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How to play the piano with PROPER POSTURE? 10 Steps! (Beginner Piano Lessons #3)

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Hi! Welcome back to Enjoy Learning With Abby. So, if you’ve clicked on this lesson, that means you want to develop good piano posture. Well, having correct piano posture is very important, especially for new piano students. If your piano posture is poor, you’ll find it hard to improve your musical performance in terms of speed, dynamics, accuracy, etc. More importantly, you will find playing the piano uncomfortable because poor posture will lead to back pain or neck pain. But we all want to feel relaxed while we’re playing the piano, and we certainly don’t want to suffer from any pain or injury. So, if you are beginners, or maybe you are not, you’ve been playing the piano for many years but you want to correct some of your bad habits, let’s learn about the proper piano posture. 1. You should set up the piano bench in a way that fits your height. I recommend you use a piano bench instead of a chair because a regular chair usually doesn’t fit your height and it generally promotes bad posture. Some piano benches like mine are non-adjustable, but since I am neither too tall nor too short, this piano bench still fits my height. But if your piano bench is adjustable, you should always adjust the height of it before you start playing the piano. To know if the piano bench is at the right height or not, you can check to see if the keyboard is about the same height as your elbows, or somewhere around there. It’s difficult to play with your wrists and elbows positioned much lower than the keyboard. If your elbows are almost level with the keyboard, this is the proper seating position. 2. Notice where your elbows rest. Your elbows should be slightly in front of your stomach. If your elbows are extending out fully, this means that your piano bench is too far away and you’ll want to move it up closer. If your elbows are reaching behind your back, this indicates that your bench is too close to the piano, and you’ll want to move it backward. 3. Sit at the front half or the edge of the piano bench so that you can keep your feet flat on the floor or pedals. If your feet can’t reach the floor, you could use a footstool so your feet can rest flat. Your knees will usually come to about the edge of the keyboard. If you sit at the centre or the back of the bench, there will be pressure on your thighs. It will also end up with some back pain after a long practice session. 4. Straighten your back instead of hunching over. Try your best to align your neck with your spine because it helps to prevent straining. You can even imagine you’re balancing a book on your head. 5. Make sure that your shoulders are loose as this will help you to have a better control over the pressure that your fingers are applying to the keys. This is important when you want to play the piano at different volumes. Now you’re perfectly seated. Let’s talk about how to position your hands properly. Proper hand position will not only help you prevent injury, but also help you improve the speed and dynamics. So now place your right hand on the white piano keys. You may place your thumb on Middle C. Do you still remember the location of Middle C? If not, go check out the video of Lesson 1. Give each finger its own separate key next to the other. Place your index finger on D, middle finger on E, ring finger on F, and your little finger on G. 6. Make sure your fingers are curved and relaxed. You can imagine you’re holding a small ball, then your fingers will be in a slightly curved position. Your fingers should not be completely straight, and of course you don’t want them to look like a claw. Try to find a nice middle ground. If you can’t imagine a small ball is underneath the palm of your hand, maybe you can put your hands on your knees. There’s a slight natural curvature to the hand and fingers. Retain this position and lift your hand to the keyboard. This is the appropriate hand posture when playing. It relaxes the hands and allows you to play smoothly. Now, you can finally start playing the piano. So we start with the thumb pressing down on the Middle C note. Then press your index finger on the D note, middle finger on the E note, ring finger on the F note, finally, press your little finger on the G note. You can also do it in the reverse direction. Start with the little finger on the G note, then ring finger on F, middle finger on E, index finger on D, and your thumb on the Middle C note again. Let’s do the same with the left hand. But this time we start with the little finger down on this C note, then press your ring finger on the D note, middle finger on the E note, index finger on F, and your thumb on the G note. Reverse direction: thumb on G, index finger on F, middle finger on E, ring finger on D, and little finger on C. Good try! There are a few things you should pay attention to. 7. You should develop the independent control of each finger. That means, when one finger is playing, you should try not to move any of the other fingers. You may find it difficult in the beginning because when one finger is playing, like now, I’m pressing my index finger on the D note, the non-playing fingers may tend to collapse or lift involuntarily. So what you should work on is to help your fingers to operate independently. And practice makes perfect. You can actually practise it anywhere without a piano. You can do it on the bus, or when you’re waiting at the restaurant. Place your hand on any flat surface, or maybe on your other forearm. Then try to lift each finger as high as you can, and press it down. Again, you should not move any of the other fingers. Keep all the other fingers down with minimal pressure. If your fingers can operate independently, this will help improve the sound quality because the pressure applied to the keys by each of your fingers would be even or steady. 8. Your nails should be short. There are many disadvantages of long nails. First of all, the clicking sound of nails on the keyboard can be very annoying and it will distract both the performer and the audience. Secondly, the longer your nails are, the more challenging you keep your fingers on the keys because your long nails will easily make your fingers slip and slide all over the keys. Besides, long nails will increase your chances of injury. Imagine what if you get your nails caught in between the keys at some point, that will be extremely painful! Always keep your nails short and make sure you can have a better touch on the keyboard with the pad of your fingers if you want to improve your musical performance. 9. Keep your wrists and forearms somewhat parallel to the ground. Your elbows and wrists should be in line with the keyboard when your fingers are resting on the keys. A bad habit that you must not form is allowing your wrists to rest on the keys whenever you’re not playing. This lesson is a bit long, but it’s worth watching it because it’s really important for you to know and to establish correct piano posture as early as possible. I understand that some of you may want quick results, so you may want to skip the process of developing correct piano posture. But, we have to walk before we can run, right? And bad habits are hard to break once they are formed, so in the long term, if you would like to become an advanced pianist and also save yourself from back pain and neck pain, you should always focus on great posture. So the last tip for you is: Always be aware of your posture and hand position when you are playing the piano. Check if you’ve made any mistakes that I’ve mentioned in this video. Now, let’s do a quick review. 1. Adjust the height of the piano bench 2. Notice where your elbows rest Your elbows should be slightly in front of your stomach and about the same height as the keyboard. 3. Sit on the front half of the piano bench and keep your feet flat on the ground 4. Keep your back straight 5. Relax your shoulders and arms 6. Make sure your fingers are curved and relaxed 7. Try to move each finger independently 8. Trim your nails if they are too long 9. Keep your wrists parallel to the ground 10. Be aware of your posture when playing the piano And now I have a question for you. I want to know: Can your fingers work independently of one another? Which finger do you find the most difficult to control? Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for being here with me today. If you find this video helpful, make sure you hit the thumbs up button and subscribe to my channel. I look forward to seeing you again in my next video here on my Enjoy Learning With Abby YouTube channel. Bye.

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1 thought on “How to play the piano with PROPER POSTURE? 10 Steps! (Beginner Piano Lessons #3)”

  1. Enjoy Learning With Abby says:

    Can your fingers work independently of one another? Which finger do you find the most difficult to control? Let me know in the comments! 😊

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