How to Sit at the Piano – Best Piano Sitting Position

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How you sit at the piano is extremely important for several reasons. It offers you the most ergonomic position for tone production and technical fluency. It also assures that you can practice for long periods without causing injury. Wind players are accustomed to focusing on embouchure (lip position) on their instruments for optimum performance. How you sit at the piano is no different. In this video we will explore ideal sitting position which will benefit your piano playing and enjoyment.

8 thoughts on “How to Sit at the Piano – Best Piano Sitting Position”

  1. Good video, Robert. Betty showed me this afternoon. I loved the analogy about the french horn armature…and I’ve now learned you also play the french horn, too. 🙂 Nice graphic on the arm angle also!

    Hope you two have a great 4th!

  2. Thank you Robert – you make all the points very clear on this important subject. I have a couple of comments:

    It is amusing to sometimes see exceptions to the “no slide rule”. For example Horowitz will occasionally plant himself in an extreme register for certain passages. I think he used that long duet bench for just that purpose.

    This leads to the middle C question. I have positioned myself between E and F ever since a classmate pointed out that is the true center. Fast forward several decades, and I was amused to notice that whenever my jazz mentor, Charles “Doc” Rutherford, would sit at the piano to demonstrate a passage, he would jockey the bench quite a bit to the left – more like middle A! And lo and behold, I have found that, for jazz at least, the middle E/F really is too high for where most of my chord voicings put me, and I end up with a backache if I don’t reposition myself somewhere below middle C. It is disorienting, but I am of necessity learning to deal with it.

    Regarding height – my solution is to always have a blanket or serape with me. I fold or unfold it until I achieve the correct height. Plus, the extra padding never hurts 😉

    Thanks again for all the wonderful resources you provide!

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