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#3126346 06/09/21 10:01 PM
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ijason Offline OP
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Do you have any tips on adjusting/positioning piano bench in a way where your back won't hurt?
I am having lower back pain after practicing for couple hours.

Thanks!

Last edited by ijason; 06/09/21 10:01 PM.
ijason #3126375 06/09/21 11:56 PM
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Maybe you need something other than a bench.


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ijason #3126378 06/10/21 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ijason
Do you have any tips on adjusting/positioning piano bench in a way where your back won't hurt?
I am having lower back pain after practicing for couple hours.

Thanks!

First considerations:

1) Are you an appropriate distance from the keyboard and are you sitting at an appropriate height?
2) Are you sitting on the front third of the bench or further back?
3) What is your posture while you are playing?

These are important first positions to analyze.

Regards,


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ijason #3126434 06/10/21 06:58 AM
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I think it's pretty normal to have lower back pain after practicing for couple of hours. I use a dining chair and rest on its back from time to time when playing.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I think it's pretty normal to have lower back pain after practicing for couple of hours. I use a dining chair and rest on its back from time to time when playing.
I would say it is not normal and indicates problems which could be related to the three points raised by BruceD, or it could indicate back or shoulder problems. For some twelve years I had lower back pain, not necessarily when playing the piano. I eventually realised that it was not due to a twisted pelvis, for which the chiropractors and osteopaths treated it, but due to the fact that my whole upper body was slightly twisted and I had very rounded shoulders - perhaps due to too much piano playing when young. So opening up my shoulders via massage and exercises over the course of a few months did wonders for me and also helped my piano playing.

I would very much recommend Penelope Roskell's warmup exercises which you can access on Online Academy


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BruceD #3126664 06/10/21 06:00 PM
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+1 for the considerations of BruceD.

I have back pain problems at the computer, but not anymore at the piano. What I thought was a height problem, was actually more of a distance problem. I sat too near. Now I sit with just my kneecaps underneath the keyboard and all is fine.

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Originally Posted by pppianomarc
...What I thought was a height problem, was actually more of a distance problem. I sat too near. Now I sit with just my kneecaps underneath the keyboard and all is fine.
For me, a quick and easy measure of how far back to place the bench is to use a music book such as a Henle edition. The distance between the piano and the bench is set to the height of the book, and I sit it on the front third of the bench.


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ijason #3126731 06/11/21 01:02 AM
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I have seen - and I often wondered why - a student pianist sit at the piano, stretch arms out full length to touch the fallboard with the knuckles. That, I learned later, was how some determined the "right" distance to sit from the keyboard.

I've never tried it myself, as I have never had problems with any discomfort while practicing.

Regards,


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ijason #3126822 06/11/21 09:26 AM
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Those are good suggestions! Now I'm wondering if I'm sitting in a bench correctly to begin with.
I sit in the first third of the bench, and my bench seems to be to high for me.
Maybe I need to consider getting a new bench since I cannot lower the bench height frown

ijason #3126882 06/11/21 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ijason
Those are good suggestions! Now I'm wondering if I'm sitting in a bench correctly to begin with.
I sit in the first third of the bench, and my bench seems to be to high for me.
Maybe I need to consider getting a new bench since I cannot lower the bench height frown

A nice adjustable bench is worth it if it can fit in the budget. I love my Benchworld Adagio Pneumatic. It made sitting at the piano more comfortable and enjoyable. However, there are plenty options that are less costly but they only have a few positions to adjust to, one could be too and the next too low. Sitting at anything for that long can cause discomfort. Do you take some small breaks, even just stand up for a few min?

ijason #3127031 06/11/21 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I think it's pretty normal to have lower back pain after practicing for couple of hours. I use a dining chair and rest on its back from time to time when playing.
I would say it is not normal and indicates problems which could be related to the three points raised by BruceD, or it could indicate back or shoulder problems. For some twelve years I had lower back pain, not necessarily when playing the piano. I eventually realised that it was not due to a twisted pelvis, for which the chiropractors and osteopaths treated it, but due to the fact that my whole upper body was slightly twisted and I had very rounded shoulders - perhaps due to too much piano playing when young. So opening up my shoulders via massage and exercises over the course of a few months did wonders for me and also helped my piano playing.

I would very much recommend Penelope Roskell's warmup exercises which you can access on Online Academy
The problem is that my muscles of the lower back get tired of maintaining straight posture during long sessions and start to hurt. I also noticed that it happens a little bit sooner when reading scores continuously, probably because it requires more static posture. But what I have found recently after talking to others is that this problem is very common, almost everyone has it. Some people may have pain coming later, but it inevitably comes. Our bodies seem not to be adapted to maintaining static posture for a long time. A solution imo is either to take a short break and walk around every 1-1,5 hour, or to make exercises on the bench periodically to relieve tension, or to slouch periodically, or to use a chair with a back as I do and rest on it.

I tried opening up my shoulders fully, but I can't play in that position.

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I have never experienced this, even when sitting for hours at a stretch, but maybe it's just because I'm relatively young. Or because I slouch or get up in between without thinking about it.

It probably depends quite a bit on your balance, for lack of a better word. You can be leaning forward ever so slightly without realizing it, and I've caught myself doing that on occasion.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I think it's pretty normal to have lower back pain after practicing for couple of hours. I use a dining chair and rest on its back from time to time when playing.
Really? I have never experienced this, even when practicing/playing for 4-6 hours a day. I know some piano students, who also haven't really told me about any back problems.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
[...]But what I have found recently after talking to others is that this problem is very common, almost everyone has it. Some people may have pain coming later, but it inevitably comes. [...]

Among my group of serious, dedicated older piano students, this is not "very common," and certainly not "everyone has it." I have never experienced back pain from extended piano practice.

Regards,


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ijason #3127160 06/12/21 12:02 PM
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I see, I may be mistaken.


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