Do you get back, neck, shoulder, wrist or finger pain while playing the piano? Unfortunately pain while playing an instrument is relatively common but you should not have to suffer when you play! There are several reasons for back, neck, shoulder and other pain when playing the piano. Arizona Studio-Online Performing Arts spotlights some of the most common to help you avoid them and offers helpful tips for playing the piano pain-free below.
Is Piano Bench Too Low or High? What Height Should You Sit?
It is essential to have a comfortable piano chair. It is surprising for many beginners to learn that the length of your upper arms decides how high or low you need to sit, not your height. Your upper and lower arms should form an approximate 90-degree angle when holding your hands in a cupped position on the keys. The best solution to avoid any neck or back pain is to have an adjustable piano bench.
How Do You Stop Shoulder Tensing & Relax Your Shoulders when Playing the Piano?
Your shoulders should be relaxed, and your arms should hang freely. Never push your elbows outwards or press them against your body.
What is the Correct Body Weight Balance for Playing Piano & How Close Should You Sit?
Your body should have three places where the weight is balanced; your bottom, feet, and fingertips. The rest of your body should feel elastic, light and free. You should sit at half of the bench with your feet firmly on the floor by the pedals. Make sure not to sit too close to the piano. You need space to use your torso to lean forward and sideways as you learn how to play piano.
Craning Your Neck when You Play Piano Can Cause Pain
Craning your neck when playing is common and could be due to poor eyesight, insufficient light, and where the music notes are placed in front of you. The note stand is generally positioned higher on a grand piano than on an upright piano but it is often adjustable. If you are practicing at an upright piano and constantly have to tilt your head forward to read the music notes, a solution could be to place something under the sheet music books to lift them up more to eye level.
How High Should Your Wrist Be in Relation to the Piano?
Too low or too high wrists breaks the “balance” points mentioned above, and puts strain on the wrists. This strain usually gets transferred as pain up your arms and shoulders. Your wrists should be elastic, light and free with the arm and hand in an unbroken line.
How Often Should You Take a Break from Piano?
Make sure to take short and frequent breaks while you stretch softly. It can be easy to ignore the dull aches to keep practicing for just a little longer but this may build up to repetitive strain injury (RSI) and can be very difficult to heal.
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An adjustable and comfortable piano bench is essential for sitting with a correct posture when you learn how to play the piano. Pain-free playing should be constant, automatic and effortless. Once you establish the correct habits listed above, you will be able to play for hours at a time and never get tired! Arizona Studio-Online Performing Arts offers in-studio piano and voice lessons in Chandler, AZ as well as virtual, online lessons to students across the United States. Call us to learn more today!