The Importance of the Piano Bench

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The piano bench you use and learning how to sit properly at the piano are essential parts to every pianist’s technique. This is a very important aspect of your playing that is often overlooked. Today we are going to discuss the different types of benches available so you can figure out which one is best for you.

As with many different instruments and musicians, small details can be very important in improving playing. It takes years for violinists to learn how to hold their instrument properly and it can take a lifetime for brass players to learn how to approach embouchure (lip position); every instrument has its complexities and every musician is unique. When it comes to piano, selecting the bench that’s the best fit for you can be a challenge.

Most pianos have standard Duet Style Benches:

They typically open up on the top to allow your music to go inside and they are called “duet” benches because two people can sit side-by-side on them. These are also beneficial for young students so their teachers or parents can sit next to them and guide their practice.

Adjustable Artist Bench (Tabouret)

As a student progresses to a more advanced level they will benefit from one of these benches. Not only is the bench more comfortable, it’s height is adjustable which is extremely important. Sitting at the correct height while playing the piano can have a profound effect upon your playing.

A rarer but interesting type of bench for the piano is The Piano Chair (found on some older Steinway pianos).

While this might look like a simple chair it actually has a very interesting feature. These chairs are slanted forward slightly so they are less fatiguing for your back and allow you to lean into the keyboard naturally which is a comfortable way to play the piano for many people. Some benches have a feature you can engage which slants the seat forward if desired.

An ideal bench for many people – and my personal bench – is a combination between the duet bench and the artist bench – The Double Wide Artist Bench

A good one with leather and lots of padding can cost over $1,000 but if you are looking for the best bench you can buy, this is a great choice. You get the benefit of having a larger sitting surface as well as the ability to adjust the height of the bench. There are even some which offer separate height adjustments on the left and right for each of the players!

I encourage all of you to take your benches seriously and think about whether or not the bench you are currently using is right for you. It’s very important that you find a bench that is both comfortable and functional as you play the piano.

Thanks again for joining us here at Living Pianos. If you have any questions about this topic or any others, please contact us at: (949) 244-3729