of the later classical (and also popular) music, however, requires the use of pedals, or at least a decay pedal.

The ability to use the pedals can also be useful for electronic musicians who play classic synthesizers, whether it is for styling enhancement or for making a piece easier to perform.

Boston BFS-40 sustain pedal, source:

Choosing a sustain pedal- what’s so difficult about that?

Contrary to appearances, even the choice of such a simple element among models is important not only for the buyer’s portfolio. Of course, a person determined to play only the keyboard or synthesizer will be pleased with the compact and inexpensive short-stroke pedal.

However, the situation will be completely different if you want to play the piano. Of course, playing a digital piano with connected “keyboard” pedals is in no way unpleasant. It is worse, however, when the person playing such a set wants to perform pieces on acoustic pianos from time to time, or when that person is a child educated with the career of a pianist in mind.

The pedals in acoustic instruments differ, because not only in appearance, but also in the pedal stroke (this is often very large) and the switch between two different types of “keyboard” and piano, makes the performer pay much more attention to operating the foot, which means it is more difficult for him to play and it is much easier for him to make minor, but ruinous mistakes, especially insufficiently pressing the pedal.

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