Question About Ergonomics

Posted by: newbert

Question About Ergonomics - 01/03/13 11:42 AM

Is there a chart or guide where one can see the ideal ergonomics for setting your piano bench relative to the piano? I'm just getting back to learning to play after many years away and don't want to get into bad habits. I want to make sure that my hands aren't too low or high, or too close or too far from the keyboard. I know that we're all built differently and ther's no one definitive answer for all. But is there a guide showing (or describing) the ideal position?

Also - a Forum question from a new member: After starting a thread or posting in an existing one, how can I quickly find/return to that thread during my next visit to the forum? I find that searching thru all of the threads for a specific one can be frustrating. The photography forums that I frequent have something called "UserCP" which lists only the threads that I've posted to that have new posts on them. Is there a similar feature here that I'm not aware of?

Thanks!
Posted by: scorpio

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/03/13 12:18 PM

Here is a link. If you scroll down the page you will see a video with Jaak sitting on a bench. That should be some help.

I watched the free lessons. They were great! Especially the information about finger support. I am thinking about signing up for more.

In any case, the information you are looking for is provided for free on the site. Hope it helps.
Posted by: scorpio

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/03/13 12:19 PM

I forgot the link ...

http://playingpianoblog.com/learn-to-play-the-piano/
Posted by: newbert

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/03/13 01:14 PM

Thanks for the info and link, Scorpio. Unfortunately, I can't play the video on that page. Do I need to register there first in order to see the video? If so, is there any cost involved? (I just want to see this video....)

Thanks again.
Posted by: AprilMae

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/03/13 01:30 PM

Here is a link for information on posture at the piano which includes photos:

http://www.wellbalancedpianist.com/bpseatingguide.htm
Posted by: scorpio

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/03/13 01:46 PM

Oh heck, sorry about that. I did sign up for the free videos so that is how I must have been able to see that video. Jaak is a member of Piano World and I did enjoy the first few lessons. Maybe the other link that was offered will get you what you need.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/03/13 02:39 PM

Can see the link but I don't see any instructions, it seems like a commercial video for an online piano course, explaining what you can expect from that course.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/03/13 02:45 PM

This seems more useful

http://www.ergonomicpianobench.com/

I don't believe you need a sloped bench like on that webpage but I think they mention a number of important points to keep in mind:

• freely move his arms with agility, ease and strength

• freely move his feet to use the pedals

* continually shifting the weigit [sic]... around ....
Posted by: justpin

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/03/13 04:47 PM

TBH this was one of my first posts on here about posture.

YMMV however!

I found none of the positions on that webpage were comfortable for me and I found my own partially by turning my X stand sideways and also putting a large sheet of wood on the back legs of my chair to tilt it forward a tad.

I mean look at this guy:

His playing is spot on, but I'm not sure I'd sit like that!

Posted by: Derulux

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/04/13 02:29 AM

The most common is to sit up straight on the front half of the bench, with your shoulders relaxed, your elbows at your side and slightly forward, your fingers "relax-curled" (not straight), and your elbows approximately 1" above the keys. Adjust the bench distance and height to achieve that, and you're there.
Posted by: Jaak

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/04/13 06:00 AM

Hi Newbert and others.

Some points that can be considered very important and have proven themselves during my teaching experience. Also the principles of Alexander's technique and different lecture confirm it.

1) The basis for a free and efficient sitting posture is the natural support and position of your backbone. The frank saying to sit as "straight" as possible does not fully overlap with the best position for backbone. Any constructed force and uncomfortable habits should be avoided.

The best way is a well balanced backbone. If the parts of your backbone are well balanced, it prevents a lot of muscles in your body from working and trying to hold you "straight". If you are too straight it starts to cost you energy and create tensions. Also feel how your head is balanced on the top of the backbone and feel the line from sittingbones till your head.


2) How to achieve it?
The sitting bones should support the weight of the body. Feel how you connect to the surface you sit on through your sitting bones.

You should sit on the edge of the stool - there is a very simple reason why this is good. If you sit too much backwards, part of the support is given by hamstrings and the balance of backbone is lost and muscles start to force the "right" position again. Try it out and you immediately feel the difference.

3) How high or low should you sit?

If you are in the balanced position, you should choose a height where your elbows are at the same height with keys.

4) How far should you sit from the piano?

Your elbows should also be able to move in front of your torso and you should also be able to play the highest keys with your left hand and lowest keys with your right hand without any "dramatic deformations" of you sitting posture.

If there are any more questions I would glady give my best to answer you smile

Best wishes to you!
Jaak
Posted by: malkin

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/04/13 09:32 AM

Originally Posted By: wouter79

* continually shifting the weigit [sic]... around ....


*giggle*
I think continually shifting my weigit around would be distracting.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/04/13 02:20 PM

Originally Posted By: newbert
Also - a Forum question from a new member: After starting a thread or posting in an existing one, how can I quickly find/return to that thread during my next visit to the forum? I find that searching thru all of the threads for a specific one can be frustrating. The photography forums that I frequent have something called "UserCP" which lists only the threads that I've posted to that have new posts on them. Is there a similar feature here that I'm not aware of?

Thanks!


If you click on "My Stuff" and then "posts", you'll get a list showing every thread you've ever posted in. You can then narrow it down to those threads you started.

Welcome to the forum, by the way! smile
Posted by: newbert

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/04/13 05:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Originally Posted By: newbert
Also - a Forum question from a new member: After starting a thread or posting in an existing one, how can I quickly find/return to that thread during my next visit to the forum? I find that searching thru all of the threads for a specific one can be frustrating. The photography forums that I frequent have something called "UserCP" which lists only the threads that I've posted to that have new posts on them. Is there a similar feature here that I'm not aware of?

Thanks!


If you click on "My Stuff" and then "posts", you'll get a list showing every thread you've ever posted in. You can then narrow it down to those threads you started.

Welcome to the forum, by the way! smile


Thanks to Jaak and others with regard to the ergonomics question.

And thanks to Monica for this tip about navigating/finding the threads.

This looks like a great community, and I'm glad that I found it!
Posted by: Euphonatrix

Re: Question About Ergonomics - 01/04/13 06:44 PM

Hi newbert,
sensations of body can be deceiving. I used to have trouble judging how high my wrists and elbows really were in relation to the keyboard. Solution: put a mirror next to the piano. You can then check your posture from a more objective "outside viewpoint". Alternative: film yourself while playing or have someone take a picture of you sitting in your normal playing position.