The correct posture and technique for playing the piano

A lot of people are confused about how to sit at the piano while playing, and what is the correct technique for playing. As a pianist and piano teacher, I have studied the topic for many years, and have come up with some simple advice on the subject that I would like to share with you here. 


The first thing for a beginner pianist to develop is the correct posture for playing. The most important thing is that your hands move along the keyboard as naturally as possible, and that your other body parts will remain as relaxed as possible. Your playing will feel natural when your arms and shoulders are in a resting position.


The piano stool should be set to the right height, so that your hands will position themselves comfortably on the keyboard, and that playing the piano will feel as easy as possible. The stool is placed in the centre of the piano, so that it is easy to play middle C with both hands, but at the same time it is easy to reach the high and low keys of the piano. The low keys of the piano are positioned on the left, while the higher keys are on the right.


It is important to keep your back straight, but not overly tense while playing the piano. Your hands should hit the keyboard so that when you allow your hands to relax on top of the keys, they will go down. You should place your feet firmly on the ground, so that they will support your good posture. Your feet should also be able to reach the different pedals of the piano.


While playing the piano, the correct use of your fingers is important. It is important to play with the tips of your fingers, so that you will get a good grip of the keys. Your fingers will be in their most natural position when they are slightly round, not straight. It is hard to play with straight fingers, but it isn’t good to make your fingers too round either. You don’t want to be playing with your nails! It is recommended to keep your nails short, so that they won’t interfere with your playing.


The perfect position for your fingers also depends on the person, because people have a different build in their hands. Everyone can find out their natural finger position by dropping the hands next to the body, and allowing the fingers to fully relax. In this position, the fingers will be shaped in a slightly round position. This is the ideal position for your fingers when playing the piano.


Keeping your wrists relaxed is very important, so that they don’t get locked. Beginners often struggle with playing with too much tension in the wrists, which results to your hands getting tired and sore. Practising with relaxed wrists will help you avoid pain, and make it easier to play with the correct technique.


It is crucial to learn the correct posture and technique right from the start, so that it will stick with you for the rest of your life. If you have been playing the piano with the wrong posture for a long time, don’t worry. It is still possible to correct your technique later on through practise.



About The Author:

Matti Carter is a piano instructor based in Tampere, Finland. He also composes music and publishes instructional articles. If you have any music related questions, or want to take piano lessons, feel free to contact him.