Don't underestimate your throne height

JT1

Silver Member
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
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
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.
 

WayneWickman

Senior Member
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.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
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.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
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/
 

Frost

Silver Member
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.
 

Homeularis

Gold Member
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.
 

Davo-London

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

Davo
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
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
 

AJNystrom

Member
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.
 

BassDriver

Silver Member
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.
 

JT1

Silver Member
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.
 

nickg

Silver Member
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!!
 

AJNystrom

Member
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.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
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.
 

BassDriver

Silver Member
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.
 

unfunkyfooted

Silver Member
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.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
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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