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One pedal enough classical music? (Read 3047 times)

Offline bala12345

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One pedal enough classical music?
« on: July 01, 2015, 03:07:50 PM »
Hi. I am new to this forum and this is my first post here. I am an avid classical music listener covering all periods. Baroque, classical and romantic. I fell in love to play the piano after listening to compositions from Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin etc.

I am a complete beginner and I have never played a piano.  I am purchasing a new "Digital Piano", as of now. I have chosen "Yamaha P-45" due to budget reasons. I intend to just learn and play classical music especially from Chopin and Beethoven.

So here's my question. This question might seem silly. Apologies. Is just one pedal that is "Sustain Pedal" enough to play classical music?  Instead of using the "Soft Pedal", can't I just press the keys softly to achieve that sound? Will that be possible without the "Soft Pedal". Please guide me and thank you :) :)

Offline justharmony

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Re: One pedal enough classical music?
«Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 11:50:45 PM »
I'm excited for you!
If you've never played before, I'd say that the set up you have, plus the one pedal is sufficient for now.  If you really get into it... at the point at which you're really wanting/needing a soft pedal, you're probably going to be wanting a real piano. 

The una corda pedal is really meant to be used to shift the TONE of the instrument, not the volume, though plenty of people use it for the later.  In an ideal world, we should all be able to produce pp without using that as a crutch.  Again... that's a skill for down the road - I'm not sure the degree to which you have such control on the digital instrument you've got.  If you're really just starting out, get what you can afford, and enjoy making music.  At the point at which your instrument becomes a bother or a hurdle for you... then you can consider the next step for you.

IMHO

JH 

Offline bala12345

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Re: One pedal enough classical music?
«Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 03:36:29 AM »
Thanks so much for your reply :) I too am very excited about my first purchase of piano and cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Wow. This is indeed good news. The digital piano "Yamaha P-45" that I mentioned comes with a Graded Hammer Action. So its supposed to give that "Piano feel", I guess. If the "soft pedal" is not needed that much as of now, I think I'll go ahead and purchase this one. Thanks again for your valuable input :)

Offline indianajo

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Re: One pedal enough classical music?
«Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 03:57:55 AM »
I find the soft pedal fairly useless on well maintained pianos like the Sohmer, Baldwin, Howard, Wurlitzer (pre globalization) and Steinway consoles I play.  The middle pedal could be useful, but the function varies so much between brands and models that it is best not to get used to using it.  I took a lesson on a modern Yamaha 2 years ago, the middle pedal was some kind of felt damper that touched all the strings - talk about useless!
However, take a walk down to Salvation Army or St Vincent de Paul resale shop, and see if you can't find a $50 piano that is much better than a piece of plastic with rubber keys that will be trash in 10 years.  I picked up a nice playing Wurli spinette last month for $50, with a smashed music stand, cover pulls missing, and various dents and scratches.  The tone was dull and boring but the mechanism was consistent enough that I can practice this summer in my camp on it (caravan) without losing technique due to a three month layoff.  And for $50 it was in tune! probably because it had a 3" x 6" solid pin block, a trade off of stable tuning for boring tone. 
Or for $100 around here, you can get a Baldwin Acrosonic spinnette with a beautiful tone, although not as fast as the 40" Baldwin consoles that draw more like $600 and get hauled 70 miles away by some flipper in the country (which costs another $170 by U-haul truck, how I got the Wurli home)
Do not be tempted by post-globalization trash.  I played a nineties "Wurlitzer" in a student's home 2 years ago, the action was so inconsistent you couldn't play soft at all without dropping notes, either with or without the left pedal.   
Have fun whatever you do. 

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: One pedal enough classical music?
«Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 08:18:52 AM »
I find the soft pedal fairly useless on well maintained pianos like the Sohmer, Baldwin, Howard, Wurlitzer (pre globalization) and Steinway consoles I play.
Console? As in, an upright?
The una corda pedal only actually shifts the tone on a baby grand, as it moves the action slightly horizontally. You strike one less string.

Have fun whatever you do. 
Yes, this would be most important at this stage.
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Offline iansinclair

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Re: One pedal enough classical music?
«Reply #5 on: July 04, 2015, 01:56:39 AM »
As a direct answer -- yes.  You'll miss some advanced nuances, perhaps, but to start with the one pedal is quite sufficient.
Ian

Offline bala12345

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Re: One pedal enough classical music?
«Reply #6 on: July 08, 2015, 03:56:50 PM »
Thanks so much guys for all your replies. I actually ended up buying a Casio privia PX 350 which has 3 pedals. I thought it was surely worth the extra money. I'm now starting my journey of playing classical music. Thanks a ton again :)

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: One pedal enough classical music?
«Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 05:27:45 AM »
Thanks so much guys for all your replies. I actually ended up buying a Casio privia PX 350 which has 3 pedals. I thought it was surely worth the extra money. I'm now starting my journey of playing classical music. Thanks a ton again :)

Have fun- it's quite the ride, and the best part is that it never ends.
Jazz Ambassador 8)

Offline bala12345

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Re: One pedal enough classical music?
«Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 07:22:13 AM »
Thanks a ton Chopinlover.  :)

Offline richard black

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Re: One pedal enough classical music?
«Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 09:57:31 PM »
For what it's worth - the 'una corda' on an electronic keyboard is not much use - its only benefit is that you can practise the foot movements. (The same can be said of the left pedal on any upright.) The una corda on a grand is so unpredictable in its operation, depending on make, model and amount of use the hammers have had, that one really wants to try it out on the actual instrument one will be performing on.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.