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Flat pedal boards - any tips?

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  • Flat pedal boards - any tips?



    A few months ago I was able to get regular practice time on a magnificent instrument - my first experience with a flat pedal board. I've been playing it a couple of days a week, but still have not been able to adapt to it very well. </P>


    I don't have problems with accuracy, but it is physically uncomfortable to play. I can't figure out a good height for the bench - everything about it feels awkward, even after all this time...</P>


    Any advice?</P>

  • #2
    Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?



    Flat pedal boards are easier and cheeper to build than concave radiating pedal boards... I honestly do not understand why people build them. Unless they are just trying to save money. </P>


    Its like curved knee panels. They are expencive to make..... but there is nothing better. </P>

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    • #3

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      • #4
        Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?



        There's nothing wrong with a flat pedalboard - it is just a matter of becoming familiar with it. The greatest pipe organ music ever written (Bach, all German baroque music, Mendelssohn, Franck, all French Romantic music and a good deal of French 20th-century music) was writtenfor just such a pedalboard! I always figured that if it was good enough for Europe, perhaps I'd best get acquainted with it. []</P>


        There are actually a few advantages, such as playing with the all-toe method for Baroque works. It is also more spacious for organ duets; on a traditional concave/radiating pedalboard two players can feel like they are competing for space - this is especially true for a virtuoso work like the Merkel Preis-Sonate,which has a busy part forfour legs (that's two performers). []</P>


        I also like the look of a flat pedalboard; the parallel lines have a simple elegance that can blend harmoniously with the lines of the bench, keyboards, and (if the organ has them) drawknob terraces.</P>


        I occasionally perform on a baroque-style organ that has two pedalboards - such a luxury! I've rehearsed programs using both the flat pedalboard and the concave/radiating one. After a bit of practice I found that I actually preferred the flat one for all of my Baroque programs.</P>


        A helpful tip: keep in mind that each note is exactly equidistant from the adjacent notes - thiscan bea bit helpful when trying to play without looking.</P>

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        • #5
          Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?



          [quote user="soubasse32"]</p>

          ...
          ...Merkel Preis-Sonate, ...has a busy part forfour legs (that's two performers). []
          ...</p>

          [/quote]</p>

          Or, one insect.[]</p>

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          • #6
            Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?

            Actually, that could only be one insect: the preying mantis. [8-|]

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            • #7
              Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?



              Wow! What an awesome image that invokes! I can just see it in long tails and a cape! (Playing T&amp;F in d, of course)</P>


              David</P>

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              • #8
                Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?

                no tips other than get bigger feet heheheh...size 14 dogs here..anyhooo..I've only had about 3 minutes of time on a modern flat pedalboard organ..a modern Swedish tracker in NYC... it was a joy for me to play..I took to it like a fish to water...but...for only 3 mins..but I must say i pedaled MUCH easier on it than on a AGO pedalboard. I'm 6'4" though..that and the big feet thing make the BDO style probably a better fit for me.

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                • #9
                  Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?



                  I only play on this instrument two days a week and play an instrument with a concave/radiating pedalboard the other five days. I don't have too many problems with accuracy anymore. I've been surprisedto find myself using all toes much of the time on the flat pedalboard without even thinking about it, especially when playing Baroque music, even though I use heels a lot on the other instrument. </P>


                  The hardest thing has been reaching the highest and lowest notes without feeling like I'm going to fall off the bench. If the bench is too high, I can't reach (andItend to slouch), but if it's too low, I feel like I have to hold my feet up away from the pedals when they're not playing. (Neither the organ nor the bench have anywhere to put one's feet when they're not in use.) </P>


                  It also seems hard to get the bench the right distance from the manuals. It always seems too far away(so I feel like I can barely reach the manuals)or too close (so that the black notes on the pedal are right under my toes). </P>


                  So frustrating! </P>

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                  • #10
                    Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?

                    Can't give any advice. I play on AGO Pedal boards. Maybe in the future I'll play a flat pedalboard.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?



                      After playing on an (almost AGO) pedal board, playing a flat pedal board gives the feeling that the pedal board is actually convex (the pedals lower at the ends and the middle pedals are higher). Also, it is more difficult to reach the lowest pedals on a flat pedal board. The most critical dimension for me is the spacing of the pedals as I find the new note by the interval from the old note. </p>

                      I am sure that an experienced player can adapt to whatever pedal board is available. As far as heel and toe pedaling is concerned, it is easier for me to use the toe method most times. For legato playing, use of the heel seems sometimes to be essential. I am strictly an amateur player who is currently taking lessons. I am interested to here from others about their experiences.
                      </p>
                      Allan

                      My home organ
                      Style D Wurlitzer pipe organ
                      http://bluemoonwalkinghorses.com/Sty...tion5_rev3.htm
                      Five Newfoundland dogs
                      Sixteen Tennessee walking horseshoes

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                      • #12
                        Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?



                        [quote user="crapmaster"]The hardest thing has been reaching the highest and lowest notes without feeling like I'm going to fall off the bench.[/quote]Yes, that can be an issue. I agree with Allan's assessment that it can feel almost like a convex pedalboard.</P>


                        I'll tryto put a positive spin on it: the highest and lowest notes on a pedalboard often have a dramatic feel, musically-speaking; if you have to reach a bit harder for them, then there is a little extra expressive 'drama' ... tryusing that toyouradvantage. [8-|]</P>

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                        • #13
                          Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?

                          I have a friend whose former teacher gave her a little pedal exercise to help her adjust more quickly to the use of a flat pedalboard. I'll get in touch with her to find out what that exercise is (I've been meaning to get it for a long time now anyway!) and will pass it along. She is, though, out of town (an organ tour somewhere -- now that she's retired she does many organ tours) at the moment and does absolutely nothing techie (email, cell phone), so it'll be a few weeks until I can post this exercise. Keep checking back if you're interested!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Flat pedal boards - any tips?

                            That would be great! I've been reworking pedal parts on some pieces to use only toes on the highest and lowest notes. That's helpful - makes it easier and less awkward to reach those notes.

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