Good playing position

A good playing position (or posture) is essential if you want to play the piano really well. Piano teachers are always saying that. If you’ve been learning the piano for a while, you may have heard it quite a few times. But posture is very important. When you are sitting at a sensible height, and not too close to the piano, with ‘L-shape’ arms and curved fingers, you should have much more control over the piano. It will be a lot easier to tackle those tricky phrasings, thumb-unders, and so on. And you’ll also avoid building up a lot of tension. Tension is definitely not what you want when you’re trying to play the piano!

Here is an 1885 painting called The Recital, by a Czech artist, Skuteczky. In this single image, a believable playing posture and a sense of performance have been beautifully captured. It really looks as if the girl is playing the piano.

(source: Wikimedia Commons)

Watching a fine pianist in performance is perhaps the best way to remind yourself of good playing posture, and get some inspiration at the same time. Live performances are great, but in a large concert hall, you might not be lucky enough to get a good view of the pianist. In some videos you might not get a very good view either, or the recorded sound might be poor.

So, where do you go to find piano performance videos which are well filmed, with good sound quality? Well, some will be appearing right here on, like the two that feature in the next post.

In the video below, Melanie Spanswick explains the importance of good posture.