Question relating throne backrest to bass drum technique


Well-known member
This is going to be a goofy question, but I'm definitely looking for opinions here. I've only been playing for 9 months and haven't really decided whether I want to be a "heel up" or "heel down" player, or both. I seem to have a little more control in "heel down", but I have more power and endurance in "heel up". I currently have my DW 9120M throne pretty close to the kit so I can do heel up more comfortably. I'm always leaning forward a little, and can't imagine my back would ever hit the backrest (if I purchased one). If I move my throne further away from kit to do heel down, then I feel myself leaning back a lot more and can imagine a backrest being helpful. I'm sure it's not as simple as saying backrests are really only for heel down players. Thoughts?


Platinum Member
Foot technique isnt something you should decide on. You should use what feels natural. I use both depending on what I'm doing.

As for the backrest, I've never used one. If you are leaning back on the seat to the point of needing the rest to hold you up/in place, there is an issue elsewhere. We lean back when we cant do something. It changes our mechanics/balance/leverage. If you catch yourself leaning back, to go faster for example, you dont need a backrest, you need more practice. Sitting up straight is the optimum seating position for drumming. And driving. And sitting at the dinner table.


Platinum Member
I use a backrest but I don’t rely on it while playing. If the material at hand permits, then I might lean back, to give myself a little rest. When you’re starting out, you’re full of energy and a backrest seems silly. But when it’s your 4th gig in a week, and your sets are often more than 2 hours long with out breaks, the backrest is a very welcome thing.

You *should* learn both heel up and heel down. The ankle development you’ll acquire from heel down will add to your control when playing heel up. For any music that is above jazz in the corner of a restaurant, in terms of volume, you’ll use heel up. I realize you feel like you have less control at the moment, but you’ll get there with time.