Playing the piano is all about creating beautiful, expressive music. A sustain pedal is an essential accessory that can help you achieve that goal. It allows you to hold notes for longer, giving your playing a rich, full sound. But not all sustain pedals are created equal. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the key features to consider when choosing a sustain pedal, and highlight the best sustain pedals on the market.
What is a Sustain Pedal?
A sustain pedal is a device that allows you to sustain notes or chords after you release the keys. When pressed, it lifts the dampers off the strings, allowing them to vibrate and produce sound without being muted. Releasing the pedal lowers the dampers back onto the strings, ending the sustain effect. Sustain pedals come in various designs, with some resembling a traditional piano pedal and others taking on a more modern look.
The Purpose of a Sustain Pedal
The sustain pedal adds a layer of depth and expressiveness to your playing. It enables you to play legato phrases smoothly and sustain chords for as long as you need, creating a more beautiful and dynamic sound. Using a sustain pedal can make a significant difference in your playing, giving you greater control over the expression of your music.
Key Features to Consider
- Compatibility – Make sure the sustain pedal you choose is compatible with your piano keyboard.
- Build Quality – Look for a sustain pedal with a sturdy build quality that will withstand regular use.
- Pedal Feel – The pedal should have a comfortable and responsive feel under your foot.
- Polarities – Check whether your keyboard requires a normally open or normally closed sustain pedal.
- Cable Length – Make sure the cable length is long enough to reach your keyboard.
Best Sustain Pedals on the Market
- Yamaha FC5A – This is a reliable and durable sustain pedal that is compatible with a wide range of keyboards.
- M-Audio SP-2 – This sustain pedal is well-built and has a realistic pedal feel, making it a popular choice for many pianists.
- Roland DP-10 – The DP-10 has a sturdy build and a comfortable pedal feel, making it ideal for extended playing sessions.
- Korg PS-1 – This is a compact and lightweight sustain pedal that is perfect for musicians on the go.
- Nektar NP-2 – The NP-2 has a long cable and a sturdy build, making it a great choice for studio use.
A sustain pedal is an essential accessory for any pianist who wants to create a rich, full sound. By considering the key features outlined in this guide, you can choose the best sustain pedal for your needs and take your piano playing to the next level. Don’t settle for a subpar sustain pedal – elevate your playing with the best sustain pedals on the market.