Correct Piano Posture

It’s just as important to practice sitting correctly at the piano as it is to practice playing your  music.   Correct posture will help alleviate body aches and will also help with the proper execution of your playing technique.

Problems Caused By Bad Posture
-Poor circulation
-Diminished flexibility
-Decreased stamina
-Numbness or tingling sensations in your extremities
-Chronic shoulder, neck and back pain
-Stiffness in your joints

Sitting At The Piano
Until good playing posture becomes second nature to you, below is a checklist that you can mentally go through each time you sit down to practice:

  • The piano bench needs to squarely face the piano and should be centered around middle C.
  • Make sure you are sitting nice and tall.  Avoid slouching as it can cause unnecessary strain in your back and shoulders.
  • Your arms should hang comfortably and loosely from the shoulders.  Hunching your shoulders will cause them to ache from the tension.
  • As a general rule, your knees should be slightly under the keyboard and your feet flat on the floor.  This may not be a comfortable position for those of larger stature.  If this is your situation, you will probably need to scoot the bench back a little further from the piano.

Placement Of The Arms and Feet
In a seated position at the piano, the forearms should be parallel to the floor.  If you find that your elbows are significantly lower than your wrists, then the height of the piano bench should be adjusted up.  If you don’t have an adjustable bench, you can experiment with sitting on top of seat cushions until your torso is at the right height for the forearms to reach the parallel position.  Conversely, if you find that your elbows are significantly higher than your wrist level, then you should adjust the bench height down or find a lower chair.

The average adult will be able to sit at the piano with his or her feet touching the floor.  Since the right foot will be used to press the damper pedal, you can sit with this foot slightly forward.  For younger children who are uncomfortable with their feet dangling in mid-air, a foot stool or stack of books can be placed under their feet.

You may also find these links helpful:
Music Terms & Symbols For Pianists
Suzuki Method For Piano
Parts of The Piano
Piano Pedals
Piano Practice Tips

I am a professional musician and music teacher.  For more information, please visit my website at  You can listen to samples of my music by clicking HERE.


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