Category Archives: Pedaling

Pedaling for Hymns

pedals1Pedaling is very fascinating to me.

I remember being told by a teacher to change the pedal every time a chord changed. That was very good, basic advice.

When playing traditional gospel songs (ie: Power in the Blood), you will have your three basic/primary chords: I, IV, and V.

If you apply the basic principle of pedaling for every chord change, you won’t pedal overly much.

But if you add anything remotely extra, like any stepwise in either hand or even changing bass octaves within a measure (like moving from Bb to D on a Bb chord), you will want to lift the pedal more often.

I always try to listen for any “muddling” and negate that by lifting the pedal more frequently.

Any stepwise I usually “flutter” the pedal or “half-pedal”. Just a quick lift to clear the air.

Overall, I would rather have less pedal when playing hymns. If they are a little dry that’s ok. A heavy pedal just causes muddles and blurs everything together.

Oh, and while I’m on the subject, basic pedaling technique includes the following:

1. Heel on the floor (always, at all times)

2. Play then pedal (have the pedal up when playing the first note(s) of a new chord, then put the pedal down)

Anything you would add? I love hearing your comments!

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!


Falling Asleep at the Piano

No, the title isn’t referring to my falling asleep at the piano, as in my mind going to sleep. Although, I’ve been tired enough sometimes that I felt like I could fall asleep…

Anyway, what I’m referring to is my leg (my left leg) falling asleep while I’m playing. It happened this morning during the service, and I had to move my foot around to wake it back up.

This has happened to me several times at this piano. Mostly it happens during orchestra practice or another rehearsal, but this time it was during the actual service.

Thankfully, I was able to get the blood flowing again before I had to walk down the stairs.

My question is…why is this happening? It’s never happened before on/at any other piano I’ve played on?

Maybe the height of the bench is different?

Maybe I have my leg back at a bad angle?

Whatever the reason, I don’t like it. The feeling (or lack of feeling) is discomforting.

Why do you think this happens? Has it ever happened to you?

Help me out, please! I welcome your suggestions!

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!

Piano and Cowboy Boots

I’m very picky about what shoes I wear to play the piano.

Flats don’t work. Wedges don’t work.

Heels do work, but not too thin of a heel. Not too chunky either. (I’d take chunky over thin, though.)

So, this week I’m faced with a dilemma.

Our church has a special Sunday this Sunday called Fall Festival Day. It’s a day where the service is more casual and somewhat of a western theme.

It’s a day where cowboy(girl) boots are the “in” footwear. And, yes, I do own cowboy boots. And I love them.

My boots

My boots

But I’ve never played the piano in them.

I have played wearing winter boots before, and I didn’t like it. The boots were just below the knee, and when I lifted my foot for the pedal, the boot rubbed against my leg in a very weird way.

I really want to wear my boots. If I don’t wear them, I’m not sure what shoes I would wear.

Decisions, decisions.

What do you think? Would you wear cowboy boots to play the piano? Have you done it before?

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!


Weirdest Experience by Far

I promise – this really did happen! I was accompanying a special music group and had my music spread out across the piano. During the song, the air conditioning blew one of the pages, the last page, off the piano onto the floor. Thankfully, it landed with the music facing up. My mind started racing. What was I going to do when I needed that page?

Picture this: I was on the stage, about two steps up from the main floor. The page fell on the right side of the piano – the side that faced the congregation. Remember, I was playing the pedal with my right foot. So, I switched my left foot to the (right) pedal, leaving my right foot free to move. My right foot stretched to the music and turned it around so that it faced me. When I reached that point of the song, I just looked at the page on the floor and read the music from there! Whew – what a scary moment! I’m not sure what I would have done if the page have flipped over or flew farther away from me. Now I always check for air drafts, plus I use page protectors to secure the sheet music.

Has something like this ever happened to you?