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Rscee
07-17-2012, 04:02 AM
I am doing my grade 7 Ameb piano for leisure exam, one of the songs I have chosen to play is Proud Mary, however, I am not quite sure of where I should put the pedal, any advice? :confused:

Color of Music
07-17-2012, 05:26 AM
I am doing my grade 7 Ameb piano for leisure exam, one of the songs I have chosen to play is Proud Mary, however, I am not quite sure of where I should put the pedal, any advice? :confused:

Are you sight-reading or playing by ear (from memory)? If you're sight-reading, then the pedal markings should indicate it.

AFAIK, there's no rule on where to put the pedal because not every player will put it in the same place even if he or she has heard the song.

From videos I've seen when the sustain pedal is depressed, that's up to the person playing. The problem is deciding when too much pedal is too much or not enough as (unless indicated), you want the song to sound connected and the sustain pedal is a good way to do this.

I can't say where to put it, but I can say that you wanna lift your foot up, just a bit before changing to the next chord. Now, you don't always have to do it, but only when the chord doesn't change or sees just one or two notes change.

C-C or C-C7. However, if C-Am, you want to lift your foot, then bring it back down on the Am chord.

IOW, get a feeling for the pedal and coordinate your hands with it. Hands down, pedal down; hands up, pedal up (if the chord changes)

It is crucial to gauge how much pedal you evoke though. No pedal means staccato like notes; too much and your get a sonority blur which isn't pleasant if it too much. Your ears will tell you.

Rscee
07-17-2012, 02:41 PM
Are you sight-reading or playing by ear (from memory)? If you're sight-reading, then the pedal markings should indicate it.


Thanks for your advise. I'm playing from the exam book,unfortunately there's no pedal indicate at all.

Color of Music
07-18-2012, 03:59 AM
Thanks for your advise. I'm playing from the exam book,unfortunately there's no pedal indicate at all.

Ah, well, it's up to you, but do get a feel for the pedal and use your ears to keeping in mind the additional advice.

It's the same way with the pedal controller for midi. (CC64). If you decide to play keyboard with a pedal controller or foot-switch.

Btw, I told you wrong.

I'll explain using controller data:

CC 64: 0 (*) = no pedal (off)
CC64: 64 (p) = half pedal (on/off)
CC64: 127 (P) = all pedal (on)

*Note: just like you would playing an acoustic piano (keybord), you don't necessary want all pedal.

P: C-C7* / P: F-Fm* / G-C (the last two chords are up to you) I didn't use the lower case p as that is just an indicator given the controller value.

A side note:

You may see what are called pedal notes. These are often found in the bass (left hand) which means to hold that note across a series of chords.

P: G/ C-G-F-G* - bass (if player is present of LH) may then play C. So, the pedal note G is held across four chords.

To practice, just play the bass note (G) with your left and the top note of each chord (E, D, C, D, E/C = C second inversion; G root position; F root position; G root position; C first/second inversion.

You'll see and hear how G fits each chord. E works, however, there's an F chord which will cause a clash, so avoid using that note. C also fits which is why you hear people say that the bass plays roots and fifths for the simplest of patterns. (C = root, G = fifth) You can play the third (and many more notes in-between as you progress) but it depends on the progression and how much or little movement you want.

Another way to practice, is to not use the pedal, but hold down the notes for the entire duration. The note will simply decay, but the effect is the same whether it one whole, two half or four quarter notes.

Likewise, if you plucked a string (ie: harp) - or a note was written with the LV (let vibrate) indicator (as seen with harp music) this is a pedal note.

It's the same with chords. (Gm9-Bbmaj7. The Bbmaj7 is in both chords, but be mindful of the bass going from G to Bb, though it can stay on G or Bb because of the sonority. (a minor third)

Often times, when bigger chords are constructed, they aren't taken apart to see what makes them up. Going as far as a thirteenth: There are five smaller chords that make it up from the 11th all the way down to the triad. This means with a Gm9, the pedal can be depressed when a Gm9-Bbmaj7-Dm run is done for the entire phrase. However, stick to one note in the bass, preferably the root (G) to avoid muddiness.

Lastly, there also might be cases where you get into chord substitutions. They work because of the relationship or harmonic function within any given progression, but the most common reason is due to the sonority.

F-Am-Gm7-C7-F

Substitution 1: F-FMaj7-Bb6-C7b9-F

Substitution 2: F-Dm-Bb-Edim7-F

Substitution 3: F-F7-Bb-Bbm-F-C7-F (F-F7/A-Bb allows a walk up)

Substitution 4: FMaj9-F7b9-Bbm9-Bbm6-Eb9-F

Substitution 5: Dm9sus-D7#5b9-Gm9-GbMaj9-FMaj9-F6

Try out all five of these progressions and note the similarity in the sonority. Btw, the reason for more chords is because of prolongation. Often, this is used when applying the substitution technique. (Substitution 5 only adds one more chord, but even adding just one is prolonging the progression.)

So to review:

1) Depending on how similar the proceeding chord is, the pedal may or not need to be lifted. (ie: [P]: C-C7) Do lift it when the proceeding chord is completely different (ie: P: C-C7*-F)

2) For pedal bass notes and/or chords, if there's a similar sonority in a progression, the pedal can remain depressed until the sonority (chord) changes (ie: [P]: Gm9-BbMaj7-Dm*-[P]: C7b9*-[P]: FMaj9*

2a: You can play chord tones in the bass (LH), but be mindful of which notes to pedal if you do. (ie: Root and Fifth for optimal sonority)

3) Sonority, Sonority, Sonority! (Use your ears! Use your ears! Use your ears!)

Pedal placement is different for every player who isn't reading the music; however, if they are, they may not always follow the pedal markings. Chord substitutions work (or don't work) because of this; more often than not, they do, however.

4) There are no rules in music - even in the strict classical sense - only guidelines! Makes no difference what style of music is played or read. Do not mistake this to mean - completely ignore the sheet music! (in the classic sense - especially)

I realize this is alot, but I hope it helps! (Note: I'm not a piano teacher)

Color of Music
07-20-2012, 02:04 AM
Here's a video on how to use it (if there are no markers to indicate):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MqUgAkMMyY

(I found it after I had written the above post)