ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Effective Piano Posture

Updated on March 30, 2011

Prior to beginning a long piano session, it is vital that you take your posture into consideration. The way you position your body impacts not only the quality of your playing, but also your physical health. You must give serious thought to proper posture every time you sit down to practice piano if you wish to prevent developing a sore back or painful fingers, arms and hands.

An initial recommendation is to obtain a piano bench with varying heights. It is highly unlikely that a conventional chair you happen to own will sit you at the correct height.

What is the best way to determine proper height?

Examine the placement of your arms. The forearms need to be roughly parallel to the floor, and located slightly above the keyboard, to keep the fingers resting on the keys while the hands and fingers can be properly arched. The majority of players will find this to be the optimal position. But, successful pianists do exist who employ either higher or lower postures than the one described. Try varying this basic position with the help of your adjustable bench until you feel content. There is nothing wrong with trying different levels, and an adjustable bench makes that process easier.

What is an appropriate distance from the piano?

For this determination, you need to examine the placement of your upper arms. There are those who suggest that a vertical alignment is best, meaning that the arms drape straight down to your sides. In my opinion, this is as close as you should ever get. Also try moving back from that placement a bit so that the elbows are somewhat closer to the keyboard than the shoulders. For me, this offers better stability and the ability to travel the entire length of the keyboard.

Healthy posture

Once you have identified your ideal positioning, it is time to consider correct posture. Generally speaking, good posture is the same in this context as it is when you are sitting down to eat, to use a computer, or to do anything else. Slouching or rolling your back forward is damaging to your health as well as to the quality of your piano playing. Failing to sit up straight and properly will cause back pain, and will lessen your ability to govern the movements of your hands and arms.

While it may not seem obvious, playing the piano requires you to use more than merely the fingers. The entire body must be solidly positioned so that the fingers and hands can complete the delicate and complicated maneuvers the piano requires.

Thus, you should attempt to achieve the following: Put both feet directly on the floor. Keep your back held straight while barely pitching forward in order to give support to the arms. Ensure that you are positioned at the correct height and at a proper distance from the piano, and you can begin to play.

Keep in mind that comfort is critical. It is best to stay relaxed and flexible. The posture I have described does not command complete stillness. Otherwise, you would be fixed in a stiff position which would be even worse for your performance than lazy posture. While you can certainly engage in a bit of movement and flexibility, always try to go back to a relaxed, yet correct position.

Your thoughts and experiences

What are your experiences of problems with piano posture? Have you suffered from any aches or injuries related to piano playing? Do you think our advice was helpful? Please leave your comments or any questions below. 

Comments and questions

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Finding an accurate sitting posture at the piano is a critical issue. Some research has been made in order to improve ajustable piano stools, making them into inclined position. Unfortunately this knowledge is still not widespread. If you are lucky enough to have a try, you would probableby not going back again to the so called 'normal' sitting posture.

    • nifwlseirff profile image

      Kymberly Fergusson 

      6 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      An excellent guide for good core piano posture! As a child, before it was discovered I needed glasses, my neck and upper back ached after playing (probably from craning my head forward to make out the sheet music). Also, as my pedals were very high, I needed to use a block of wood under my feet to reduce the strain on my feet and legs.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      As someone who plays the piano, I couldn't agree more. Well written hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)