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How to sit correctly at the piano to avoid lower back pain

Mizue Murakami

Woman sitting properly & playing piano

If you get backache after playing or practicing the piano for a while, you may be sitting improperly. You are probably holding your upper body mostly by your lower back muscle. So, I recommend doing these things: 

  • Sit at the front edge of the piano bench, not in the middle or back. If you sit in the middle or back of the bench, you end up using your lower back muscle to control the balance all the time. If you sit at the front edge of the bench, you do need to use your abdominal muscle to balance and move (tilt) right-left, or front - back. 
  • Flex your abdominal muscle and relax your back muscle. Just sit in front of the piano and experiment with both abdominal muscle and back muscle. Try to learn to use abdominal muscle more. And relax your back muscle a little more. 
  • Your weight should land on your two feet solidly. It shouldn't be all on your buttocks. That means, try putting your body weight on your feet and lean front towards the piano a little. You are playing the piano which is in front of you. So, all your weight shouldn't be on the bench via your buttocks. That's the wrong direction. If you are having a difficult time with this, you may not be sitting at the front edge of the bench enough. Your sitting should be more like leaning on the bench more so than sitting. 
  • This part is something that a lot of people don't want to do. Do sit-ups to strengthen your abdominal muscle. It might not seem related to the piano. But it does. 

You probably see a lot of ergonomic stool/chair for an office these days. The concept is basically the same. You lean on the stool, almost like half standing, half sitting. And type on the computer that is in front of you, not in the back of you. If you apply this sitting technique, you'll be able to play the piano for longer without feeling any backache. 


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