Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
59 registered members (bennevis, Bernie_Ess, BachToTheFuture, Adypiano, andy250, 12 invisible), 1,246 guests, and 1 spider.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#2003290 - 12/23/12 12:16 AM Where should your belly button point?  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 29
Filibogado Offline
Full Member
Filibogado  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 29
All previous online lessons I have taken have taught me to sit in such a way that my belly button points to the D after middle C. As I switch from solo to accompaniment piano, my new teacher is insisting that I should sit 1 octave below middle C because the right hand chords sound better at the lower tone where middle C is.

I would prefer not to slide my bottom left and right just because I constantly switch back and forth between solo and accompaniment playing. Any recommendations?

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2003292 - 12/23/12 12:22 AM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,203
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member
jazzwee  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,203
So. California
I've never heard of sitting one octave below middle C. That's a first for me.

But regarding where your bottom is, although you are centered somewhere around D in middle C, you need to move your upper body A LOT to follow your hands. This will avoid having to twist your wrists sideways. If you don't move your body, even things like 4 octave scales are hard to do because the angle of your wrists to your arm will change dramatically.


Pianoclues.com for Beginners
My Jazz Blog
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP

#2003298 - 12/23/12 12:34 AM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,489
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Mark...  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,489
Jersey Shore
I'm just thankful he went with belly button.. laugh

#2003300 - 12/23/12 12:44 AM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: jazzwee]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,171
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member
BenPiano  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,171
US
Originally Posted by jazzwee
I've never heard of sitting one octave below middle C. That's a first for me.


Me as well.

Although, I do have to adjust my bench for a recent piece, played in the bass clef with both hands. (belly button three keys to the left of middle C) smile

But it's the first time I've had to move my bench from it's normal position of middle C. (my carpet has permanent indentations in its usual spot to prove it smile )


Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
[Linked Image] <- 10+ ABF recitals
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#2003302 - 12/23/12 12:50 AM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 525
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member
PaperClip  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 525
Amsterdam, Holland
Well, I did change bottom once, but was corrected by my teacher. Instead I have enough distance to the keyboard so my right elbow could move in front of my body.


Chris

Playing since May 02 2009
#2003306 - 12/23/12 01:11 AM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Michael_99  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
Canada Alberta
As a beginner, my neighbourhood is never beyond one octive to the right of middle C as far as reach goes and I always wondered about the extremes of the left and right. When I have seen professionals on you tube they seems to bend a little for a few notes in the extreme because it seems that the pieces I have seen played didnt't hang around at the extremes for too mny notes. I sure hope there is lots of feeback on this question because it is very interesting for the here and now and for the future of my playing.

#2003666 - 12/23/12 08:51 PM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,496
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Andy Platt  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,496
Virginia, USA
I sit right at D; I think it's most important to be consistent. I doubt it would take you long to adjust to C but I would question a teacher who thinks it will make any difference to tone.


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
#2003668 - 12/23/12 08:59 PM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Mark...]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 807
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member
piano joy  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 807
Florida
Originally Posted by Mark...
I'm just thankful he went with belly button.. laugh


HA !
My first thought was " out " .


I don't care too much for money. For money can't buy me love.
-the Beatles



#2003674 - 12/23/12 09:23 PM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Mark...]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 21,677
Mark_C Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Mark_C  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 21,677
New York
Originally Posted by Mark...
I'm just thankful he went with belly button.. laugh

Yeah. ha

BTW the reason I was interested to click on here was, I didn't know the belly button points anywhere. grin

About where to sit: I assume that when I started out, I sat in front of middle C. I can only guess that over the years I gradually meandered upward, because as soon as I started paying attention to it, I saw that I sat further to the right than middle C, and further than what anyone here has said yet.

For some time now, I've always sat somewhere between the E and the F above middle C -- never lower than the E, never higher than the F -- and I pay close attention to exactly where it is for any given piece. And the difference between the E and the F feels pretty big. If I sit in front of the F for a piece where I'm 'supposed to' sit in front of the E (or vice versa), it's noticeably less comfortable.

#2003693 - 12/23/12 10:13 PM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,416
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member
packa  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,416
Dallas, TX
I may be confused, but I interpreted the OP to say that his teacher recommended transposing an accompaniment (as opposed to a solo performance) down an octave so that it sounds better. If that's what he's being asked to do, then sliding left an octave on the bench when playing the transposed accompaniment doesn't seem completely off the wall to me.

Changing bench positions in certain cases is not unknown. After all, you don't sit in front of middle C (or the next D) when you're playing a 4-hand duet part. You sit in front of the part of the keyboard where your part was written and to make room for your partner. If I encountered an accompaniment that was written (or transposed) wholly or mostly below middle C, I might consider changing for that (although probably not in the middle of a piece).


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
#2003698 - 12/23/12 10:28 PM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: packa]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 21,677
Mark_C Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Mark_C  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 21,677
New York
Originally Posted by packa
I may be confused, but I interpreted the OP to say that his teacher recommended transposing an accompaniment (as opposed to a solo performance) down an octave so that it sounds better....

Yes -- I'm not sure if he exactly meant transposing it down an octave, but yeah, he's talking about playing in the bass area of the piano, maybe for 4-hand music with another player at the same piano, but that's not clear. Whatever he meant, I didn't catch that. And yes, you're right -- our usual positions don't apply. We sit toward the bass. And unless I'm 'confused' smile the reason is more than just "because the right hand chords sound better at the lower tone where middle C is"; it's because that's where all the notes are. And if it's 4-hand music, there's an extra reason: We have to sit lower down, because the other person is sitting up there. smile

#2003837 - 12/24/12 09:01 AM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,401
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,401
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by Filibogado
...I would prefer not to slide my bottom left and right just because I constantly switch back and forth between solo and accompaniment playing. Any recommendations?


If you can reach the required keys, you can plant your bum wherever you like it. If you can't reach, you'll need to slide (or choose a different piece).


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2003925 - 12/24/12 12:06 PM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 396
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member
UK Paul UK  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 396
Berkshire, England
Middle d, after watching fink, before that it was middle c...

Changing would mess with my keyboard orientation...

#2004252 - 12/25/12 10:02 AM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Mark_C]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 29
Filibogado Offline
Full Member
Filibogado  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 29
Here are snippets of the conversation I had with my teacher on the topic. I think it's time to put the matter to a vote. Those who believe I should move my butt to the left to play nice-sounding chord accompaniment, say "Aye". Thos who think I should anchor my butt to middle C, say "Naye".

Is it possible to shoot future video lessons with your electronic keyboard set at +/- 0 standard 440 Hz pitch for middle C, instead of playing while transposed by 1 octave down? I'm using a Yamaha Acoustic piano and to be able to replicate your sounds, I have to move my bench to the leftmost edge of the piano and artificially play at this lower contrived middle C position. Obviously, an acoustic cannot be transposed unlike an electronic piano - I'm stuck with middle C in the middle, just like many would-be customers who might be turned off by this unusually low tonal range on the instrument.
=============================================================
Your question about the "unusually low tonal range on the instrument" is an interesting one! Actually my keyboard IS set at standard pitch, and I'm sitting somewhat to the left side, as you described. Why? Because that's where these accompaniments sound best!

A singer needs to hear the chords and the bass line, and the bass line needs to be low on the instrument, so that it resembles what a bass player would play. And if the chords are too much higher, then you have an awkward sonic gap between bass notes and chords.

Have you been singing the songs as you practice the accompaniments? If you do, I think you'll find that the overall result sounds best when you play in the lower ranges.

Is all this making sense to you?

Now accompanists often DO play in the higher ranges of the instrument. But it's more difficult to do that, because often, you need to be somehow filling out the space between high and low. Which is what you're getting at when you say "two-handed playing (comping) with chord notes spread between 2 hands instead of just left hand bass."
=============================================================
Thanks, and you are certainly welcome to paste my email to your blog. I think I have found the answer to my original question. By looking at a still picture of your video and listening to the notes, I can see that you did not actually transpose the keyboard but you did transpose yourself (lol) by moving your bench to the left of center. This reminds me of a guitarist using a capo to change the key without altering the fingering. In you case, your piano bench works like a capo in that you lowered your tones by moving the bench to the left.

In physical terms, where you sit would not matter if you are playing on a shorter Casio 61-key or Roland 76-key electronic instrument, but this is problematic for a player using a real acoustic piano with 88 keys. In every internet piano lesson I've taken, and I've taken the most popular ones (David Sudnow, David Sprunger, Yoke Wong, Pianomagic's Mike Anderson, Scott Houston, etc.) we are always taught that the belly button should be pointing at the center of the piano, or more precisely at D4 next to middle C4, right below where the piano model name is. To play in any other sitting position would create a lot of complications:
1. If you sit to the left, your feet will not be able to reach the real piano pedals, especially the most important sustain pedal.
2. if you are playing in a public venue like a cocktail piano bar, your patrons would find your sitting position strange if not outright weird.
3. the bass notes below E3 are very muddy and would make your playing sound more like a growl with some songs.
4. if you play too far to the right, you would sound like you are playing a celeste or glockenspiel - center is where the sweet spot is, in my view.


It's an amusing analogy, but I only moved to the left for the purposes of fitting myself into the video frame better. I normally play seated in the middle, or very close to it. And I tell my students to sit wherever they feel comfortable.

Not true. It's easy to reach the pedal on an acoustic even if you sit to the EXTREME left--I just tried it. And my students never get nearly that far to the left.

Remember--I've taught hundreds of people these arrangements over the years--in person--so I see how this all works. And it doesn't lead to the problems you're concerned about.

(I wish had one of an adult--more than half of my students are adults.) She's too short to reach the pedal from ANY position, but the point is, she's playing in the low range I'm describing (all the ways down to C2) and her seated position doesn't look strange to me at all. And her arms are shorter than yours.

Bass notes are growly only if you play close position CHORDS down there (which I never ask people to do.) On a decent piano, single notes sound great, all the ways down to at least G1.

True, but playing the high notes by themselves can be a marvelous effect.




#2005103 - 12/27/12 06:20 PM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 82
Schroeder II Offline
Full Member
Schroeder II  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 82
Supposedly Adam did not have a belly button to orient himself.
Guess that would explain why he never learned to play!

#2005114 - 12/27/12 06:47 PM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 147
BillTheSlink Offline
Full Member
BillTheSlink  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 147
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
At 350lbs, and having as the famous Bill Cosby once described "the middle aged incredibly deepening canyon of an inny belly button", I am afraid my navel could swallow a whole octave if I sat too close to the keyboard. help wow


Casio CGP 700 and love it. Learning with Piano For All and think it's the bomb. Picking up beginner pieces as time allows and I have lots of time :-)
#2005121 - 12/27/12 06:59 PM Re: Where should your belly button point? [Re: Filibogado]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,178
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,178
Canada
As I understand it, we sit in the middle of the piano by middle C or middle D because of where the pedal is and so we can reach all the keys equally. We always sit at the same spot so that we end up having a kind of map - like when you reach for the light switch in a house where you've lived for 10 years, or reaching for things in your car. When you play notes that are further away from middle C, you can lean to the left or right and also shift your weight. This is something that I'm learning to do right now. You don't have to move your whole body to a new seating position.

I'm wondering if teachers making videos know that their students imitate everything. If your teacher is sitting to the left because of the camera, he might not think that his sitting to the left might be taken as an instruction of where to sit.

I can't find a video right now. If you browse, you will see professional pianists shift their weight, stick out their left foot to counterbalance. Sometimes it is very subtle.

Michel Petrucciano - a superb pianist. See what he does to get to the high registers - and enjoy.
Michel Petrucciano

Last edited by keystring; 12/27/12 07:37 PM.

Moderated by  BB Player, casinitaly 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Upright agraffes...
by Adypiano. 12/14/17 04:54 AM
Kawai MP11/MP7 v1.15 software update - now available
by Kawai James. 12/14/17 01:29 AM
Recommendations on recording gear?
by Muhwu. 12/14/17 01:07 AM
slow play
by hendo. 12/14/17 01:00 AM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics183,266
Posts2,679,094
Members89,267
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0