Posture for Pianists: 6 Helpful Tips

correct piano postureIf you really love to play the piano and you’re serious about learning how to play it properly, one of the best things you can do is to watch your posture! If you use correct piano posture during all of the long hours you practice and play, you’ll keep yourself free from the aches, pains, and injuries that can come from playing with bad posture. Here are some important things to keep in mind…

Adjust Your Piano Bench
Before you sit down to play, make sure that your piano bench sits at the proper height for you and is placed at the right distance from the piano. When your bench is placed properly, your arms will be able to comfortably drop from the shoulder on down without bending forward or pulling back. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor, with a straight line from your elbows to your wrists. If you feel yourself needing to reach out or lean away to touch the keys, move your bench until you can comfortably reach the piano.

Keep Your Back Straight
Sit up straight on the piano bench; don’t slouch! Watch that you don’t tense up your shoulders. Keep them relaxed. You should be sitting upright, but not uncomfortably stiff. Keep your neck tall and straight, and take care to not hold it tensely. Using the correct piano posture for your back is important because it will prevent you from developing back and shoulder pain when you play.

How to Hold Your Arms
When you sit with correct piano posture and your bench is properly adjusted, your arms should be able to reach the keys comfortably. Again, you want to keep your body relaxed. Don’t lock up your elbows! Keeping your arms comfortable and aligned properly will give you good movement when you need to reach the keys further up or down the keyboard.

Take Care of Your Wrists and Hands
Playing with correct piano posture is very important for preventing wrist injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Watch that your wrists are never tilted up or down while you play; they should be a straight extension of your arms. Your fingers should be curved down from your hands, not held out flat or stretched up. It sometimes helps to cup your hands over your knees to get the right feel, then lift them up to the keyboard to play. You can also imagine trying to keep a tennis ball under your hands while you’re playing to keep your fingers curved down. Read more here: An Easy Way to Explain Piano Hand Position.

Don’t Forget About Your Legs and Feet
Using correct piano posture for your legs and feet will help you to feel secure on the bench while you play. Your feet should either rest lightly on the pedals when you need them for a song, or rest steady on the floor when you don’t. For shorter legs, use a small stool or place a few rugs under your feet so they can rest comfortably while you play. Sit in a way that allows your hip joint to bend freely so you’ll have good movement when you need to reach up or down the keyboard.

Keep it Comfortable
You should always feel comfortable when you sit down to play the piano! Take a moment to relax before you begin. It may help to start out with slower songs first, then work up to the faster ones after you’ve warmed up a little more. Always use correct piano posture when you play, as it can be much harder to fix bad habits later on.




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The Importance of Relaxing at the Piano
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Photo by woodleywonderworks