- Correct height
- Adjustable vs non-adjustable
- Single or duet?
- Two categories of quality
- Problems with flat-packed stools
- Fixed leg and top quality stools
- Concert leather topped adjustable stools
- Storage box vs adjustable
- Our stock
What is the correct height and playing position?
The standard height of a piano keyboard from the floor is 29.5 inches or 75cm, but varies from 27.5 to 30in (70 to 76cm). The standard stool height is 19.5 inches (50cm). Most pianists and teachers ask the pianist to sit with the elbow at the height of the keyboard when in the ready to play position. However, different players feel comfortable at different heights.
Two main types – adjustable and non-adjustable:
The majority of stools dated before about 1970 are non-adjustable. Today most new stools sold are adjustable. If you’re not sure what height you will need it’s best of course to buy an adjustable one, Having said that, we in the Roberts family have always has a simple duet stool and added cushions to vary the height!
Single or duet?
Duet stools encourage playing together and are recommended where there are more than two players in the family. However, two piano stools do just as well, and a small piano may not look right with a long piano stool in front of it. A variation on the standard duet stool is the “teacher adjustable” with both sides adjusting independently. However it is also possible to put a cushion on one side to raise the height of the player, and this can look better.
Two categories of quality
The majority of piano stools sold today are the “flat packed” variety which need the legs to be screwed on. The other type of stools have fixed jointed legs and therefore take much more time to make and are much dearer. Nearly all stools made before about 1960 are of the fixed leg type.
Problems with flat-packed stools
These stools need assembling and a small spanner is supplied in the box. However this is woefully inadequate as not enough leverage can be applied to tighten the legs sufficiently and most of these stools dry out and the legs become creaky and wobbly. There are countless stools in homes and schools with this problem.
To solve this, we use a torque spanner which allows us to apply maximum tightness without breakage. However, we recommend re-tightening the stool after a few years and our tuners are supplied with strong spanners for the job. Reasonable quality flat packed adjustable stools start from about £160 (2014).
Storage box vs adjustable
Non-adjustable stools usually have a storage box. Adjustable stools don’t normally have a storage box and if they do it’s very thin. So it’s really a choice between the need for adjustable height or for storage.
We have about 40 used and 40 new piano stools in stock priced from £50 for second hand ones to £950 for top quality duet leather adjustables (2014). We also try to source top quality antique style stools to match our traditional pianos. Please email to enquire.