How to Set Up Your Keyboard

Any stand you use with your keyboard probably requires some assembly. But if you’re working with a home digital piano or very large arranger keyboard that comes with a custom stand as part of the package, you should connect the instrument to a power source to make sure it’s working okay before you assemble the stand and place the keyboard on it.

You can easily look up the weight of your new keyboard to be sure the stand can hold it, but you also need to consider the amount of force and constant vibration that playing the keyboard is going to exert.

A small child or delicate player isn’t going to produce much extra pressure on the stand, but if you’re planning to play some bangin’ rock and roll, highly rhythmic funk, or dramatic classical pieces, you should seriously consider the sturdiness of your stand.

The cheapest stands are an X design (with a simple cross brace underneath. These types are okay, but they’re not as sturdy and solid as a design that has four (or more) actual legs underneath. Check to see whether the keyboard/stand combo easily rock backs and forth (which you don’t want).

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Stand height is another important consideration. Good piano technique requires that your arm is basically level from the elbow across to the hand, so position your stand accordingly (keeping in mind the height of the
keyboard itself as well). Angling your hand downward or upward causes stress and can tire and even hurt your wrist muscles.

When sitting, the chair, stool, or bench you use often determines what height the stand needs to be set at. However, you can adjust the height on fancier piano benches and many computer desk chairs. When standing, the straight forearm rule applies, with the added issue that you’re more likely to cause the keyboard to vibrate or even move with your forceful playing (and dancing around!).

Be sure that your stand doesn’t bounce too much or move around and that all connections are hand tightened securely.

You may opt to use some other surface — such as a table, desk, or counter — rather than a stand. Be sure to place some padding or a towel beneath the piano before putting it on a surface that can scratch easily. And think carefully about your seating plans; you want to make sure you’re observing the proper arm position even with your unconventional surface.

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