Have you been in a situation where you had to play an unfamiliar organ which had a very sensitive pedalboard? On such instrument your feet are in a position to hit the wrong keys all the time. Even if you avoid the forceful movement, your feet are always in danger of playing with constant mistakes.
I think a sensitive pedalboard has something in common with driving an unfamiliar car. In order not to confuse the accelerator pedal with the break you have to always be conscious and think before pressing the pedal of which pedal is the accelerator and which one is the break.
Also sensitive pedalboard might be compared to walking on an ice. When it‘s slippery you have lots of possibilities to fall. Therefore you have to think before each step where you put your feet and of course walk very slowly.
Finally, the problem with playing on the sensitive pedalboard could be similar to one when you eat the fish with lots of bones and in order to do it without swallowing the bones you have to always be conscious of each and every bite and think about what it's in your mouth.
So my final advice for people who have trouble playing unfamiliar and sensitive pedalboard is this: pay constant attention to your feet and be conscious of every movement of your feet. If you have a chance to practice on such organ in advance, play very slowly in order to adjust to situation better.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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