Do You Have The Right Piano Posture?

Do You Have The Right Piano Posture?

How do you sit and play the piano? That might sound like a funny question. To most people, the answer would be a simple – pull out the bench, sit down, and start to play. 

In theory, that’s correct. But that’s like telling an office worker to pull out a chair and sit down at a computer and type, expecting they will automatically do it correctly. 

If you do it incorrectly, you’ll pay the price. You’ll notice it in your neck, back, arms, and hands almost immediately. 

Yes, there is a right piano posture. Here’s what you need to know. 

Sit correctly

Just like you can’t slouch at the computer, sitting straight while you play piano is important too. Place the bench away from the piano, sitting comfortably at the front half of the bench. Your arms should be fully extended as they reach the back of the keyboard. Your feet should rest comfortably on the floor, with the pedal easily within reach, lightly extended. Your arms should fall at a 90 degree angle, with your forearms, wrists, and hands level as you play. Don’t let your wrists dip as you sit and play. Your back should be straight with shoulders relaxed. 

Never play with tension, this is your time to relax

If you’ve ever played a sport, or taken a class at the gym, you know the most important part of staying safe is the warm up. The same holds true with playing the piano. Before you sit and play, take a few moments to stretch, take a few deep breaths, and relax. If you’re tense, you’re more likely to suffer an injury. Focus on areas that you might have trouble with; drop your shoulders, move your hands, wiggle your fingers. Breathe energy into all the spots you’ve felt stress before. 

Play from the core

You can’t sit sloppily at the piano and expect to play well. For the best performance, you have to play from the core. Sitting up straight, engaging the core while you play will all make a difference. This helps the rest of your body engage and participate in creating beautiful music. 

Arms heavy, hands soft

People often assume music comes from the fingers. The power actually comes from your arms. This is why it’s important to stretch before you play and let your shoulders relax, your arms feel dense and heavy. When you sit properly, your arms guide your hands into the keys, allowing you to control how the music comes out. You sink your fingernails into the keys, following the heaviness of your arms leading the way.   

Yes, pianists can face stress from playing the wrong way. It’s similar to working incorrectly at the computer, and always results from poor form. Study the greats. Get help from a teacher. And practice playing with the right piano posture to ensure you not only enjoy what you do, but you create great music too. 

Is Your Piano Posture Correct?

Is Your Piano Posture Correct?

Is there an art for to sitting down to play the piano? Does it matter how you sit, what you sit on, and how you play?

If you want to play your best, and feel your best long after you get up from your practice session, the answer is yes.Is Your Piano Posture Correct?

Correct piano posture comes from a place where the functionality of your body meets the functionality of the piano. When both are at optimal level, you’ll create a beautiful sound with good technique.

Correct piano posture isn’t difficult. In fact, read through these elements once and you’ll understand the basic technique. The art comes from follow-thru every time you sit down to play.

Start with the proper state of mind
You should never sit down to play the piano because you have to. Instead, you should only sit down when you choose to. Relax before you play. Sit down and be happy to play.

Sit at the correct bench
Never pull up a chair or sit at a bench just because it’s there. A piano bench should be at the proper height. Make sure your elbows are aligned with the keyboard, or are slightly higher than the keyboard for more leverage. Place the bench far enough away from the keyboard so you have proper placement on the keys in front of you, with the ability to easily reach all the keys on the keyboard. Don’t use the entire bench; use only the front half.

Keep your back straight
You should never slouch when playing the piano. Keep your back straight, sitting with a dignified attitude.

Keep your feet on the floor
Never tuck your feet under the piano bench, or cross them in front of you while you play. You need stability while you play. Place your feet either on the pedals if you will be using them, or near the pedals for well grounded placement.

Keep your arms comfortable
Your arms are where the music comes from. If you tense up or use the wrong stance, you’ll feel it long after you are done with practice. Keep your arms relaxed. Keep your shoulders down and elbows a comfortable distance from your body. Keep your wrists flexible and without tension. Round your fingers and knuckles for easy playing.

If your piano playing posture is correct, you’ll feel good while you play and enjoy your practice more. You’ll protect your body from injury. And you’ll notice improved technique in the way you express your music.