Seat Height - You just never know

VandelayNJ

Junior Member
Thought I'd share this very recent experience and see if others have had something similar.

For the past 10-15 years, I've sat fairly high compared to most other drummers. I always felt like I wanted to get my legs extended without pushing everything further away and I like the feeling of my legs being stretched out a bit. Just last week, I realized I was struggling with positioning of my snare drum more than usual - or I'd always struggled with it but I never thought to do anything other than adjust the height and angle of the drum. For some reason I can't explain, I decided to try lowering my seat. It didn't seem intuitive to do it because I could adjust the drum's height pretty much with my seat height but I gave it a whirl nonetheless. So now I was sitting with my thighs roughly parallel to the ground. And it made a real difference in my stickwork! I don't totally understand it but perhaps it has something to do with a lower center of gravity. I'm thinking I was probably having to do more subtle things to stay balanced when seated higher up and now my hands are freer than before as a result. The main thing I feel is a lot less tension in my playing. I don't have to think about relaxing as much as before it just happens a bit more.

The biggest challenge for me now is that I feel like I'm falling every time I try to sit at the drums because I'm expecting to land on the seat much sooner.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'm so picky about seat height I use a throne that is bolt through. I know piano style are way better, but unless the bolt breaks, my height never changes.

Notice any difference in your feet sitting lower?
 

VandelayNJ

Junior Member
I feel a little constrained I guess. I'm using my ankles more too - even playing heel up. I haven't yet played with the band so I don't really have a sense of whether I've lost any power from the bass drum but I'd think it's probably not a big deal since most of my power tended to come more from snapping at the ankle than lifting my leg from the hip.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
I used to sit pretty high and did feel better balance by lowering to where I am now with hips maybe an inch or two higher than my knees. I think the reason for better balanced is that you have a greater and more even surface area of contact between butt and seat when your femur is parallel to the floor. When the seat is really high there is a focus of forces at the edge of the seat into your hamstrings and you’re forced to sit on the front edge of your seat. When you go lower that element goes away and you can center yourself on the seat.

I did find I needed to develop some different muscles, which happened over time when I went lower as it was a little more work to lift my legs for bass drum and hi-hat pedals. The initial awkwardness went away pretty quick.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I was fairly geeky early on about seat height ergonomics. Especially since I'm only 5' 00" - so it's a little critical. But as the years went on, I adjusted and just so long as it's not super high or super low, I can pretty much play comfortable within a certain range. So if I'm sitting behind my 22" bass drum, the throne is set at one height, but when I'm behind my 26" bass drum, I raise it up about 2.5 inches. It works well. The trick for me is to not feel like I'm leaning into the kit trying to balance. Just so long as I'm balanced and can reach the pedals, I can play.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
My Roc N Soc hydraulic seat has lost it's "hydraulic" so though I use to like high now I'm sitting low and odd thing I'm liking it. I was thinking about just drilling a bolt though to desired height but now I've gotten use to lowest height I'll have to figure out what height again.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I used to always sit fairly low, (thighs parallel to the floor) but recently I like changing it up. It definitely does affect the way things feel! I tend to play a little differently sitting high - a little lighter, perhaps, and I'm not referring to volume so much as feel.

In general, though, I am more comfortable playing for long stretches with the seat lower, and I find myself going back to that eventually.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
I'm much more comfortable sitting fairly low (thighs parallell to the floor when my heel is on the ground), but as I'm getting older I find that it wears on my hips more and more. It's getting to the point where I'm probably going to have to raise my seat a bit soon - We'll see how that all goes. I never liked sitting higher than I do; I get this strange sensation of "falling into" my kit and pedals, but maybe I'll find a new balance point now.
 
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