Correct Playing Position
To play the piano well, you must use the correct playing position. Playing the piano can cause repetitive strain injuries, as well as back and neck problems from sitting incorrectly for long periods. Learning the correct playing position will minimize or eliminate those risks, and will allow you to play efficiently and comfortably.
FIGURE 3-2: Correct playing position
Correct playing position happens when sitting up straight on a bench of proper height, your arms form an “L,” and your hands with your fingers gently curved rest just above the keyboard. Your wrists will be straight and not arched in any way. Your feet will rest comfortably on the floor and be able to reach the pedals. Study Figure 3-2 carefully, and adjust the height of your piano bench so that you can attain the correct playing position.
Very small players and young children should not worry too much about reaching the pedals with their feet. There are devices called pedal extensions that can attach to the pedals and bring them closer to the player. It is much more important that the arms and hands be in the correct playing position.
Note that you should be sitting on the front half of your piano bench. If you sit too far back it will limit your movement, too far forward and you may fall off! Sit about midway on the bench. A piano chair may allow you to sit further back so you can use the backrest for additional support. Place the bench or chair far enough away from the piano so that your arms maintain a perfect “L” position, but close enough so that you can still reach the pedals with your feet.