Posture

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I saw a video of my band recently and I noticed my posture is bad, my back is way curved. I have no back problems and the curving of my spine...I have no pain playing...at all. It feels good slightly slumped.

Looks-wise...I'm not crazy about the look. I'd like to practice better posture just so it looks better.

But....when I play, I try and get as relaxed as I can. That's why I slump. If I had to consciously keep my back straight...I don't think I could relax all the way, I would feel much more stiff. But it would look way better. But my relaxation/getting into the zone/ may suffer.

So this is only a looks thing, I have literally zero back pain playing. Is it worth trying to improve posture if I have zero pain problems relaxing and slumping?
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
The thing I don't like about sitting straight up and further back is that I feel disconnected from the kit. I know I don't look good but to me it's worth leaning in (so long as its not harmful).
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
I saw a video of my band recently and I noticed my posture is bad, my back is way curved. I have no back problems and the curving of my spine...I have no pain playing...at all. It feels good slightly slumped.

Looks-wise...I'm not crazy about the look. I'd like to practice better posture just so it looks better.

But....when I play, I try and get as relaxed as I can. That's why I slump. If I had to consciously keep my back straight...I don't think I could relax all the way, I would feel much more stiff. But it would look way better. But my relaxation/getting into the zone/ may suffer.

So this is only a looks thing, I have literally zero back pain playing. Is it worth trying to improve posture if I have zero pain problems relaxing and slumping?
You're confusing relaxation with poor posture. Imagine, if you will... (I love that phrase!) a bolt protruding from your chest and attached to that rope are balloons that lift your chest up. That's the posture you should go for.

Besides, when you hunch over your energy turns inward, your breathing becomes affected and your playing suffers. You may not realize it now but farther down the line it will reveal itself. Fix the bad habit now while it's still easy. Think of your body as a parabolic dish and the energy emanates from it. If you're hunched, all that energy falls in on itself while when you are upright, it projects outward.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
You may need to alter the angle of your pelvis, which in turn will help your spine "drop" into an upright position. Which bit of your backside do you sit on? If you sit on your "cheeks" you're probably making a C shape with your back. Have a little feel for the bony protruberance right where each cheek joins the top of your legs - these are your seatbones. If you sit on these, you'll be in a much straighter alignment. You may find that you have to sit further forward on your throne in order to do this. It's easy to be relaxed in this sitting position, but impossible to slump.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You're confusing relaxation with poor posture. Imagine, if you will... (I love that phrase!) a bolt protruding from your chest and attached to that rope are balloons that lift your chest up. That's the posture you should go for.

Besides, when you hunch over your energy turns inward, your breathing becomes affected and your playing suffers. You may not realize it now but farther down the line it will reveal itself. Fix the bad habit now while it's still easy. Think of your body as a parabolic dish and the energy emanates from it. If you're hunched, all that energy falls in on itself while when you are upright, it projects outward.
Very interesting take Bill Ray. I will definitely try and think like this to try it out.

I put a backrest on my Roc N Soc. I relax AND sit straight. I couldn't believe the difference it made!
Glad it's working out for you, but I can't picture myself leaning on a seat back. I'm more an edge of the seat player.

You may need to alter the angle of your pelvis, which in turn will help your spine "drop" into an upright position. Which bit of your backside do you sit on? If you sit on your "cheeks" you're probably making a C shape with your back. Have a little feel for the bony protruberance right where each cheek joins the top of your legs - these are your seatbones. If you sit on these, you'll be in a much straighter alignment. You may find that you have to sit further forward on your throne in order to do this. It's easy to be relaxed in this sitting position, but impossible to slump.
I like this too. Perhaps I will try combining this with Bill's suggestion. The goal is too look good posture-wise yet still be able to relax. .

You're right, my back was in a "C" shape in the video I saw. So I guess I'm on my cheeks. But everyone is built different. I know I do not push my lower back forward, I let it slump. That's where most of my bad posture comes from. I'll have to play around I guess.
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
An LMT I know says that it's common for people to schlump over, sort of hunched. Lots of things we do lead to this position but it's not good in the long run. He suggests lying on an exercise ball and stretching your arms back (the opposite motion). Stretch for 2 seconds and repeat.

In distance running it's not an efficient posture. The proper posture was explained to me as feeling like there is a steel cable attached from your chest to the top of a ten story building that's a half mile away. Stand straight and tall, and let your lungs fill with air!
 

johnnylaw

Senior Member
Try maintaining taut abs instead of "sitting up straight'. Not tight cranked flexing, but engaged continuously. You'll find it harder to slouch, and easier to breathe. Also, your hits will be more accurately placed, and you will achieve more dynamic control.

It's just a different focus, but the functional benefits are plentiful.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
Try maintaining taut abs instead of "sitting up straight'. Not tight cranked flexing, but engaged continuously. You'll find it harder to slouch, and easier to breathe. Also, your hits will be more accurately placed, and you will achieve more dynamic control.

It's just a different focus, but the functional benefits are plentiful.
The problem with tension on the drumkit is that it tends to leak out onto the places you don't want it. Any tension can impede the flow of what you're trying to accomplish.

Just my $.02
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
the whole perfect posture while playing thing is overrated

sit however you are comfortable ..... whatever position allows you to get greazy

if you feel pain ... change it

if not.... grease on

some of the best drummers to ever breathe our air had some of the worst posture since Quasimodo
 

wsabol

Gold Member
the whole perfect posture while playing thing is overrated

sit however you are comfortable ..... whatever position allows you to get greazy

if you feel pain ... change it

if not.... grease on

some of the best drummers to ever breathe our air had some of the worst posture since Quasimodo
I agree. Buddy rich comes to my mind as one who had a very slumpy torso while he played... it makes no difference.
 

Attachments

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
the whole perfect posture while playing thing is overrated

sit however you are comfortable ..... whatever position allows you to get greazy

if you feel pain ... change it

if not.... grease on

some of the best drummers to ever breathe our air had some of the worst posture since Quasimodo
It's something I never thought about until seeing this particular video, wasn't that aware of how bad I slumped. My wife never mentioned it to me, because sometimes I'll ask her if I look stupid when I play. So it never caused any physical issues. I'm going to try it just the same, but knowing myself, by the end of the night I will probably default into what I always have done. But you never know.
 

incudrummer

Junior Member
There are a lot of good responses to this thread which describe what works best for the posters individually. Many postures are healthy and lead to comfortable and relaxed playing, even though they differ drastically from each other. I would advise you not to overthink it too much, and to spend time playing your drums while incorporating some of the posture techniques described above.

It may also be worth your while to figure out your own opinion on the balance between looks, comfort, and playing ability and to use that to decide how you would like to proceed. That being said, I have found through experience that it is entirely possible to achieve positive results in all three of these areas simultaneously. I have not yet needed to sacrifice one area to see drastic results in another.
 

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
Bear in mind that if you have been sitting that way for a number of years there will be a muscle imbalance going on that means you will likely fall into that posture comfortably now.

In order to change this you will have to do some work on the weaker muscles. I would say best advised by a physio who will identify the weakness and imbalance and suggest exercises to correct your posture.

Thats why it will feel uncomfortable and strange to alter your posture to begin with.

But like many say as long as you arn't feeling pain after you play or have back problems in general then is it going to be worth it. I'm not sure you will feel any real gains in terms of playing any better. But if the look matters to you and from a general health point of view you fancy giving your body a bit of a posture check then go that route.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
the whole perfect posture while playing thing is overrated

sit however you are comfortable ..... whatever position allows you to get greazy

if you feel pain ... change it

if not.... grease on

some of the best drummers to ever breathe our air had some of the worst posture since Quasimodo
It really is true, so many great players had terrible posture.

I notice that posture and balance become much more of an issue for me when playing double pedals heel up. Mike Mangini described it as an "engaging of the core muscles" while allowing both ankles to swing freely.

This is where the common mantra of "relax" falls short. If you relaxed every muscle in your core you would slump over. The key is knowing the difference between engaging a muscle and excess tension.

What I've found with relaxing is that it really comes down to muscle control. While playing fast singles, for example, I used to contract all of my forearm muscles, which led to the flexors and pronators (muscles on bottom and top of forearm) essentially fighting each other. When I went back and relearned proper technique, I began to relax those muscles that were not engaged in the action and my results shot up.

When someone tells you to relax, the proper question should probably be "which muscle should I relax and which should I contract?"
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Is it worth trying to improve posture if I have zero pain problems relaxing and slumping?
Zero pain now, but if you're posture is poor, you're setting yourself up for trouble down the road.




In order to change this you will have to do some work on the weaker muscles. I would say best advised by a physio who will identify the weakness and imbalance and suggest exercises to correct your posture.
The best way to correct your posture is to strengthen your core.


Teres major and minor, the drummers muscle. These two get extended while playing drums, in some cases overextended. A mistake a lot of drummers make is stretching teres major and minor the wrong way in search of relief. The corrective stretch is back, a backward stretch, a yoga pose being reverse prayer.

Nothing straightens a back like a strong core, its needed for good posture.
 

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wombat

Senior Member
Larry

It seems your first thought was that your posture didnt look good (as opposed to I must change my posture because I am having pains / difficulties )

Your look may bother you, but does it bother the punters ? I would have thought how the band sounds is number one, or (and / or) how the bands "show" looks if the band has a routine as part of the "show"..... in which case I would have thought feedback from bandmembers would have come your way.

For mine the more critical aspect is how your posture affects your health. I would guess if you videod yourself on the computer, watching TV or eating dinner at the table you may notice a similar "slumping" posture (Its certainly common for people using computer key boards etc)

Generally speaking poor posture sitting can also influence how one stands, walks etc.

This is because your "core strength muscles" are relatively week and do not support your skeletal structure / joints in the right alignement.

Essentially 3 things would need to happen

1/ You need to develop an awareness of how you are standing / sitting and correct this posture if its "out'. That takes some time to develop the awareness, it takes time and practice and will not happen overnight...so its important to be patient. I would also suggest it will be easier to develop that awareness while in a relaxed state (sitting at the table, computer etc). I very much doubt that drumming at a Gig is the place to start....too hard when you have a show to do......but its something you can work towards. It will be much easier once you have developed an awareness through practice in less "pressured" aspects of your life.

2/ How the "furniture" is set up has an impact on how we sit / stand. No 2 bodies are the same...our height in general, how long our arms / torso / legs are in general and in relation to each other ( for instance I have a longer torso and shorter legs relative to people of my height)... So I have problems getting things set up so my legs are able to reach the pedals and tom height / cymbal placement needs to suit my reach)... as it turns out I just cant play anything but heel down.....lifting my knees pushes my torso further back and disrupts my tom / cymbal reach and technigue...)

Most "offices" will het in an occupational health person to look at peoples seating posture at their desks and will reccomend specific thngs like seat choice / height and squab settings and a range of other matters.

3/ To develp your support muscles you can get a set of exercises for the home, gym or pool that will stretch and strengthen your postural muscles which in turn will gently shift your spine into the bodies "natural" posture.

This in turn will make it easier to "hold" your new posture and make it easier to "find" the correct posture during your awareness / correction activities mentioned in part 1.

I say these things confidently as I spent years in the vocational rehabilitation industry dealing with (amongst other things) postural issues, especially for people with musco-skeletal problems.

I would therefore with respect probably not take postural advice from this forum (unless the poster has specific training in such matters)

Rather I would take your drumming video, along with videos of you sitting at dinner, the desk etc to a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist.

See if they have any concerns relating to posture and if so get some exercises to do, get advice on developing postural awareness and maybee even work out a cheap way of doing an assessment of your "work station" AKA your kit.

You should be able to claim such advice as a tax exemption (you can in Australia).

NOTE I said physio or Occupaional Therapist NOT CHIROPRACTOR
There is bugger all use in cracking your spine in place if the structural muscles are not able to hold things in place. Your bodgy muscles will just "pull" the spine back to where it was.

I am not bagging Chiros..they are good for certain conditions, but postural change is long term and reqires muscular and workplace change to be effective.

Hope that helps

all the best

Wombat
 
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