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Thread: Is this true?

  1. #1
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    Default Is this true?

    I have heard from a friend that daily use of the left pedal on a grand piano, the high compressed felt will be mushy and worn-out because of the new positions of the hammers.

    Is this true?

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    I've never experienced this kind of phenomenon in all my years of playing a grand piano.

    Whenever I have the church grand piano tuned, which is at least two times each year, the piano tech tufts up the hammer ends so that they never get matted down.

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    IF it is a true una corda action, the hammers shifting to the left and allowing for two string play, and the use is really constant, then yes.

    Eventually, with a great deal of use, the felts get compressed where they hit the strings (you can see pronounced grooves in the head of each hammer felt.) With constant una corda use, those hammers which hit three strings (the majority) will be more worn down and get deeper grooves in the middle and right side of the hammer's felt.

    BUT: by the time any piano is getting used to the point where those grooves are pronounced (the felt, compressed, is harder, the tone more strident, and there is a hair more travel time to strike the string when you hit the keys), a voicing by your technician is well in order.

    The technician 'fluffs out' the felt by poking it with a fine awl-like needle, which decompresses the felts and brings their striking surface back to even. Any process like this can only be done so many times before the felts need replacing. But it takes a lot of playing, and a bit full-out hard playing, before those felts get really pronounced grooves in them.

    It is a very bad idea to practice with the soft pedal down all the time, if not for the instrument, for the pianist. You should be able to play p, pp, ppp, pppp, without the aid of the una corda, and constant use will also become a very difficult habit to undo.

    You can play with the lid down, and in other ways muffle the piano if that is needed, but after each session do open the lid to at least the short stick... moisture condenses in the body more readily with the lid down, and that invites rusty string problems :-)
    Last edited by PetrB; Aug-25-2014 at 07:33.

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    Thanks PetrB and Krumhorn!
    Well, Peter, I know how to play and how to practise, just wondering about my friends statement ( a very competent musician unfortunately)
    Last edited by stevens; Aug-25-2014 at 19:39.

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