Like the beginning of this video:

and this video:

I learned these two pieces, but they don't really sound like this. I mean I know I'm not that good at piano yet, but it just doesn't sound like this at all.

  • Are you sure you have an accurate transcription? Are you using the sustain pedal? Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 0:29
  • Actually It might just be reverb now that I think about it
    – Meeesh
    Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 0:50

3 Answers 3


I don't find the renditions here particularly sad. The second one can be called "solemn". At any rate, there is a solid amount of reverb added to both recordings to make that "like it is in a room" effect. That's a post-processing effect.

Putting "sad" into technical instructions for play is somewhat danger-fraught since it is, like many other things, a subtle and organic combination of a lot of components that sound artificial or exaggerated or out of place when done with intent. It's like trying to follow instructions for "how to I make a sad voice?"

First of all, to put in expressiveness, you need to have mastered the piece to a degree where you are in full control of its execution and have mental capacity to spare to listen to yourself rather than wasting it all on playing. It needs to express your sadness and make or carry your sadness. If it doesn't, you are basically asking how to move people to tears by reading off a poem phonetically in a language you don't speak. Any advice will be quite ad-hoc and not achieve all that impressive results, but there might still be some point to some of it nevertheless.

That being said, there is pedaling technique in order to achieve a certain tranquility and have the notes fall like raindrops in a void without mushing too much over or having too lyric legato lines. The piano is somewhat thankful in that regard compared to instruments like organ since it achieves that semiautomatically for melodic stuff in higher registers and moderate speed but indeed that's one category where a grand piano has a marked advantage over its more compact upright colleagues.

Then there is some slight hesitation to "strong" notes like chords and/or on-beat notes that one can work in but for that not to be overdone while still having an effect, one already needs a very solid and dependable basic speed and consistent articulation. Maintaining a basic piano dynamic while still setting some accents in moderation is also advisable.

But the main thing is that you need not as much deliver a rendition of sadness as an expression of it. And for that, you need to be in control of the instrument and the piece and its notes to a degree where you actually have time to feel sad and have that sadness go into the notes.

  • Great first answer; welcome to the site!
    – Josiah
    Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 16:16

Sad pianos are hard to find! The left hand accompaniment sounds to me like a normal piano, whereas the right hand tune has a lot of reverb, and perhaps some extra sparkle, due to enhanced eq.


(I listened to the second selection.) There's no decay. It sounds like an electric keyboard, not a piano. There's a harp-like quality to the timbre.

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