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Joined: May 2016
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Mortensen uses the four legs of a piano stool as an analogy for his four pillars but, like others, he does not describe where to put it. The result is JV and my bio-mechanic advise sitting farther back. But how much farther back?

One rule of thumb could be to describe how outstreched the arms should be when reaching out to the lower base and the upper treble, subject to comfortably reaching the pedals.

Would anyone like to say something about this?
Originally Posted by Withindale
Robert Estrin has answered my question with poster image for this video showing hands hanging down against the fallboard. Nice to know I have got something right for once.

It's a subtle point really. Estrin is right that finding optimum position at the piano takes years and, more to say, that position changes with time in accordance with pianist's musical and technical preferences.

When you sit closer to the piano and higher it promotes "pushing", or as it is commonly said in Russia, "playing into the grand". When you sit farther and lower it promotes "pulling", or as it is said in Russia, "playing out of the grand". Finding the right balance is a subtle task. You may try the "hanging bridge" test for that, it's done like that: play a note, or better a triad, and let your hand rest on the pressed down keys and relax your upper arm completely. If your hand can rest on the keys with just a little tension in the fingers, and your elbow can sway freely, than the balance is right. If much tension is required to maintain that position, or no tension at all, or if the elbow becomes stiff, than some posture adjustments may be necessary.

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Thank you so much your advice, Iaroslav. I tried to see if my balance is right with the "hanging bridge" test a bit earlier. You are right about it being a subtle task that needs time.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Thank you so much your advice, Iaroslav.
My pleasure.

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Hi. Your hand is not bent too much. When I play this, my hand is probably more bent. The problem that I do see is that your hand is too LOW. Your fingers are bent up a little bit, and this causes great unnecessary tension. Hold your hand and wrist about 2-3 cm higher (1 inch), just enough so that your fingers are bent a little downward from the palm of your hand. Try it.

Last edited by ErfurtBob; 04/07/21 06:35 PM.
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From what i see on the video, the main issue is that you are trying to play with your fingers only, the wrist and the arm being pretty still. That puts a lot of constraints. Instead, you should use your arm and wrist to push into the keys, this will free up your fingers from the effort and it will release the tension.

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