Hobbies Playing Music Avoid Pain With Proper Wrist & Arm Positions for Piano Enhance Your Playing and Avoid Wrist Injury Share PINTEREST Email Print JGI/Getty Images Playing Music Playing Piano Tutorials Piano Chords Buying Advice Music Education Playing Guitar Home Recording By Brandy Kraemer Updated March 18, 2017 At the piano, you want to be relaxed, but in control. If you start to feel muscle tension, take a few minutes to stretch it away. This can increase stamina in the upper body, and help prevent piano-related wrist strain and muscle aches. Be conscious of the following arm, wrist, and hand positions during play: 01 of 03 Hands & Fingers Hands should make a slight arch, between “cupped” and straight.During normal play, you want to touch the piano keys with the top 1/3 of your fingerprints. For heavy dynamics or staccato, increase the arch while keeping wrists straight.Keep 1st knuckes from bending.The first knuckle – closest to your fingernail – should not bend backwards while striking the keys.Don’t bend your wrists.Keep wrists and forearms aligned with one another. Refrain from leaning your hand towards the thumb or pinky; or bending your wrist up and down. 02 of 03 Arms & Shoulders Upper arms should appear to be almost vertical.Your elbow should be 1/2 inch to an inch closer to the instrument than your shoulders.Keep forearms parallel with the floor during soft and slow music.For animated or dynamic songs, elbows can be a bit higher than your fingertips.Keep shoulders relaxed.To loosen-up shoulders, let your upper body go limp for a few seconds; then without too much force, bring your shoulders back until you find a straight, but flexible, posture. 03 of 03 Back & Neck Keep back comfortably straight.If your forearms are not parallel with the floor, adjust the height of your seat until they are; never slouch.Pay no attention to the back rest.If your chair or piano bench has a back rest, admire its uniqueness, but ignore it during play (learn How to Sit at the Piano).Keep sheet music eye-level to prevent neck pain.That new song may be a pain in the neck to learn, but keep it figurative.