9 Tips to Maintain Proper Piano Posture 

proper piano posture

Do you feel tired after practicing piano for 10 minutes? Have you ever experienced any back pain while playing the piano?

Well, I did for several months. I am a beginner and I never play more than for half-an-hour but still I end up with crippling pain. And do you know what the reason is?

As surprising as it may sound, it was because of my wrong piano posture. Therefore, maintaining a proper piano posture is as important as playing the correct notes.

Here, I am sharing with you 9 tips on how to maintain correct piano playing posture. But before I give you the tips, let me tell you the benefits of keeping a good piano posture.

Benefits of Correct Posture

  • It will help you sit comfortably during your practice session.
  • You will be able to play longer without hurting your wrist or back.
  • Good posture will help you to be relaxed while playing, and so you will have good control on the piano.
  • Also, you will be able to produce a greater quality sound.

9 Tips to Maintain Proper Piano Posture  

1. Keep Your Back Straight (keep neck aligned with your back!)  

We often tend to sit in a slouching position. Although it is the most comfortable position to sit; it is also one of the positions which causes neck injury.

When you sit with your head forward, your neck bears the weight of your head. And the more you lean forward the more your neck strains. Also, this position strains your shoulder and causes piano posture back pain.

How to check if you sit with your neck forward

  • Take the support of a wall
  • Stand by the wall and stick your lower back and feet to it
  • Check if your head touches the wall

If your head touches the wall, you are lucky to have a straight head, and if not, it is likely that you have a forward neck.

In case of a forward neck, try to lengthen your spine and adjust your head to align it with your back. You may have to squeeze your shoulders together and backwards.

Now, stay in this position for a minute and gradually increase the duration. Keep this position in your mind while sitting at the piano.

2. Maintain a Neutral Spine  

When I say neutral spine, I mean that you should try to make this position look natural. Well, even our spine is not straight like a rod. It is curved in nature.

So, make sure not to keep your spine too straight or hunched. Maintain the natural curve to reduce the stress placed upon your back and the chances of spinal injuries.

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3. Keep Your Shoulders Down  

Neutral spine while playing piano

When you practice, you should keep your shoulders down.

If you play piano with raised and rounded shoulders, you won’t be able to exert the body weight one needs to get the right dynamics and articulations. 

To achieve the right piano playing posture, your shoulders must be low and relaxed. Also, elbows are integral to keep the shoulders down. 

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Check out the “History of Piano” to learn more. 

4. Keep Your Elbow at the Keyboard Level  

proper piano posture - elbow at keyboard level

Your elbow’s position determines your piano posture and hand position. If you are sitting too close or too far, you will strain your arms and get tired.

If your elbow is far from the piano, you may feel like you are putting too much pressure on the piano. And, if you are too close, you won’t have much freedom for your elbows. You don’t want to restrict your hand movement and impact your performance.

Therefore, you need to check if your hands are sticking to your rib-cage or just stretching outwards. This way you can figure out if your elbows at the keyboard level or not.

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5. Keep Your Wrists Flexible  

proper piano posture - keep your wrists flexible

If you don’t have proper piano wrist position, you will miss notes and beats all the time.

Naturally, your wrists should go down as you press on a key and lift up to prepare for your fingers to press on the next. If this dynamic is not working while you are playing, then it might be because you are locking your wrists.

And, if that is the case, then check by yourself or ask someone else to check while you play.

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6. Keep Your Fingers Firmly Arched  

keep your fingers firmly arched

Keeping your fingers straight and stiff isn’t the correct hand position. Instead, it will make you feel more pressurized and will keep you busy thinking about the next key to play. Arched fingers on the piano will help you control the force you will exert striking each time.

To keep your finger arched, keep your wrist hovering on the keyboard, and imagine touching the keys very lightly, so that it doesn’t get damaged when you touch. Also, keep your fingers apart so that sufficient air passes through your fingers.

Arched fingers and proper wrist positioning are important steps to maintain the correct piano hand posture.  

7. Keep Your Knees At A Proper Distance From The Keyboard  

piano posture - knees at proper distance

You should sit at a distance from the piano so that your knees are not too close.

Keeping your knees at the right distance from the keyboard gives you control of the piano. Your knees will determine if you are slouching over the piano.

However, a good sitting height will keep your knees at a good distance. See if you have the freedom to move your fingers around. You will know that you are sitting too far if your knees are too far from the keyboard.

Moreover, if your knees are placed under the keyboard then you may need to move back.

The correct sitting position is when your legs are pointing slightly downwards and your elbows are almost parallel to the ground.

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8. Keep your Feet Flat on Surface  

Flat feet are essential to ensure your body movements. If your feet stay suspended in the air, then your leg’s movement will disturb the momentum of your body. Moreover, if your feet are not flat on the ground, you might face problems using the pedals.

Well, you can purchase a pedal extender for that, but a firm position of your feet on the ground will make you more comfortable. It is best to have heels on the ground while you use pedals. That is what I call “proper piano height”.

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9. Sit Strategically  

During a piano session, obviously, you will have to play both high and low notes. Likewise, you will have to stretch your fingers to the further right or left of the keyboard. Sliding your upper body to reach the high notes will strain your arm and break your posture.

So, to sit strategically, see for the note pieces if they have too many high notes. If they do, then shift your piano bench to the right and simply stretch your arms while playing the high notes.

Watch this video to see a pianist implement the above tips.


How do I keep my piano posture good?

Sit on the edge of your piano bench after maintaining a proper distance from the piano. Keep your spine naturally straight, neck strain-free, and shoulders relaxed. Your hands should easily reach the piano, but your arms should be in a straight line with the keyboard. If you follow these tips, you can keep your piano posture good.

Why is proper piano posture important?

Proper piano posture is important to avoid any injury, chronic pain, and strain-free performance. Also, maintaining a correct piano posture while performing affects the tune of the piano positively.

How do you keep your fingers curved on the piano?

Hold a glass of water. Try to notice how your fingers curve but don’t touch your palm. Keep your fingers curled in a similar manner while playing the piano.

How do I stop my neck from hurting when I play the piano?

The only tip for injury-free neck while playing piano is to keep your neck straight and strain-free. Just don’t lean forward. Try to align your neck to your spine.

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Overall, good posture is something that every pianist should keep in mind. I hope, dear reader, that you understand why posture is important in piano.

Remember, it will not only ensure pain-free piano lessons but also affect the music you create. In short, good posture is as important as piano techniques.

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