Knee Pain?

majohnson1

Junior Member
Hello everyone,

I have been drumming for about 3 months and I am getting a lot of pain in my right knee. I moved my chair back so that my knee wasn't at a 90 degree angle when hitting the bass drum. This alleviated some of the pain, but then my upper back and shoulders started to hurt because it was a little tough to reach the rack mount toms.

I think I have relatively long legs compared to my arms (I'm 6'6" and about 205 pounds). Can anyone recommend how I should position my leg so that I don't get a lot of pain? Is a knee angle of greater than 90 degrees (more like standing up) better than 90 degrees?
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Hey,

I'm assuming you play "heel up" (lift your leg and stomp your foot on the pedal). Try playing heel down (with your whole foot resting on the pedal and using your ankle/toes to press the pedal).

90° is a good angle. Less than 90° is where you risk the most injury to your knee. Being so tall, you need to make sure that if your lower leg is perpendicular to the ground, your upper leg should be at least parallel with it. Taller drummers have an issue with having to sit so high and then slouch to reach the drums (either down from their height or out far because of their long legs). Come up with a set up that feels comfortable for you, where you can reach everything effortlessly, without feeling like you have to "reach" for anything. This will probably mean scooting your toms and cymbals closer and raising their heights.

But, yeah, in the meantime, play heel down. Often times people have knee problems they don't know about that rear their ugly heads when you start a fitness program or some hobby that uses repetitive motion. You started 3 months ago...how many hours a day do you play? It might just be that you're over-working your joint/tendons, and it will take a while for them to get used to the new demands put on them.

If your problems persist, I would recommend seeing a doctor and maybe getting some scans.
 

majohnson1

Junior Member
Hey,

I'm assuming you play "heel up" (lift your leg and stomp your foot on the pedal). Try playing heel down (with your whole foot resting on the pedal and using your ankle/toes to press the pedal).
You are correct. Thank you for the input.

90° is a good angle. Less than 90° is where you risk the most injury to your knee. Being so tall, you need to make sure that if your lower leg is perpendicular to the ground, your upper leg should be at least parallel with it. Taller drummers have an issue with having to sit so high and then slouch to reach the drums (either down from their height or out far because of their long legs). Come up with a set up that feels comfortable for you, where you can reach everything effortlessly, without feeling like you have to "reach" for anything. This will probably mean scooting your toms and cymbals closer and raising their heights.
I thought this would be the thing to do, but I'm having a hard time moving my rack toms toward me without hitting the bass drum :(

But, yeah, in the meantime, play heel down. Often times people have knee problems they don't know about that rear their ugly heads when you start a fitness program or some hobby that uses repetitive motion. You started 3 months ago...how many hours a day do you play? It might just be that you're over-working your joint/tendons, and it will take a while for them to get used to the new demands put on them.

If your problems persist, I would recommend seeing a doctor and maybe getting some scans.
You're probably right about this; my family has a history of bad joints. I play for probably 45 min to 2 hours a day.

Thank you so much for your help.
 

RollingStone000

Silver Member
Gotta agree with caddy on this. I started in February and and played about an hour or so a day and I'd feel pains all over for the first couple of months. Alot of them have gone away now, and whatever's reoccurring can be attributed to improper technique, which I'm still working on. Just take your time and don't force it. Don't be afraid to take a five or ten minute break in the middle of practicing if you feel something hinkey going on.
 

majohnson1

Junior Member
Tried playing heel down and my knee feels much better. I feel like I have sacrificed some speed and power, though. I've still got the crap Ludwig pedal, so upgrading will probably help this. I tried DW 9000 in a store and fell in love with it, it's on my Christmas-to-myself list.
 

rjvsmb

Senior Member
Hey majohnson1,

Here's my .02.

Definately raising your throne height so your hips (hip joint) is above your knees will help tremendously. But, as pointed out, if you have to hunch over to play, you then create a postural problem. If you can bring you snare, toms and hats up, then raise your throne height.

If you can't go up and need to move back a little, then move your snare and toms to you. Obviously your tom mounting system will dictate how far you can adjust before you start over-reaching for your toms.

If you have a fix post mounted on you bass drum, then consider mounting you toms from your cymbal stands or go to ebay (or craigslist) a find a basic drum rack. I was just on ebay, and I found a few Gibralter racks going for pretty cheap. These options will give you some freedom with your gear set up.

Good luck,
rjvsmb
 

majohnson1

Junior Member
Well, it seems like I just can't get the rack toms where I want them while keeping my leg comfortable. It seems like the only option I have is to get a tom stand or a curved rack so that the bass drum can be further away and my rack toms can stay close to me? I love the look of racks. Can anyone tell me if this is a good solution to my problem?
 

Norseman

Junior Member
Well,

I've just found out I have arthritis on my right knee. On my knee cap to be more precise. I had just purchased Secret Weapons part II from Jojo Mayer and was practicing both my heel up and heel down technique before moving to advanced techniques.

I guess as long as you don't moeller with your knee you should be good.

My problem was I had knee pain for a LOOOOOONG time before I finally got it check. Now I have to deal with this condition for the rest of my life. The pain was there BEFORE I started drumming but drumming didn't help.

You might want to go to the Dr. for an examination and have some Xrays taken.
 

Norseman

Junior Member
Well, it seems like I just can't get the rack toms where I want them while keeping my leg comfortable. It seems like the only option I have is to get a tom stand or a curved rack so that the bass drum can be further away and my rack toms can stay close to me? I love the look of racks. Can anyone tell me if this is a good solution to my problem?
The best dvd I've found for actual bass drum technique is Secret Weapons, it does include a clear explanation of heel down. Check it out.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I am curious as to just how high your throne is. Mine is 21 inches to the top of the seat and I am 5'8" check it out
 

RandyParker

Junior Member
I agree with Norseman. You should consult a doctor and get an X-ray done. Maybe your knee pain is due to some other underlying problem
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Well, it seems like I just can't get the rack toms where I want them while keeping my leg comfortable. It seems like the only option I have is to get a tom stand or a curved rack so that the bass drum can be further away and my rack toms can stay close to me? I love the look of racks. Can anyone tell me if this is a good solution to my problem?
This is a common problem for taller drummers. Slide track tom mount is an option, rack too.

For a general starting position with regards to stool height, the method is- sit on the stool, feet on pedals, pedals in the depressed position (down), then lift you legs up while keeping the ball of your foot planted on the pedals, the top of your thigh parallel to the floor, adjust stool up/down to make the thighs parallel while on the balls of your feet, pedals down.

If and when you adjust stool height, the beater height should also be considered, either higher, or lower, experiment to get the best feeling results.
 
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