Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Damper Users - Give us a Clue!

I don't have dampers on my instrument. You could say that I have "damper lust". Consequently, I don't have much to offer in the area of damper instruction. I depend on my students and blog fans to teach ME about the use of dampers.

So tell me … what has been the biggest "ah ha" moment you've had while learning to play with dampers? Share your words of wisdom and we'll begin a list of tips right here. I'll get it all started with a couple of pointers I learned from a student today. She got these gems from Maggie Sansone during her recent joint workshop with Marya Katz.

1.  Don't like the central position of the damper pedal? Easy fix! Decide which foot you'd rather play with - right or left? Position the pedal to the left or right side of center. Pull up the string on the top of the damper bar on that side. Tie an overhand knot. Tadah! But be careful. The drawback to this is you can't alternate your feet to spread out the physical exertion. Fatigue could become an issue.

2.  Wish you could have more control over the sustain of your instrument? Ride the pedal. Like riding the brake in your car - not entirely activated and not entirely off. Strike a happy medium.

Don't be shy! Do you play with dampers? We need your advice. Give us a clue!

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