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Help! I need three hands to play this part.

April 20, 2018

 

We are only human. But what happens when you need three parts playing at once and 1. both hands are tied up playing other parts, 2. you are trying to reach a key on another manual and you can't hold onto one note in one manual and reach another note in a different manual, 3. your nose won't reach to play a holding note. I have got a little known trick that might just help and I learned it from my years of playing piano. 

 

I was working on the 20th Century Fox theme for the beginning of my Star Wars theme. I needed one note to hold in the upper manual while both hands were full of notes on the right side of the lower manual, at the same time my left foot was busy on the pedals. What was I going to do? Sostenuto to the rescue!

 

The object of the sostento is to hold a note or notes while you are not physically holding them down. In the piano the far left pedal of a concert grand does this for me. As long as I keep the far left pedal down the note will hold (until it gradually fades away), but on the organ or keyboard the note will hold until I release the assigned kick switch. 

 

Here is an easy way to set it up. For demonstration purposes I will assign it to my left kick switch on the Lowrey. 

1. press the feature button

2. press the scroll button until you see the page foot switches

3. on the foot switches page press the screen under the title left foot switch until it changes from white to another color (mine turns to blue)

4. press the scroll button until you see the word Sostenuto

5. press the Feature (Clear) button and you are done!

 

Now to try it out. Try to think of the Sostenuto pedal as catching the note you want to hold onto. 

 

1. press any key on the upper manual, while holding the key down press and hold the left kick switch (press and hold to the left). 

2. release the key you were holding, but keep the left kick switch still pressed to the left. 

3. the note will now hold until you release the left kick switch.

 

This will work for the upper or lower manual or even the pedals. It will even work for multiple notes played at the same time on multiple manuals. 

 

But what if I am on a keyboard?

 

I always use two pedals on my Tyros, sometimes even three. My far right is an expression pedal, my middle pedal is a piano shaped sustain pedal and my left pedal is also a piano shaped pedal but I use it for a variety of uses. This is the pedal I would assign my sustenuto to. 

 

Looking at the upper right section of the keyboard you will see the Menu section. Under that you will see the Function button. Select the Function button and the screen will read Function Menu. Then select the Controller. The screen will now read Controller with three tabs underneath it. The middle tab will read Foot Pedal. Select the Foot Pedal tab. Now that you are in the Foot Pedal screen, on the left side of the screen you will see the word Function. Scroll until the Function on the screen reads Sostenuto. Then on the bottom of the screen you can assign it to any of the pedals by switching that pedal to on. If it doesn't work try switching the polarity button on the screen first and then on your pedal (if it has a polarity switch). 

 

Now look back on this blog where I showed you how to try it on the Lowrey. Instead of pressing and holding a kick switch you will be pressing and holding the pedal you assigned it to. Remember you can use your sostenuto on any of your Part Select Right 1, Right 2, Right 3

and Left parts. 

 

It may sound a little confusing at first and can be a bit tricky when you first try it, but the next time you are searching for a way to play just one more note.... you have a trick up your sleeve called Sostenuto!

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