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  • Dr. Guy Whatley

Best Seat In The House

Millions of dollars are spent on ergonomics for office furniture and vehicles etc, but often musicians are asked to play piano on really uncomfortable and totally inappropriate chairs. I often see students sitting at pianos at home on furniture that makes playing and learning piano so much harder. It’s difficult to find great piano benches and seats, and people often don’t know what they are looking for.

Having an adjustable seat is really helpful when playing piano. We need to find a position that lets us have our feet firmly on the floor, but our wrists slightly above the keyboard. If you are struggling to reach the floor you can sit further towards the front of the bench. For really young children it helps to put a stool under their feet, and you can even buy stools with piano-pedal extensions built in.

The best piano benches have pneumatic hight adjustment. I’ve never seen a twist-turn manual one that doesn’t end up squeaking and wobbling within a year of regular use. Adjustable cello chairs are also a great option as they tilt slightly forward forcing the player to keep their feet firmly on the ground and to engage their core to sit upright. Thats what I use at home for my piano practice.

This might all seem arbitrary and unnecessary, but getting the right chair really helps with getting the right posture. This ultimately is necessary for your hands and wrists to be aligned correctly at the keyboard, which will allow you to play for hours without tiring, and letting you maximize a lifetime of enjoyment at the piano.


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