M-Audio SP-2 Piano Style Sustain Pedal
One of the best selling products, this is one of the best piano style sustain pedal for use with any electronic keyboard. The high-quality chrome finish foot pedal also has expressive half-pedal capabilities.
Price Range: $15 to $20
The rubber bottom grips ensure it just stays in its place on the floor. It includes 6-foot cable with 1/4-inch jack. Available for around 20 bucks, this is the best piano style pedal. Read more…
Casio SP32 Pedal Board
If you want that typical three pedal unit, then this is a great option for your Privia Piano at home or at the studio. It has the ability to simulate a pedal that has been pressed down half way. It attaches to your CS67 Privia Stand.
Price Range: $30 to $40
Available for around 40 bucks, it easily connects to the Privia keyboard stand and gives it the looks of a real piano. Read more…
Yamaha Foot Pedal Unit
Designed to work with the Yamaha YPG and DGX 88 key piano keyboards, this Yamaha three-pedal unit is capable of producing a range of expressive effects similar to those produced by the pedals on an acoustic piano, including half damper effects.
Price Range: $65 to $85
Available for around 80 bucks, this pedal unit is a must if you have a top of the line DGX or YPG keyboard to turn it into a more accurate simulation of a piano. Read more…
Yamaha FC-4 Sustain Pedal
One of the best selling products, this is one of the best piano style sustain pedal for use with any electronic keyboard. The high-quality chrome finish foot pedal also has expressive half-pedal capabilities. The rubber bottom grips ensure it just stays in its place on the floor. It includes 6-foot cable with 1/4-inch jack. Available for around 20 bucks, this is the best piano style pedal. Read more…
Casio SP20 Piano Style Sustain Pedal
Casio SP-20 is a traditional piano-style pedal, designed to sustain notes in the same way as the damper pedal on an acoustic piano. This is an excellent pedal for your Casio keyboard or pianoRead more…
Lot of digital pianos and keyboards come bundled with pedals, but then most users find them to be of average quality.
Some of the concerns around these pedals include:
and so on…
So how do you solve this problem? Buy a separate sustain pedal unit instead!!!
External Sustain pedals are also best for budding keyboard players, who have graduated from being beginners and are now ready to learn advanced piano playing concepts. The extra investment is definitely justified now!
Why Do You Need It?
A good pianist or a keyboardist not only has to play the notes, he/she has to give some expression to the performance so that it does not sound monotonous.
For this, the performer uses techniques like playing the notes softer/louder, sustaining certain parts of the piece, making the volume gradually louder etc.
Now, if you place all your 10 fingers on the keyboard, how do you add those expression?
You use foot pedals!
Foot Pedals are keyboard accessories which you use with your foot, mostly right foot. It is used to add various effects such as sustaining, changing the volume etc. while your hands are busy playing the notes.
A beginner keyboard player may not need these foot pedals at all so you can save your money for later. Piano buyers need not worry about these as the pedals come attached to the piano by default.
You have several options depending on what keyboard you have. You may choose a budget yamaha pedal or a casio pedal. You also get proper piano style sustain pedal as well as three-pedal foot unit as in a real piano. Pedal board for Privia pianos are also available.
Most pianos have three pedals:
- Damper pedal (also known as Sustain pedal) – This pedal is to the extreme right. After you press a few keys, using this pedal sustains the sound for some time, even when you do not keep the keys pressed. The sound gradually fades away.
- Soft pedal (also known as Piano pedal) – Using this pedal basically reduces the volume of the notes played.
- Middle pedal – Lot of pianos have the two pedals mentioned above but some of them also have one more in the middle. This behaves like a sustain pedal but differs slightly. Press a few keys and press this pedal; the notes will be sustained. Now, any additional notes that you play will not sustain.
Recommended Keyboard Sustain Pedals
The most commonly used pedals with keyboards are the Sustain pedal and the Volume pedal.
- Sustain Pedal – Sustains the notes. This is similar to the one on a piano.
- Volume pedal – changes the volume of your notes.
In addition to these pedals, you do get a lot of additional pedals which are basically targeted towards professionals. It lets you control effects and accompaniments.
The price of these pedals is also affected largely by the quality of these pedals. A good pedal will have a metal bar for your foot and a base which does not slip.
You can try out all these pedals at your local dealer. Make sure that you really need one of those before you reach out for your wallet
Most of the Pianos have damper pedals that support different levels of pedaling response. It just means that the amount of sustaining is dependent on how much you press the pedal. Pianists who are used to half pedaling need to check for this feature while buying a Piano.
What About The Sustain Function/Button?
Most Digital Pianos & keyboards have a sustain button (not the pedal) that sustains all the notes that you play. Its more of an effect actually.
However, its not a substitute to a pedal, in-case you have never used a pedal before. For sustaining the notes while playing, the best option is to use a pedal. A pedal is used so that you can sustain only certain notes or passages in a song.
Besides sustain, many more effects, such as reverb, chorus, etc. are available on these instruments that can be added to the notes, using buttons.
Polarity Switch on Sustain Pedal
Till some back, certain sustain pedals that were available in the market did not work on most piano keyboards.
So for instance if it worked with Yamaha digital piano, it would not have worked with a Casio Privia.
And even if it worked, it used to give a reverse sustaining effect. It meant, the notes were sustained even while normal playing; you didn’t even had to press the pedal. And when you pressed the pedal, the sustain effect would be gone. Exactly opposite to the way it should have worked.
Obviously, there was no easy way to fix that problem. One thing that you could try (in case if you still have such a pedal) is to hold the pedal down before turning ON your piano-keyboard. In most keyboards, this would reverse the sustain effect and bring it back to normal.
Most manufacturers of sustain pedals realized that, and the newer pedals started coming with a polarity switch. If your keyboard gave a reverse polarity switch, you just have to change the polarity (using the switch) and the piano-keyboard would start sustaining the notes in the normal manner.
So it’s important to go in for a universal sustain pedal that would work with most keyboards. M-audio has one such piano style universal pedal that is very popular among keyboardists and pianists.
So you need a sustain pedal and are looking for options?
Here are some of the choices you have.
If you are a beginner keyboard player and own a portable music keyboard – Yamaha or the Casio, then you may consider going in for a foot switch (box) style pedal.
But if you are serious about your piano playing and don’t fancy the box style foot switch pedal, then a much better option is to go in for a piano style sustain pedal. It works perfectly fine with most stage pianos and music keyboards.
For those of you looking for a proper three-pedal foot unit, similar to what you find on a real piano, you can go in for the Yamaha Foot Pedal Unit which is suitable for DGX, YPG and P series pianos, or the casio pedal board which works fine with privia digital pianos.