The Beatles used a piano called the Mrs. Mills piano that had that tinny sound. I've had this small upright piano for a while and I've always wanted to add a pedal to give it that similar ragtime/honky tonk/tack piano sound. In the biz, it's called a "mandolin rail" and it's a pretty simple modification that gives a really unique sound to the instrument.
If you haven't heard of the Mrs. Mills piano, it's named after Gladys Mills who was an English musician who favored that piano for her sing-along recordings at Abbey Road Studios. The Beatles used this piano to great effect in a few of their songs ("Lady Madonna", "Penny Lane" and "Rocky Raccoon" to name a few). The "Mrs. Mills" sound is due to lacquered hammers, which is a pretty permanent (and destructive) way to achieve a similar result, this pedal modification allows you to get the honky tonk sound on the fly. This is really just a prototype, I'd like to make the entire mechanism out of a steel bar so that it's more permanent, but even as it is, it works perfectly. I really like that you can lower the pedal slowly and stop incrementally to dial in the brightness of the sound. Adding the notch for the pedal to lock in is really useful so that both feet are free to operate the other two pedals.
Songs played in this video:
7:58 ????"Lady Madonna" excerpt - The Beatles ????
8:19 ????"The Entertainer" excerpt - Scott Joplin ????
8:57 ????"Leibestraum No. 3" excerpt - Franz Liszt ????
10:02 ????"Last Date" - Floyd Cramer ????
More demo of the piano being played:
The metal clips can be found here:
And a full kit can be found here:
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► GIF image gallery of the build here:
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