Paying attention to how you position yourself at the piano may sound a little trivial but if you get into the habit of applying these tips from the beginning you’ll find it will really help with your overall technique and make it as easy as possible to play freely as you progress. Over time, you’ll find you naturally develop adjustments in posture that work for you and, of course, you’ll need to be flexible depending on what you’re playing but these are a good guideline for getting you started.
1. Correct your stool height: Rest your fingers on the white keys, half way between the end of the black keys and the end of the white keys nearest to you. Your lower arms should be horizontal, not bending downwards or upwards. If you have an adjustable stool, great. Otherwise use an extra cushion ect if you need to be higher.
2. Hand position: Generally speaking, to begin with, your fingers should be on their tips and curved round so that your hand makes a bridge shape. Imagine holding a small ball. Don’t forget to curve your thumb too. Never use flat fingers. Developing a good hand position will make it easier to move quickly and smoothly over the keyboard.
3. Stool position: Place the stool infront of Middle C. Sit in the middle of your stool with both feet on the floor and your back straight but relaxed. With both hands on the keys in the correct hand position mentioned in point (1.) the full length of your arms should make an ‘L’ shape. Adjust the position of your stool a little further forward or backwards until your arms fall comfortably in this position. This will make it easiest and quickest to comfortably reach all areas of the piano.
4. Pedalling: When using the pedals keep your heel on the ground at all times and use the ball of your foot to lever the pedal. Rather than using your whole leg, this gives you the most control and stops the pedals from accidentally releasing and banging back up. Use the nearest foot to each pedal. You may need to adjust the stool position out away form he piano slightly depending on your height in order to comfortably keep your heel on the floor when pedalling.
5. Relax: Once you’ve placed yourself in the correct position remember to relax! Drop your shoulders and keep your arms and hands soft. You’re ready to play!