How High Should I Sit at the Piano?

When learning the piano, it’s important to consider the correct sitting position because it impacts your progress and your health moving forward. How high should a piano bench be? What should your posture be when striking the keys? These are just some of the questions to ask yourself when getting started.

To help you on the path to perfect playing posture, we’ll discuss some steps on how to sit in front of the piano correctly.

Importance of the Correct Posture

Sitting in front of the piano correctly means securing a proper bench first. Learning the basics while slumped down is the worst possible way to start your journey and can negatively impact your progress.

Positioned too low or propped too high up, you might find yourself struggling to hit the keys properly. Not to mention, it can have ill effects on your posture over time. Your bench doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead, your focus should be on an adjustable seat. Using cushions and pillows to alter your height should do too.

Also, playing the piano doesn’t mean keeping a rigid position. While comfortable and effective, your position should also allow for flexible playing. That way, you’d be ready to deliver should a specific piece call for some hip-swiveling, neck-bending, and other body movements.

How Do You Achieve the Perfect Piano-Playing Posture?

As mentioned, posture is essential to learning the basics effectively and efficiently. Here’s how to go about positioning yourself perfectly in front of the piano.

Step 1: Sit at the Correct Height

So, how high should you sit at the piano? When positioned in front of the piano, you want your arms and elbows to flow freely from your shoulders. This relaxed position is what primes you for effective execution.

The forearms should align parallel to the floor, and the arms should angle slightly more than 90 degrees. If you’re not quite there yet, a simple seating height adjustment will help get you there.

Step 2: Sit Forward

Sitting too far back from the piano won’t do you much good. You must sit far enough forward that your hands reach the keys comfortably. In this position, you should also be able to move your torso effortlessly in case the composition calls for the occasional body contortion or weird movement.

In that regard, you must also be back enough in the seat that you don’t fall over in case the moment gets too intense. Also, make sure your elbows are fronting the torso when your fingers touch the keys.

Step 3: Make Sure Your Hands Are Arcing

Your hands should be arcing when they touch the keys. Fingers should point down at the keys and not fall on them flatly for seamless playing. This allows your wrists to align with the arms, making for efficient side-to-side movements. Again, a simple seat adjustment could be all it takes to find the right balance.

Step 4: Get Used to the Position

Following the previous steps correctly should put you exactly where you want to be in front of the piano. It may feel a little awkward at first, but keeping at it will help you get used to the position. Not to mention, it will put you in a prime position for learning piano playing and progressing optimally.

Sitting at the Piano

Below, we’ll discuss exactly how specific body parts directly related to piano playing should be positioned when you’re in front of the instrument.


Your hands forming an arc over the keys allows your fingers to be more precise when playing. Keeping your hands in this position also leads to better and more effective transitions. Striking the keys this way will set you up for mastering more difficult pieces early on.


Your arms must be at an almost-right-angle to get the right balance of loose and controlled execution necessary for flawless playing. You want the arms falling freely from the shoulders and the forearms parallel to the floor.


Beginners tend to place their wrists flat on the edge of the piano because it feels more natural. Unfortunately, that isn’t the correct way. The wrists must be slightly elevated so that they align with the arms. This position paves the way for quicker mastery of the basics.


The seat may not technically be a body part, but it may as well be when it concerns piano playing. So much about playing this instrument centers on the seat that you cannot take it for granted. Sit forward far enough that you can swivel your hips but also far enough that you feel stable when the piece starts getting intense.

So, How High Should You Sit at the Piano?

At the end of the day, that would depend on how tall or short you are relative to your instrument. Generally speaking, you need to make sure your hands, arms, and wrists are where they’re supposed to be when you’re fronting the piano. If you’re able to do that, your seat height should be where it needs to be.