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Topic: Which is correct?  (Read 3371 times)

Offline Will Millar

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Which is correct?
on: April 06, 2005, 11:48:08 AM
Dear All

 Which of these is the correct posture and arm/hand arrangement for playing the piano? I have always done Number 1, but when trying to correct to number 2 I ended up with Repetitive Strain Injury!

https://willmillar.tripod.com/temporarypianofile/id2.html

Many Thanks

Will
"Listening to Ralph Vaughan Williams fifth symphony is like staring at a cow for forty-five minutes" - Aaron Copeland

Offline mound

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #1 on: April 06, 2005, 12:33:02 PM
I think #2 is closer to correct than the others. The bench needs to be further back, your tailbone/butt should support your whole body by being placed just on the front-edge of the bench, back straight, perhaps angled in toward the piano ever so slightly, being turned at the hips, nowhere in the middle of the back.  I think in #2 also the wrists should be a bit lower.

so #1 and #3 are very wrong, #2 is only partially wrong.

Offline nomis

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #2 on: April 06, 2005, 12:37:36 PM
I'd choose the position which provides the most comfort - in your case, it's number 1. However, I think that position is too close to the keys, and so you can't reach the low and high keys as easily as you can in number 2. I tend to sit quite close to the keyboard when I'm playing Bach, but move further away for Debussy. Mound's advice is good, but if it is causing you RSI, just choose whatever is comfortable.

Offline nikodr

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #3 on: April 06, 2005, 03:58:16 PM
Even people of same height when they have to sit on bench there are going to be differences.Why?Mainly because we all have different length in our arm (forearm and uparm).A few practical advice is to sit like this in order to find proper height: make a fist with your two arms,touch the c3 and d3 silently with your 5 fingers (of the left hand placed verticaly not horizontly),and c5,d5 with your right hand (again vertically "fisted",when we play we put our hands more horizontaly do not do that in this thing).

Now the average advice is that the forearm should be parralel  to the depressed piano keys.This is a general advice.You may need to change it.As for distance from the piano anything is accepted there are no specific rules but bear in mind,you have to sit between the "middle point" of the chair and the edge.Try to find that point to place your weight (the bench has to support you!).And remember if you sit too close the common mistake will be that you will be feeling that your chest is blocking your arm.(like in the picture labeled no1 in the site)

As for the pictures do not try to sit like that they are not anatomical positions.this web address is wrong.You are not supporting yourself sitting on the chair like that.second the chest will be in your way when you try to play like picture on bottom labeled one.(look! he has raised his shoulder to play because his chest is blocking him his chest get in the way of his arm,you should under NO WAY LIFT YOUR shoulders!!.It is very very very wrong to sit like that in the 3 examples)

Offline Will Millar

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #4 on: April 06, 2005, 04:17:27 PM
Hello Everyone

  I am a little confused by all the advice because I  don't understand things very well!

I don't understand what you mean by the fists touching c3 and d3 vertically etc.

Is it possible for anyone to post a picture of how one should sit

Nb. the silly man in the photos doing it all wrong is me! (OH THE SHAME!!) :-[

Many Thanks

Please keep posting

Will
"Listening to Ralph Vaughan Williams fifth symphony is like staring at a cow for forty-five minutes" - Aaron Copeland

Offline Dazzer

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #5 on: April 06, 2005, 04:27:50 PM
Sit like you'd sit at a dining table eating your dinner. You wouldn't want your food too low, nor too high. You should be able to access your food without moving your arms forward, nor held back. The optimum angle between your arm and forearm is 90degrees (i think, theoretically). An acute angle (>90) wouldn't allow you the strength, while an obtuse angle means you depends alot more on your wrists then you need to. You should be able to produce a reasonable sound simply by depressing the key using a finger, without moving any other parts of the arm, while relaxed. Your shoulders should be in a relaxed position at all times. Elbows tucked in towards your body as often as possible (but still relaxed). Body straight (do not hunch. terrible in the long run).

just my suggestions. i'm not even sure if i'm right.

Offline nikodr

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #6 on: April 06, 2005, 06:32:28 PM
This is just a suggestion to find the correct angle.Check the preview section of this book  https://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0793503728/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-3514388-6787031#reader-page it has a page(click to find next pages!) where it shows and explain what i mean,and says what to do in order to find the proper height on page 28-29 (you will see amazon allows you to see some pages from the book you are lucky it is there).You will understand what i mean.

My advice: you dont sit properly,try to sit more to the edge,you sit so back on the chair,and so near to the keys that you create an imbalance on the way you sit and support yourself from the chair,and second your chest is something that blocks your arms,(thats what i saw on the last picture,where you raise your shoulders,mainly because there is no room for your hands to move),generally shoulders should NEVER be raised like that,and when you lift them high it is an indication that you sit VERY near to the piano keys

Now if you sit so back on chair your self is not positioned correctly.TRy to buy that book of berstein 20 lessons in keyboard choreography it will help you a lot my friend.For anything else ask again.

Offline whynot

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #7 on: April 07, 2005, 04:00:54 AM
Oh my GOSH.  Get a sturdy chair before you worry about anything else.  I think the reason you're sitting so far back on that wobbly thing is to distribute your weight evenly so it won't tip over.  You can't base your entire piano technique on trying to keep from falling down.  Then, when you have a strong and stable chair at a comfortable height, move it back... WAY BACK.  You look tall and strong (aw, shucks) and you need room to play!!  If you aren't sure what makes the difference, try this:  sit as close (closely?) as you normally do and put your hands right in the middle of the keyboard as if you were going to play.  Doesn't matter whether you play, but observe the angle of the outside of your hands to your forearms.  Now move back several inches and check that angle again.  Move back one more time and check again.  See how the angle is getting less acute and more relaxed looking?  This is healthy.  I wasn't sure about your repetitive stress syndrome, exactly where you experience this.  If it's in the wrist, I think you'll feel a lot better sitting back because when that angle is so sharp, it's very stressful to the wrists.  Actually, if it's your fingers, this should also help, because it lets you use large body muscles for movement and power instead of woodpecker-tapping with the fingers.   And, as others have suggested, sit on the EDGE of your chair.  Playing is very physical-- not in a forceful way, but in a "I'm ready, I can do it" way, whereas you look like you're poised to have a martini.  You have to be far enough back that there's a little room to lean forward sometimes.  I used to sit as close as possible to the piano.  I don't know what instinct made me start moving away, because no one ever told me to.  And it scared me at first, so it's not like I did it to feel more comfortable at that moment.  Who knows?  At first it feels very out of control because you're not right on top of the keys.  But if you try it for a while, you'll notice that you can see and feel your way around better with that bit of distance, and you might feel a real difference right away with the physical stress issues.  Good luck!  Be healthy! 

Offline xvimbi

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #8 on: April 07, 2005, 12:12:27 PM
Some things have already been mentioned, such as that you are most likely sitting too far back on your chair. Your legs are probably not free, or at least as free as they could and should be. Second, I think you are sitting too close to the piano, too. One of the most common bad habits is to sit too close. It is actually surprising to many how far away the best position is. One should sit so far away that the elbows are able to freely travel in front of the body. They should not bump into the sides of the body or you will have problems playing in the middle register. In that respect, none of the postures you are showing is "correct". As Dazzer said, the elbows should be relaxed, so don't press them against the sides of the body. Also, keep in mind that torso movements are very important to get your hands to the places they need to go: lean backwards a bit when you have to play in the middle, lean forwards a bit when your hands ahve to play at both extremes of the keyboard, lean left and right (while balancing with your legs), etc.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of people with really whacky positions, and they play really well (Glenn Gould is a good example). What they don't tell you, though, is that they have severe problems in their backs and arms (Glenn Gould is a good example).

Offline Will Millar

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #9 on: April 07, 2005, 04:03:47 PM
Well, thank you very much everybody

Please keep posting, because I still cannot manage to get it into one clear image in my mind because there are so many different ones

Could someone either get a photograph of someone doing the perfect/best technique Please?

Many Thanks - Once More

Will
"Listening to Ralph Vaughan Williams fifth symphony is like staring at a cow for forty-five minutes" - Aaron Copeland

Offline xvimbi

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #10 on: April 07, 2005, 04:16:25 PM
Well, thank you very much everybody

Please keep posting, because I still cannot manage to get it into one clear image in my mind because there are so many different ones

Could someone either get a photograph of someone doing the perfect/best technique Please?

Many Thanks - Once More

Will

Well, there is a lot of info available on the web. Just a couple of starters:

https://pianoeducation.org/pnotmi1.html
https://www.pianomap.com/posture.html
https://at-toledo.com/piano/
https://www.musicianshealth.com/Pianostress.html

Finally, I urge you to get some basic books about piano technique (Sandor, Fink, Bernstein, and particularly the book by Thomas Mark). The investment is equivalent to a few CDs, but will have a much more profound effect on your playing than yet another recording of the Rach3.

 :D

Offline Steve T

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #11 on: April 07, 2005, 10:07:59 PM
If you can see some video of Arthur Rubinstein, just like the girl in that Amazon link. My teacher tells me Rubinstein's position is excellent.

Offline nikodr

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Re: Which is correct?
Reply #12 on: April 07, 2005, 11:31:23 PM
Well, thank you very much everybody

Please keep posting, because I still cannot manage to get it into one clear image in my mind because there are so many different ones

Could someone either get a photograph of someone doing the perfect/best technique Please?

Many Thanks - Once More

Will

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS THERE IS NO PERFECT POSITION.That perfect position will only be perfect for the person siting perfect not for anyone else!.So there is only general advice.You will find your comfortable way that is for sure.Buy those books read them.Maybe seek advice from a good teacher and you will be ok
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