When you’re first starting out on the piano, in addition to purchasing the actual piano and finding the right teacher, finding the right piano bench is key. Not only will a good piano bench ensure you enjoy your time spent behind the piano, but it’ll make playing the piano more comfortable, regardless of your competency. Most instructors recommend at least a half an hour of practice each day, and it’s not uncommon for professionals to practice four or five hours a day. Even though you may just be playing the piano for fun, you should still focus on finding the right bench. From cushioning to storage space, here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a piano bench.
Upright vs. Grand
First things first, if you have a grand piano choose a grand piano bench, and if you have an upright piano opt for an upright piano bench. The reason? Grand pianos and upright pianos sit at different heights, and the benches are manufactured to reflect the difference. Generally speaking, grand piano benches are between 33” and 36” wide, and is proportionate to the size of the instrument. If you try to save a few bucks by purchasing an upright bench for a grand piano, the end result won’t be pleasing. You’ll likely find yourself sitting in the wrong position, and it’ll look disproportionate to the instrument.
Cushion & Support
While piano benches without cushions may look aesthetically pleasing, they aren’t as functional as those with built-in support. Think about it: would you prefer to ride a bike with or without a padded seat? As previously mentioned, you’ll be practicing anywhere from a half an hour to a few hours a day, so keeping an eye out for a comfortable seat is crucial. If you’re purchasing a piano bench from a brick and mortar store, sit on them and test them out. If you’re browsing online, read the product descriptions. There should be thick foam padding that allows for ample support during hours of practice.
A great deal of modern day piano benches include space for storage beneath it, and for good reason. From sheet music to metronomes, there’s plenty of piano accessories you’ll need to keep within reach. And, unlike other instruments, you won’t be carrying your piano around in a bag that has plenty of compartments for your accessories. Regardless of the piano bench you choose, make sure it opens and closes easily. If it’s overly complicated in nature or seems like it’ll break after only a few uses, keep looking for a better option. Be sure to check the knobs, hinges, and legs for sturdiness.
What Are Artist Adjustable Benches?
Artist piano benches provide pianists with the ultimate in comfort, durability, and appearance. Over the years, they’ve become the piano bench of choice for professional musicians, universities, and concert halls around the world. If you’ve ever been to a classical concert or public performance, those fancy benches you saw on stage are most likely artist piano benches. Adjustable artist piano benches are just that- artist piano benches that you can adjust to your desired height. In most cases, adjustable artist piano benches come in three sizes: standard, duet, and petite. Standard benches are an excellent choice for solo work or for use on a stage, while duet benches are the perfect choice for teachers who may need to share the bench with a student.
Style & Decor
Last, but not least, keep an eye out for a piano bench that will match the style and decor of your piano and the room its kept in. For example, if you have a baby grand piano, opt for a classic piano bench that’s manufactured from mahogany or rosewood. On the other hand, if you own a digital piano and live in a more modern home, your piano deserves a metal piano bench that’ll truly complete the look. The best thing about piano benches is they’re easier to replace than the piano itself. Keep an eye out for return policies and warranties, so you’ll be covered in case you change your mind.
Finding the right bench is only half the battle. If you want to become an even better pianist, practice makes perfect. Check out our Tips on How to Become a Better Piano Player.