A guide to buying a suitable piano bench

This post talks about piano posture, what to consider when buying a piano bench & where the Indian student can find piano benches to suit different budgets. Plus an easy low-budget solution for a low piano bench.

Practising on a basic keyboard during the early years of piano class

Many Indian students buy basic 5-octave keyboards when they begin piano class, planning to save up and buy digital or acoustic pianos later. It’s not the best option, but this makes piano class possible for many families.

40 Piano hands crabby
Many students find playing the piano difficult due to wrong posture, resulting in crabby, badly shaped hands. Sitting at the wrong height is the most likely cause because many new piano families don’t have a suitable piano bench at home. They sometimes think that the student can ‘manage’ until the family sees enough commitment and feels it’s worth getting a piano bench.

 

40 Piano hands nice
A curved nicely shaped hand

The Indian family sees a piano exam as a measure of success. Sadly, doing well in an exam or otherwise, is very unlikely with poor posture and badly shaped hands. These students find it physically more difficult to play and they bang on the piano keys so hard, sometimes risking injury.

How to sit at the piano

Every beginner piano book has a diagram explaining good piano posture.

  • The correct height to sit at.
  • Sitting straight, forearm roughly parallel to the floor, with a nicely curved hand.
  • Sitting the right distance from the piano.
  • Using using only a part of the piano bench, leaving the back part of the bench free, so the thighs are not supported.

Your piano teacher will explain why this is important.

Buying a suitable piano bench

Learning good playing technique starts at beginner level, with using a suitable piano bench.

  • Sitting too low is often the root cause of a lot of hand and arm tension in beginner level students. They tend to bang on the piano and this can injure their hands.
  • Sitting at the wrong height – too high or too low can cause back, arm, wrist or hand pain.

Here’s what you need to look for when buying a piano bench :

  1. Adjustable height. I like a bench that has a minimum height of about 20 inches, as this works for adults as well as children.
  2. A firm cushion which is broad and wide enough.
  3. A steady base that will not rock when the pianist reaches for keys at the ends of the piano keyboard.

Here’s an easy solution to a slightly low piano bench

Layer on a couple of floor mats to increase the height of a piano bench that's slightly low

Layer on a couple of floor mats to increase the height of a piano bench that’s slightly low. I do this in class, with very young students, rather than have to keep adjusting the height of the bench for them. Thick rubber based synthetic floor mats, or yoga mats work well.

Check out my post, We have a keyboard at home – why should we buy a piano?  to understand the difference between basic keyboards and digital & acoustic pianos, without getting too technical.


Dear Student,

I hope this post helps you understand the value of posture and setting up your piano / keyboard correctly at home.

Practise daily and pay attention when your teacher guides you. And you’ll find that learning the piano gives you great joy.

Good luck!

 

Published by

Anitaelise

Piano Teacher, Poet, Relaxed Housekeeper & Blogger

7 thoughts on “A guide to buying a suitable piano bench”

    1. Thanks and hope it helps you! If you aren’t a piano teacher look for one, as learning good posture and hand shape often is a long process and needs competent guidance. Wish you all a wonderful journey exploring music!

      Like

Leave a Reply (your email address will remain confidential)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s