Does Digital Piano Need Sustain Pedal? Let's Find Out!

Last Updated on March 10, 2022

Do Digital Pianos Need Sustain Pedals?

Yes, The role of pedals is significant in the sound production of a piano. It helps you control the volume and pitch of the notes played by your fingers.

The use of sustain pedal can make a single note last longer or more than one note at once. Without it, each keystroke will not hear as a separate event.

So, if you want to play multiple notes simultaneously, you must use the sustain pedal.

Basic volume control pedal for a digital piano

The ideal volume pedals on a digital piano are easy to find and operate. They should also be adjustable to users with different types of pianos.

Its extra functions can help you create various sounds from the same instrument.

For example, some models allow you to turn off the bass strings while keeping the treble strings active. It makes it possible to play chords without any unwanted low-frequency noise.

The transition between notes is smooth when using these pedals. You don't hear abrupt changes in sound quality.

You can adjust the volume level of all the keys on the keyboard. Some models even include an automatic function to set the desired volume level.

The three piano pedals: Terms of function

The piano pedal system consists of three pedals:

  • The soft pedal (also known as the damper pedal)
  • The sustaining pedal
  • The release pedal

Soft pedal (left pedal)

This pedal allows you to mute the sound when you press down on it. When you lift your foot from this pedal, the sound resumes again.

  • Connected notes

When you use this pedal, only the notes attached to it will be affected. For example, if you join the left hand to the right pedal, only the notes played by the left hand will be muted.

Both hands will be mute if you connect both the left hand and the right hand to the pedal.

Sustaining pedal ( right pedal)

This pedal controls how long the sound plays after you stop playing. You can either keep the sound going for as long as you wish or let it fade out naturally.

The dampers from strings are rubber made. These dampers absorb the vibration energy from the lines and prevent them from vibrating too much.

Release pedal (middle pedal or centre pedal)

This pedal lets you change the pitch of the sound.

If you press down on this pedal while still holding down the sustain pedal, the sound will rise in pitch.

This effect is called "pitch bend".

The pitch returns to normal when you lift your foot from the release pedal.

What is the most-used pedal?

For a beginner pianist, the most used pedal is the left pedal. It is easier to learn how to hold and use this pedal.

However, it is not always the best choice because it affects all the notes played by both hands.

For the professional pianist, the middle pedal is the most popular. It allows you to play chords and arpeggios.

It is also helpful for creating complex rhythms. In addition, you can use it to play single notes.

To get the best results and no mess of notes, make sure you have the correct type of pedal.

How do I know which type of pedal to buy?

Before buying a new digital piano, you need to decide what kind of pedal you want to use.

There are two main types of pedals:

  • The spring pedal
  • The electronic pedal

1. Spring pedal

A spring pedal is very similar to a traditional acoustic piano.

These pedals consist of springs that move back and forth under pressure. They are attached to a metal plate.

The movement of the plate causes the strings to vibrate.

Spring pedals are on many inexpensive digital pianos. However, they lack the accuracy and produce root note sounds.

2. Electronic pedal

An electronic pedal uses sensors and electronics to control the strings. They produce accurate sounds with rich tonal colours.

Electronic pedals are more expensive than spring pedals, but they offer better performance.

You may want to consider an electronic pedal if you're playing at high volume levels.

How can I sustain my keyboard without a pedal?

The best way to sustain your keyboard is to use a footswitch. A footswitch allows you to switch between different keyboards using only one hand.

It is advantageous when you need to type for long periods.

Footswitches come in several varieties:

  • Push-button
  • Pull cord
  • Slide switch
  • Pressure-sensitive pad

For example, push-buttons are easy to operate, but they require constant attention. Pull levers are less distracting, but they take longer to activate.

Slide switches are ideal for beginners who don't like to be bothered by buttons.

Pressure-sensitive pads are suitable for people who prefer a smooth transition between keys.

Do you need a sustain pedal for the MIDI keyboard?

Yes, you do need a sustain pedal for a MIDI keyboard. The sustain pedal allows you to play notes longer than 1/4 note.

Without a sustain pedal, you cannot play chords or arpeggios. You can use a footswitch instead.

Sustain pedals are available for most MIDI keyboards.

Where should I place the sustain pedal?

Most digital pianos have space underneath the keyboard to put the sustain pedal.

Some manufacturers recommend placing the pedal below the keyboard. It will allow you to see the touch sensor while playing.

However, some players find it challenging to reach the pedal from their seats.

What is the difference between the sustain pedal and the damper pedal?

Both pedals work in similar ways.

They dampen the sound of the string when you press down on them.

The sustain pedal stops the string's vibration after you release the key.

The damper pedal stops the vibration of all the strings simultaneously.

When you play a chord, the sustain pedal lets you hold each note.

When you play a sustained note, the damper pedal makes sure that every message stays in tune.

Which pedal is better for me?

It depends on how you plan to play your keyboard.

If you plan to play solos or songs, use a sustain pedal. A sustain pedal helps you create a richer tone.

If you plan on practising scales and exercises, then use a damper pedal.

A damper pedal is easier to use because you can play faster.

Last words

The idea of pedals is to add extra features to your piano. Pedals help you make music more enjoyable.

You can transform your piano into a versatile instrument with a few simple additions.

Heya'll Im Oliver (Oli), I run MyDigitalPiano.com. By trade an Electrical Engineer, an owner of a piano shop. Always being asked about my recommendations for top piano, I created this site. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out :)

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