How To Sit At The Piano – Height, Distance, Posture – Play Piano

Have you ever been to a piano recital and noticed the pianist moving the bench and wonder “what are they doing”? They are adjusting the bench to give themselves the most comfortable position at the piano. Every pianist is different in size and height.  Adjusting the bench to their body types allows the pianist to be at the proper position to play piano.
There are three main points to having the correct position for a pianist to sit at the piano, as taught during your private piano lessons. Height, Distance, and Posture.These points apply to any and all pianist whether they are beginner piano students or classical concert pianist.
1) Height. While sitting at the piano the bench should be high enough so that the arms will rest comfortably on the keys. The arms should be relaxed and about horizontal with the floor. The wrist should be slightly bent lower that the knuckles but with out resting on the key slip in front of the keys. Knees and legs should fit under and be able to reach the piano pedals . If you are playing on a keyboard or digital piano, you can adjust the height of the keyboard stand to achieve the correct height of the keyboard.
2) Distance. Adjust the bench so that when the pianist sits with the hands resting on the keys the elbows should be slightly in front of the stomach. The arms should not be fully extend nor should the elbows be beyond the pianist back.
3) Posture. While sitting at the piano the pianist should have a straight back with relaxed shoulders. This allows the pianist to keep their head straight so that they can easily see the sheet music on the music desk in front of them.
If you are taking lessons your piano teacher will help your student to find their best position at the piano.

4 thoughts on “How To Sit At The Piano – Height, Distance, Posture – Play Piano

  1. I just purchased a williams piano. It seems very low. I’m tall. 6’
    When I play my neck and shoulders hurt painfully.
    I’m going to purchase a different bench adjustable
    What advice can you give me

    1. Hi Roxie, you may be in pain if you having some technique issues and it could also be posture. I’m a pianist and 6’2. I notice as I get tired, my posture starts to fail and I get some pain. Sometimes I have to take a break and re-approach after a short rest. Also, are you playing on a standard sized bench. It makes all the difference in the world. Let me know if we can help.

  2. To answer Dianne’s question, most piano benches are about 19 inches tall, and the height from the floor to the tops of the white keys is about 28-1/2 inches.

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