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  • Zoe Lim

The Pedals of a Piano

Everyone knows about the piano keys and how they are played. However, most don't even know that pianos have pedals, let alone understanding their functions and what they're for. While using the pedals, it is best that press the pedal down with your heels on the ground, otherwise you might risk breaking them.

To start off, there are 3 pedals : Sustain pedal, Soft pedal and the Middle pedal

1. Sustain Pedal / Damper Pedal

The most commonly used, you could probably tell what it is used for just by its name. The sustain pedal sustains the note. Holding this pedal down will sound the notes out even when you let go of the keys.

2. Soft Pedal

The pedal on the left is usually a soft pedal. Holding this pedal down will give your notes a quieter tone of quality. It is not necessarily lowering the volume of the note, but 'softening it'.

3. Middle Pedal

This is where things get a little tricky. The middle pedal can do all sorts of things depending on the piano you’re playing. On traditional grand pianos, this pedal is the sostenuto pedal. It helps you to sustain a chord in one place while then continuing to play staccato in another place on the piano.

On other pianos, the pedal can also be a practice pedal. It softens the notes even quieter than a soft pedal. They often have a locking mechanism so you can practice without bothering people.


Zoe is an avid fan of all kinds of music. Her primary instrument is the guitar but she is always passionately learning how to play other instruments such as the drums and keyboard. She is currently playing the bass guitar in a band and has been routinely involved in music since she was a child.

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