Some sit at the piano on a wooden board thinly covered with fabric, others on a lushly upholstered concert bench. Which is better?
For casual gamers, this hardly makes a difference. But if you want to sit well at the piano for more than an hour as an ambitious student, or for many hours and days as a professional, you can increase your well-being and thus your performance at the same time by making a good selection.
Research on office workplaces clearly shows that prolonged sitting puts strain on the spine. As a result, there is tension and back pain, stiffening of the neck muscles and headaches.
Here the pianist has the advantage over the “office person” that his piano playing involves a dynamic movement of the spine. However, this must also be maintained over a long day of practice.
The lower end of the back
Nature has shaped two parts of our pelvis in such a way that they work as our “seat bones”. Like two sled runners, they transfer our weight to the seat, and their curved shape allows us to swing forward and backward in harmony.
With lateral movements, we feel how one or the other takes over the weight in each case, and this also goes quite harmoniously.
Sitting upright is good
An upright torso allows for better arm reach, as well as more space for the internal organs and deeper breathing. This is a good basis for a concentrated yet relaxed time at the piano.
Unfortunately, the shape of the ischial bones allows the pelvis to gradually tilt backwards as we get tired. Then our spine curves in the lumbar column. In this position it is not so mobile, the muscles have to build up more tension and their fatigue continues.
After such a day we have a stiff and aching back. Sometimes the pain rises to the shoulders and neck, and that’s certainly not good for pianists.
It happens the same way with office work. There you can help the pelvis by tilting the seat slightly forward. This has also been tried for piano benches, but unfortunately causes us to gradually slip forward.
For the Glissando piano benches, we have put some effort into developing a padding that provides gentle and effective pelvic support.
Special foams with a balanced combination of thickness, strength and compression are supported by a wooden base and stretched with a tightly fitted seat cover.
Since we sit quite far forward on the piano bench, the firm upholstery rises behind our seat area, quite precisely adapted to our body contour. So we are sitting in our own personal “comfort trough”.
Now, when the pelvis tilts back, it must compress the cushion further and pull the cover down with it. This support effect is gentle and hardly noticeable, but extremely effective.
The wooden base and also its front edge are just noticeable when sitting. Many pianists appreciate this because it provides a firm spatial orientation for the body’s senses.