One of my friends insists that he can make a muted (but undamaged) key/chord sounds using some pedaling technique. Does anyone know what the technique is and how to do it?


  • 2
    Does your friend refuse to explain or demonstrate his technique? Seems like he would be the ideal person to ask. May 3, 2016 at 1:39
  • Sure! However, he bet me to find it out! May 3, 2016 at 2:10
  • 4
    I don't have the faintest idea what "muted (but undamaged) key/chord sounds" are supposed to sound like. A recording might help.
    – user19146
    May 3, 2016 at 4:11

2 Answers 2


On a normal piano, the left pedal is pressed to make the sound quieter. It does this by moving the whole hammer mechanism closer to the strings on most uprights, and often by moving the mechanism to one side on grands. thus it's less distance for the strike to take place.

On some pianos, there is a practice pedal, often the middle of three, which brings a piece of felt down onto the strings, damping them slightly. This pedal is lockable. With both pedals in operation, the sound is very quiet.

If you're used to an electronic piano, there will often only be a sustain pedal, as you can turn down the volume.


The sustain pedal can also be used (on a real piano) for a muting effect. You strike a chord, release the keys, and a split second after you release the keys you depress the sustain pedal. If done well, this produces a sforzando effect: the chord is initially loud but then echos on quietly. Takes practice.

  • I asked a question about this here a couple of years ago. Glad someone else uses the same idea!
    – Tim
    May 3, 2016 at 17:14
  • @Tim- I like this technique because it's one of the few things you can do on a piano that's not straightforward "hit the key harder to make it louder". You can also sustain a chord with the pedal but very gently let the pedal go just enough to slightly damp the notes, and then press it again. May 3, 2016 at 17:21
  • When i play an electronic piano at gigs, I find myself doing the same technique - but it doesn't work on many of these sort of pianos. Can't stop trying though - it's a very effective effect...
    – Tim
    May 3, 2016 at 22:37
  • This is not the same technique, but it makes a similar effect: on my double harp I pluck a chord strongly on the gut strings (on the right side) and immediately damp them- the metal strings on the left side go on resonating sympathetically, making an echo. May 4, 2016 at 10:18

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