Soon-to-be and first-time owners of piano benches often have common questions about this product. A specialized piece of equipment such as a piano bench contains a world of details that can effectively influence your piano practice. That is why covering as many angles as possible always comes in handy to make the right decision.
At Hidrau, we always receive these questions with open arms, helping our customers choose the right piano bench for them and their organizations. After decades of working with very different types of clients, we like to think that we have been doing positive, fruitful efforts in providing valuable information on these products.
In the following lines, we will address some of the frequently asked questions on piano benches.
Is a Piano Bench Really Necessary?
Many soon-to-be and new pianists question the necessity of a piano bench. This is especially normal if they are on a budget. Who wants to spend their money unnecessarily? That’s why we consider this question to be wise.
So, is a piano bench necessary or not? As we have been discussing on our blog for over a year now, the piano bench is much more than a seat for the artist. These pieces of equipment are specially designed and built to provide a favorable, healthy experience to pianists.
The practice of playing the piano involves a high degree of physical technique, which can translate into problems of different kinds when done wrong. The piano bench, with its special design, supports the pianist in her practice and avoids such issues, most of them related to comfort and ergonomics.
On our blog, you can find detailed pieces on potential injuries that pianists face because of poor posture, which is a direct consequence of not having an adequate seat.
Can I Replace a Piano Bench with a Regular Chair?
Naturally, with the goal of saving money, many people start their piano practice with a regular chair. Maybe they are on a budget and the cost of the piano itself left them doubtful about the next purchase.
However, they must make sure to understand the downfalls of using a regular chair, especially when they are starting their practice. Early formative years on the piano are habit-defining and could make unhealthy patterns difficult to break.
For example, if you or your child develop a poor posture on the piano, this will be very difficult to fix down the road. That is why so many players who didn’t have proper equipment from the beginning end up developing bad posture and therefore, suffer pain and long-term health issues. If you want to know more about the health risks of poor posture on the piano, click here.
Besides discomfort, pain, and risk of physical injury, the design of a regular chair will likely limit the movement of the pianist, which will end up affecting her performance.
When Should I Invest in a Piano Bench?
Taking into consideration the two arguments above, the best moment to invest in a piano bench is right in the beginning. This is when most baseline habits are set into place, such as full-body posture. The earlier we are prepared with the right equipment, the better.
If you cannot afford a piano bench right in the beginning, make sure you are aware of your posture at all times when practicing. Continue with your piano practice and get the right piano bench as soon as possible.
How Long Do Piano Benches Last?
Like any other kind of equipment, a piano bench’s useful life will greatly depend on quality and usage. When a piano bench uses low-quality materials and has a deficient structure, its useful life can seriously suffer, even when used sporadically.
The use we are planning to give to the piano bench is relevant to this conversation. It is different to buy a piano bench to privately use at home than submitting it to heavy daily use by multiple students at a music school.
So, before choosing a piano bench make sure of understanding under which circumstance it is going to be used.
A properly-built piano bench, such as the ones we have been designing and building at Hidrau for decades now, will offer you an above-expectations experience in terms of comfort and useful life.
Do Pianos Come with Benches?
Many soon-to-be piano owners go shopping expecting their piano to include a bench. This is sometimes the case. However, the benches included often are far from adequate for the pianist, which forcibly will deliver a deficient experience to the user.
One of the reasons behind this is something we have spoken about multiple times on our blog and even in this article: ergonomics. Most piano benches available in the market, especially those with no pneumatic system for convenient adjustment, will not support the pianist’s posture. This is important for both occasional players and those who spend hours practicing.
Choosing the right piano bench is parallel to the search for the right piano. We do our research when choosing the instrument that will fit our preferences and needs. The same criteria must be used when searching for the right piano bench, as its characteristics and features will ultimately influence the performance while playing and will determine the comfort and physical well-being in the mid and long term.
How Important Is It for the Piano Bench to Be Adjustable?
Finally, how important is it for the piano bench to be adjustable? As mentioned before, most piano benches are not a one-size-fits-all product. Many have a fixed height, which forces the customer to choose exactly the one according to their body conditions. This makes things difficult.
And what about cases where more than one player is going to use the bench? Or when the pianist is a child who is quickly outgrowing everything around him? The advantage of an adjustable piano bench is evident here.
A piano bench that can easily be adjusted provides a world of convenience and flexibility for the user. At Hidrau, we must emphatically recommend choosing a piano bench with height-adjustment features.