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  #1  
Old 11-21-2010, 07:50 PM
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Default Don't underestimate your throne height

Man as I write this I feel stupid.

Tonight was a huge eye opener for me, I'm a huge double bass drumming fan and about 3 years ago I was really happy with my playing, pulling off great patterns at decent speeds and the like. Things changed when I bought another pedal, I loved my iron cobras but I just thought it was time for a change. This was a bad idea, my playing really suffered as I had to get used to another pedal and I went all for speed and forgot about technique. About a year ago I bought yet another pedal because my Sleishman wasn't working for me any more due to lack of adjustment options and I thought this would solve my problem.

Somewhere along the line I got obsessed with altering my pedals and throne cause I thought it was the gear and this had an even worse effect on my playing, so bad I was getting depressed over it. I just so desperately wanted things to return to normal and I thought it was my pedals fault. It turns out I couldn't have been more wrong.

Tonight I tried something that has changed my drumming for the better, I upped my throne height, I'm not just on about a few turns, I mean a good few inches. It's like my problems never happened, my drumming is the best it has ever been just because I have heightened my throne and I feel ecstatic. I can pull off the stuff I used too. I was sitting way too low on my throne and I feel so chuffed that I have my abilities back.

I read a posts on this forum that said that 'throne height is such an important aspect of playing and is often the most overlooked'. I can't believe I overlooked this problem for nearly 3 years. But in the end it was remembering what I had read on this forum that made me try changing the height and thus has solved all of my problems I've had with my pedal playing.

Sorry for the long post but for me it is an absolutely huge deal and if someone else has a similar problem, maybe this thread might help them and I hope it does. If I ever find the message that inspired me to do this, I will thank the user from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks for reading =D
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2010, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Ergonomically, nothing is more important than your starting point, and that is your throne. Everything you set up or add to the set has to be reachable and playable with you sitting on the throne. Power to your legs, sitting up straight, all of this starts with the throne. Glad you finally found your sweet spot and it should be less tiring as well to be able not to struggle to play.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2010, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I too play with my throne on the high side. The bottom of my seat is about the height of the bass (22"). I play heel up and it's much less stress on your thighs at this height. Plus, I like the feel of playing down on your drums rather than reaching up for them.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2010, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Everything you set up or add to the set has to be reachable and playable with you sitting on the throne.
I feel that way, too. I can sit for hours. But my wife always says put the crosswords down and come out now :-) .
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2010, 03:32 AM
Inspired Drummer Inspired Drummer is offline
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Sorry to hear that you had to learn that lesson the hard way but very glad that you learned it before getting any type of injury!!
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2010, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

It is amazing how just a minor or in your case Major adjustment to seat height on the throne can have an effect on how you play. I play for my church and we have a kit and throne there, of course I don't have the seat at the same height as the other drummer. I can tell when I sit down and start playing if I've adjusted it to "my correct" height.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2010, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Ergonomics are the most important thing in drumming.
All the technique in the world won't work for you if you aren't set up to use it.
Check out this site, I contributed some testimony on it. It is in the blog section.
http://drumsetergonomics.com/
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2010, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I'm fairly tall, I used to have a lot of problems with cramping until I watched a video of maybe, George Kollias, who said that it was good to make sure that your heels are just off the ground sitting naturally with the pedal depressed. I tried this and found it really helped. For me this also meant that I had to raise my snare to make it around waist height but the overall change was positive.

Something a lot of veteran drummers know that newer ones are still to find out that helps a lot is to make sure that when you kick you raise and lower your foot and keep it lowered when not kicking, rather then keeping your foot hovering over the pedal and pushing down and up to kick.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I've always just figured that with your butt on the throne and your feet planted on the pedals that the top of your thighs should be level (or close to it), but what do I know?.
I'm gonna give a higher throne a try.
Thanks for the tip.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2010, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Sad to hear your beloved Iron Cobras were muscled out. Are they back now? That sounds like an expensive lesson you've learned!

Davo
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2010, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I learnt this lesson too by playing a kit that had a throne that was broken and welded to the desired size of the owner. I found out that I liked playing on a slightly higher throne.

GJS
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2010, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I monkeyed around with a lower seat level when I got back into drumming this past summer but nothing ever came close to when I sat high. I quickly returned to setting the seat fairly high and haven't looked back.

Recalling Liquid Drum Theater, Mike Portnoy's seat is very high. He's about my height 5'9", 5'10" (too lazy to do the conversions for our metric friends) and it looked like he had to really work at getting his feet down to use the pedals.
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2010, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I have felt this before, if find its comfortable behind the drums when the legs bend at the knees just slightly more than 90 degrees.

Also try moving the throne back a little so you don't feel unbalanced when you do those double-kick runs.
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2010, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Thanks for the responses guys.

Gruntersdad: Exactly, I found myself occasionally getting a bad back and sometimes even my knees hurt from pushing down on the pedals. Now everything is pain free and a bonus is that everything is much more within reach and balanced as I'm sitting over the kit not below it. Thanks for the response.

Inspired drummer: I know, I'm pleased it wasn't too late if I had kept going I feel I could have injured my back and my knees, also it would have just sent me into depression.

Bobdadrummer: I totally agree, the proof was I used to have good technique and could pull off the stuff most of the time nothing changed other than my stool got lower and I never thought it could have such a dramatic effect, I shall check that out too.

Frost: That is what I did, my foot now hovers over the pedal. I love the way that I now sit over the kit too and raising my snare meant there wasn't as much room between the snare and toms which also increases mobility on the kit.

Homeularis: Yo man well a lot of people will tell you that that is what is comfortable for them. I've found that when I heightened my stool my legs now angle slightly downwards I think it is whatever is comfortable but good luck on that, hope it works for you!

Davo-London: Yeah I know I dunno why but I have an obsession with kick pedals lol I think it's because I like being creative with the bass drum. It was expensive but I just think well I'm working full time and don't have many commitments money wise so why not if it's what I enjoy. I now use Mapex falcons with Grip Peddler on them. They feel awesome and I probably won't be changing them for a long time if at all.

AJNystrom: I noticed this about Mike from the same DVD, I would probably find that really difficult sitting so high the thing is it woks for him really well.

BassDriver: thanks for the tip bro I will certainly experiment with this.
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  #15  
Old 11-25-2010, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

i've always sat fairly high. just easier to reach everything not to mention less tension/pressure on my back.

i don't get the guys that sit so frikkin' low with their knees pointing in an upward direction with their snares about 2-4 inches BELOW the tops of their kicks. maybe i'm missing something...but most likely NOT!!
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  #16  
Old 11-25-2010, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

BassDriver: I discovered that on my own a few weeks ago. I was moving piece-by-piece, going through my entire kit to see where everything felt comfortable and fluid to play, starting with the throne/pedals. I moved my seat back a few inches and I found that, because of the height of my seat I was able to still play "over" the drums but also had less trouble coming up for the doubles and I was a lot more fluid with my singles.

NickG: I was shocked when I was 'researching' Judas Priest's "Painkiller" how A) friggin low Scott Travis sits and B) how friggin tall he is [6'5"-ish!!]. He plays 24" basses and makes them look huge with how low he sits. I play a 24" and it looks like a 20" when I see pictures of myself playing.
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2010, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I think that what happens is many drummers begin playing when they are young.
They sit low because of their height.
As they get older and grow, they don't think to raise their throne to match their height.
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  #18  
Old 11-26-2010, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Quote:
BassDriver: I discovered that on my own a few weeks ago. I was moving piece-by-piece, going through my entire kit to see where everything felt comfortable and fluid to play, starting with the throne/pedals. I moved my seat back a few inches and I found that, because of the height of my seat I was able to still play "over" the drums but also had less trouble coming up for the doubles and I was a lot more fluid with my singles.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkHvIxycVNI

Flo Mounier describes his setup, this got me the ideas for sitting comfortably.
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  #19  
Old 11-26-2010, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

i must say i learned this lesson last week, myself.

i took my throne (which i never use...i use my kitchen chair) over to a friend´s house for a jam because he didn´t have a throne. i also took my ¨good¨ foot pedal (which i never use, because i like the ¨difficulty¨ of working with my less speedy pedal).

i was very surprised at how much easier it was to:

a. move about the top of the kit
b. work the pedals more fluidly.

last night i replaced my chair with my throne and yup... .

i will continue to use my ¨less speedy pedal¨ for the moment, in order to build up my right leg stuff. but i may switch to the better pedal because i´m not sure if i´m creating bad habits from using the poorer pedal.
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  #20  
Old 11-26-2010, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Good advice from Flo about moving the bass drum forward.

Many of the kits that have factory installed bass drum tom mounts have the mounts too far forward on the bass drum.
I began to place my two mounted toms on a stand off to the left of the bass drum.
This allowed me to move the bass drum further forward.
This allowed me to bring my toms in close so that I didn't have to reach as far.
It also gives me a perfect triangle of snare and toms that is centered right in front of me.

I can now place my ride in the best location for ergonomic play.

I now use the factory tom mount to hold cymbals.
I also mount a cymbal on the tom stand.
No floor standing cymbal stands to lug around!
My kit takes less area.
I can't find any drawbacks to this set up.
It is the best set up that I have ever played.

Moving the bass drum just a few inches forward made my pedal much easier to play without leg fatigue and knee pain.
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  #21  
Old 12-13-2010, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I sit very low. I have tried adjusting my seat a little higher but my feel and groove really suffers when I do this. I am quite tall and have long legs. When I sit as low as I do now I feel more in balance and as one with my drums if that makes any sense. It does also have something to do with my favourite drummers: they all sit very low and I try to recreate their groove but at the same time putting my own signature on it.

I dont think there is a right og wrong when it comes to seat height. I have never had any problems with my back even though I sit really low. Its more a matter of preference.
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  #22  
Old 12-13-2010, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
...Many of the kits that have factory installed bass drum tom mounts have the mounts too far forward on the bass drum...
.
Good point. I ordered a 22" bass drum from Ludwing and the single tom mount was factory installed near the reso side of the drum making it very hard to put the tom in a comfortable spot. When I ordered a 20" bass drum, rather than have it factory installed, I had the dealer install the tom holder closer to the middle of the drum. It makes a huge difference it where I can place both the bass and tom.
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  #23  
Old 12-13-2010, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

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Originally Posted by RogerLudwig View Post
Good point. I ordered a 22" bass drum from Ludwing and the single tom mount was factory installed near the reso side of the drum making it very hard to put the tom in a comfortable spot. When I ordered a 20" bass drum, rather than have it factory installed, I had the dealer install the tom holder closer to the middle of the drum. It makes a huge difference it where I can place both the bass and tom.
I always wondered why they did that Roger. The first kit that I bought back in the seventies that didn't have a rail mount was like that. I had to move the mount and have a cover plate made to hide the holes. I still have the kit. 74 Gretsch.
I eventually installed a cymbal holder mount in the hole.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I sit pretty high on my throne too. Glad to know it's more common than I thought. I assumed most of you were around the 'normal' 90 degrees. I'm probably somewhere around 120 degrees.

My old drum teacher recommended the change years ago and, like the OP, my technique seemed to improve overnight.
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  #25  
Old 12-14-2010, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

If you want to see some extremes, Look at Tommy Lee, tall guy with his knees above his hips by a bunch. Then you have Ringo. A short guy who looks as if he is almost standing up and leaning back on his throne. And finally Max Weinberg who has his back straight as an arrow and very relaxed.
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  #26  
Old 06-23-2014, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

A week ago also suffered this problem cause when i started drumming i used to low height seats.

I've been playing for 3 years and week ago i participated with my band mates on some local music festival selection. And our rehearsal was decent and when performing i used their prepared drum. And the thing is when perfroming i just can't maintain my bass drum rebounds and the hi-hat, snare,throne height and all their stand heights significantly higher than i used to and i kinda noob'ed and frustrated myself. Drums were felt so unnatural to me.

Then later i measured my throne(oridinary chair) and it was only 13" inch high, and my body height is 5.9". Now i bought some drum throne and working from the basics.

I never thought that seat height can make that difference.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

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Originally Posted by brady View Post
I sit pretty high on my throne too. Glad to know it's more common than I thought. I assumed most of you were around the 'normal' 90 degrees. I'm probably somewhere around 120 degrees.

Same here. I'm no where close to 90 degrees.

A lot will of course depend on your height and proportions. If I were any shorter than 6', I think I'd have to go with a 20" bass drum in order to get everything positioned comfortably. With my 22" kick, the rack toms are right on the bass drum shell and they are still a bit too high.

I have a malfunctioning throne and it tends to screw it self down. When I start banging the snare rim, I know it's time to raise it. :)

My throne, snare and 22" bass drum are all within a couple inches of each other @ 22, 25 and 23"
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Last year I lowered my seat height to slightly above a 90° angle. I used to sit quite a lot higher than this. Once I started playing in a band again I was straining to play louder with power and balance. When I lowered my center of gravity it was like an, "Ah HA!", moment. It was so much easier to play more powerfully with less effort because my balance was centered around my core instead at the hips.

Seat height is so personal and everyone should experiment with it based on your body and style of play.

Great thread! Thanks.

Josh
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  #29  
Old 06-25-2014, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeularis View Post
I've always just figured that with your butt on the throne and your feet planted on the pedals that the top of your thighs should be level (or close to it), but what do I know?.
I'm gonna give a higher throne a try.
Thanks for the tip.
If you play heel up, you want it a bit higher. If you look at most of the gospel chop type drummers who use a lot of fast single pedal work, outside of Thomas Pridgen, they all sit pretty high with their thighs at a pretty substantial downward angle. I think this makes it easier to "dance" on the pedal.
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassDriver View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkHvIxycVNI

Flo Mounier describes his setup, this got me the ideas for sitting comfortably.
Thanks for posting, great video.
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

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Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
If you play heel up, you want it a bit higher. If you look at most of the gospel chop type drummers who use a lot of fast single pedal work, outside of Thomas Pridgen, they all sit pretty high with their thighs at a pretty substantial downward angle. I think this makes it easier to "dance" on the pedal.
Hmm perhaps I should try this...I don't sit really high though...just a little more than above a 90° angle.

However I've noticed that Iron Maiden's Drummer, Nicko sits pretty low(?) and he's single bass work is awesome IMO.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

There are people who do it. I know a local guy who's around 6'3", 80% of it legs, and does the Vinnie lowrider thing (even Vinnie doesn't sit that low anymore). And this guy pulls off fast triplets on the kick effortlessly. He also sets up the kit like a dashboard in front of him. More of a prog guy and never changed from that kind of set up. But when I look around I see more young drummers sitting up over their kit. I played guitar with a corporate band a few years back and we had a 20 something drummer who was at least 6" shorter than me. We used my kit at rehearsals and at the time I could not play it up the way he had it. When I started gigging regularly as a drummer (and getting older) I found my back was hurting and thought about how upright he sat. I realized I was slouching like mad. So I tried setting up the kit higher like he did and sitting up straight on a taller throne. Boy what a difference. Easier to play fast doubles on the kick and less strain on everything. For some reason, the kit sitting out flat below you is even easier to get around on than the searchlight/dashboard with it arrayed out in front of you.
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  #33  
Old 06-27-2014, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

I raised my seat a few inches in the last year too.
I didn't sit extra low, it was about 19".

Now I'm at 21-22". It feels MUCH better all around.

In one of my bands, it feels better playing the music at 21", but in the other band, 22" or, almost 23" feels better than lower.

Now, I can't imagine sitting that low again.
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  #34  
Old 06-29-2014, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Add me to the high throne group. I always thought I was alone in this regard. ;-) I use a tall Roc&Soc and the bottom of the cushion is 24 inches from the floor when not compressed. People are amazed at how high i sit but I've been doing i that way for a lot of years and have a lot of power and control. And i never had any back issues from playing that way.
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  #35  
Old 07-03-2014, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

"What's an ergonomic?"

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LAzyueLPQjg
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  #36  
Old 07-03-2014, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Quote:
Originally Posted by brady View Post
I sit pretty high on my throne too. Glad to know it's more common than I thought. I assumed most of you were around the 'normal' 90 degrees. I'm probably somewhere around 120 degrees.

My old drum teacher recommended the change years ago and, like the OP, my technique seemed to improve overnight.
Dude are you in AZ?Its really gonna be over110% today!

I used to see this kid beat his drums up.His throne was way too high.
When I got a decent kit I try too be a bit above the snare,then groove around that.And I don't pound down on the drums.Finness
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  #37  
Old 07-04-2014, 02:06 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

One thing, while I like sitting a bit high, I've still got the rim of the snare around my belt height. I've seen folks sitting up really high with the snare down between their thighs playing down onto it. Which to me is a good way to dent the head or put a hole in it.

In my book, the purpose of getting a bit higher is to have the shell tom(s) down nearer the level of the snare instead of having to pivot up to them in front of you. And the leverage/control you get with a heel up bass technique.
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:39 AM
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Bonefrost Bonefrost is offline
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Default Re: Don't underestimate your throne height

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
One thing, while I like sitting a bit high, I've still got the rim of the snare around my belt height. I've seen folks sitting up really high with the snare down between their thighs playing down onto it. Which to me is a good way to dent the head or put a hole in it.

In my book, the purpose of getting a bit higher is to have the shell tom(s) down nearer the level of the snare instead of having to pivot up to them in front of you. And the leverage/control you get with a heel up bass technique.
Couldn't describe it better!
I just added 13" hi hats,and reset-up all my toms and cymbals,it feels pretty good now.
I use your method of finding the right height for toms and snare.Played w/ people that have their toms eye level,totally flat.I don't get that technique.W/ marching/broom sticks.

Main reason I have my throne abit high is I'm 6'1",so little Lars' setup wouldn't work for me.
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