Position is an important factor to consider when you are playing piano. It really affects your musical performance. An improper body positioning may cause aches and strain in your back, hands and shoulders. In order to become an effective piano player, one must develop and maintain a proper body posture before starting to play piano. As a newcomer, you may feel tempted to slouch in front of the keys in a casual manner but until you become conscious of your posture it is more likely to become a habit. If you are sitting in a correct posture and position in front of your piano, you can really improve and relish a great piano playing experience without strains and aches. Here we have outlined some guidelines and tips that would aid you in achieving correct posture.
Get yourself a right piano bench/seat: If you have multiple people in the house taking lessons both kids and adults, the best option would be an amendable piano bench that are easily available in market today and are a great option for sharing the piano with complete comfort. All the traditional piano benches do not have this feature of one size fit all and you may find the need of tweaking bench for proper posture for playing piano. Different styles of adjustable benches are available and it is best to get an adjustable one.
Adjust bench according to your comfort: No matter how you adjust your piano bench or seat, remember that you just need to be completely comfortable and stable in order to learn/play well. Even if in the middle of a recital, you find the need of adjusting your bench, it is completely okay. Do not feel self-conscious about yourself just because you may not have seen pianists doing that. As far as you are comfortably playing well, everything else is okay.
Keep you back straight: Whether you are learning to play a grand acoustic piano or are playing a digital piano, remember to keep your back upright straight. If your back is not straight, it may get painful really quick and may also strain your neck.
Keep your feet in place to press pedal if required: Having the direction of your feet changed in the middle of a performance may be difficult. While performing if you look at your feet for adjustment may appear annoying and you may need to make delays in your performance. It is best to have your feet right in place for pressing of pedals if needed during a performance.
Fingers must be curved: You may find it more tempting to place your fingers flat on your piano to play music however it is best to have them curved in order to play well. Placement of your fingers hugely affects the way music is played. Curved fingers offer more control over musical notes. With curved fingers, even the fast pieces of music will be easier to play. As a beginner you may find it difficult but soon you will master on this piano playing skill.
Reach both high and low keys: Your posture must allow you to comfortably lean to reach both higher and lower level of keys. There must be no gaps and hindrances and you must be able to play smoothly.
Some tips to follow
- Always sit on the edge of the seat and have your back straight. Must not lean on back.
- Avoid sitting at the wrong height.
- For comfortable play, you can slightly lean towards your piano.
- It is better not to look at your hands during performance as it may distract you.
- When playing piano, your shoulders must not be stiffed instead must be relaxed.
- Weight of the body must be balanced on bottom, finger tips and feet. Rest of the body must be flexible.
- Notes must be in front of your eyes, so you don’t need to bend your neck.
- Always try to remain in a comfortable upright position and it will soon become a habit. Once you become familiar with that posture, it will give you a lot of confidence during your performance on-stage and will enhance your muscle memory.
- Transpose between large intervals smoothly and with complete flexibility.
- Have greater control on your joints with execution of better dynamics.
Bad/Incorrect body posture
Having an incorrect posture of body for playing piano will not only affect your music but will also has adverse effects on your health conditions. There could be serious afflictions of bad posture on your health. It can cause poor circulation, affect stamina, cause aches, pains and affect your flexibility. It is easier to get drained in the world of music as you play this beautiful melodious instrument but it is important to take breaks and stretch your body and hydrate yourself at least in an hour or two.
Pains you can expect
In the beginning, your body may need some time in order to adjust and you may feel unnatural at start. You may also witness some aches and muscle pains and these are normal for your body to get over the period of adjustment. Pains you can expect are:
- Back of the neck
- Around shoulders
- Lower back
- Upper arms
- Ankle muscles
- Calf muscles
If you are playing at least thrice a week, most of these annoying pains will be gone by the end of first month when you play with proper posture. For some it may take longer too.
Warnings: If you are experiencing stiffness in joints, numbness in extremities or any worse kind of consistent pains, get advice from your doctor.
Having a correct posture is extremely important in playing piano as it keeps your body from strain, stress and damage when you sit long hours for practice of this instrument. With a correct position and posture of body, you can play with greater sensitivity and in a continuous effective flow. So remember to pay attention to your body posture during lessons, practice and performances.