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Just a tip to my fellow beginners.

Well it seems obvious since every teacher seems to teach from the start how to sit correctly and with appropriate distance etc

However in my experience, not every teacher takes this aspect as seriously as she should and this leaves you confused while practicing and stumbling with keys especially while practicing scales and the Hanon.

This is what's been happening to me, as in, one day I am very good at practicing scales: consistent and zero-pressure. However the next day I sweat while practicing even the basic Do or La minor scale backwards or the related arpegio. And then I take a pause and fiddle with the bench placement and my arse position and elbows and after that is sorted out, I can finally play like the day before.

It's different for each person and in my opinion the
best bench position and height can be achieved by a little trial and error.

My point is that even subtle differences in bench position and height can make your playing harder or easier. When you get it right, then playing scales becomes rather straightforward.

That is my experience so far anyways.

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+1

I think, as a beginner, posture can seem boring even if you know it's important. And usually you're practicing simple things and shorter duration so you may not feel the immediate effects of bad posture. But trust me even if it takes 5 min out of your practice time to get in a good position it is so worth it.

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My instructor says I look a little high above the keyboard. I feel very comfortable in this position and I’ve experimented with other heights and always revert back to the one I like. Is that ok?

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Originally Posted by Wayne2467
My instructor says I look a little high above the keyboard. I feel very comfortable in this position and I’ve experimented with other heights and always revert back to the one I like. Is that ok?

Wayne, instead of asking us, I would ask the instructor, and let them explain why you should not be a little high above the keyboard. Then you can make an informed decision about if you are willing to change, or not.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Wayne2467
My instructor says I look a little high above the keyboard. I feel very comfortable in this position and I’ve experimented with other heights and always revert back to the one I like. Is that ok?

Wayne, instead of asking us, I would ask the instructor, and let them explain why you should not be a little high above the keyboard. Then you can make an informed decision about if you are willing to change, or not.
Just trying to get some different opinions as I’m sure there will be some😁

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I sit a few centimetres above the keyboard as well and it feels the most comfortable position to me and although my previous teacher recommended me to lower the bench, the current teacher seems to be OK with that. It may be that he is on the same page with me as far as bench height and distance from the piano goes, as in, it ultimately comes down to individual preference and comfort.

So I would say, suit yourself. :-)

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All I know is the most comfortable position for me is not what my teacher or others think is correct. I once told my teacher I sometimes sit cross-legged at the piano to relieve my back pain and she said, “Do whatever you want at home, just don’t do that at my studio or during an exam or recital.”


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And it changes over time for each student. As a teacher myself, if I saw how I sat at the piano I would not be happy. smile But because of my fibro and decades of experience, I know I am okay. smile I have changed my seating position so many times over the years that it isn't even funny. When I was performing every night a long time ago, I would sit on the front of the bench--not the top, the FRONT--and use my weight pushing back to hold me in place, and I sat really low. It worked great at the time. Seems crazy now, as I hunch over sitting on the bench like a chair, deciding between what works for my back pain vs shoulder pain (nothing to do with piano, by the way).

Most boys/men sit way too close and too low to the piano, and most girls/women sit too far and too high above the piano. Then add heels and really short dresses/skirts that seem to be all the rage, and it changes the rules even further. For students who don't know better yet, this is something we address, but for the pros I just assume they know what they are doing (although sometimes I even question them; we will see how much they hurt in 20 years). Glen Gould, though, broke all the rules and he seemed to be fine. smile

But to the point above, teachers do often overlook this for some reason. Maybe it's a difference between pedagogy/injury-preventative training vs "the teacher down the street".


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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
All I know is the most comfortable position for me is not what my teacher or others think is correct. I once told my teacher I sometimes sit cross-legged at the piano to relieve my back pain and she said, “Do whatever you want at home, just don’t do that at my studio or during an exam or recital.”
Ha, Valentina did a live stream awhile back where she practiced her Rachy Concerto for several hours while practicing cross-legged, and the comments section went berserk.


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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
All I know is the most comfortable position for me is not what my teacher or others think is correct. I once told my teacher I sometimes sit cross-legged at the piano to relieve my back pain and she said, “Do whatever you want at home, just don’t do that at my studio or during an exam or recital.”
Ha, Valentina did a live stream awhile back where she practiced her Rachy Concerto for several hours while practicing cross-legged, and the comments section I went berserk.

Well, I’m in good company then! grin


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My new adjustable bench certainly made all the difference for me. I went from a half hour of comfortable practice time to hours. If anyone in my house adjusts my bench they’re going to lose a hand, but I did measure it just in case.


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When I go to a lesson, I use a music book (there seems to be a standard size for collections of scores that is common for publishers like Henle and Alfred) and use the height of the book as a measure for how far back from the edge of the keyboard I want the front of my bench to be. I'm always pleased when the bench is adjustable (benches get switched around from time to time), because I usually do feel the need to change it. I like sitting higher rather than lower.


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Overall, good posture is important for playing piano.

For general learning, school children sitting properly performed significantly better than their slouching colleagues did, according to Asian studies.

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I think the overwhelming percent of pianists play on a non adjustable bench and use whatever height the bench is at as their playing height.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the overwhelming percent of pianists play on a non adjustable bench and use whatever height the bench is at as their playing height.

... or adds pillow/books to increase bench height


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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The YT videos of A Lesson with Seymour Bernstein cover this in Part 2 as I recall.


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Hi there

The right posture.......click here.....>>>Piano posture

Kind regards,
Johan B


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Nothing worse than getting to a performance and the piano is on really, really high wheels, especially when it’s an upright.


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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Nothing worse than getting to a performance and the piano is on really, really high wheels, especially when it’s an upright.
I've played on an upright in a practice room that was like that, and I'm lucky I didn't break my kneecap on the underside of the keyboard, lol.


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Hi Wayne2467,
Just share my experience with you. I’m a late restarter (at 43 years old) and at that time I prefer to sit a little bit high because I feel it is easier to play with my fore-arm higher than keyboard all the time. Few years later, I had a teacher because I could not improve much. He found out I have many mistakes. Among that, my sound is often harsh because my fingers always strike the keyboard from high position. I am now practicing to lower my wrist in certain circumstances, especially left hand. To do that, I feel more comfortable when I lower the bench a little bit somehow my forearms are at the same level with the keyboard surface. I am now easier to lower or raise my wrist as the piece requirements.

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