Back pain is the main sore spot for every drummer, and each one of them has dealt with this problem, including me ✋.
The key to eliminating such unpleasant pain lies in a good posture, drum throne height, the distance between your drum and your throne, and a couple more things. All of them together directly affect your spine.
I tried many things throughout my years of drumming, changing the numbers of drum thrones, heights, angle postures, etc.
I decided to write this article to help all my fellow drummers constantly dealing with this problem and offer them a solution. Let’s reveal them together and find out how to sit on a drum throne to avoid back pain.
Adjusting the Height of the Drum Throne
The perfect position of your drum throne will depend on your height and reach to the drum set. It is not a one-size-fits-all type of thing, but there are tricks you can do to find your perfect throne height.
Here’s what you are going to do:
1. stand next to your drum throne and raise or lower your throne depending on the height at which it is positioned.
You want to reach the throne at the top of your knee.
2. Once you sit down, you can see that the angle of your feet is around 90 degrees but slightly downward, which is an excellent ergonomic position.
This is a perfect spot to start with, but it doesn’t mean you must stick with it.
You should experiment and raise and lower your throne to see how those positions fit you. Ensure you feel relaxed and have no pain or pressure on your back.
Things you should have in mind: if you position the throne too low, your knees will be too high which means that it will be hard to reach toms, even snare, but most importantly, it will be excruciating for your back.
Conversely, if you position the throne too high, you will reach the floor with your toes. This means that you cannot do your foot techniques like heel-down and heel-up properly, and your back will hurt once again.
Positioning the Drum Throne in Relation to the Drum Set
As I mentioned above, positioning your drum or the reach of your drum set is equally essential to avoid back pain.
For example, if you come too close to your set, your knees will be extremely bent, restricting the foot movement. This position is okay and suitable for those heel-up techniques.
Still, when it comes to the time for heel-down, it isn’t perfect. Sitting much further back will help you play those heel-down techniques, but again, it is not the ideal position.
Such a relationship will limit your foot movement and bring you pain and tension in your leg.
Place your drum throne in a spot where you can easily reach all drum set components. It shouldn’t be too far or close, so experiment until you find the perfect reach.
Such a position will not put any pressure on your back, you will be able to play drums effortlessly, and you will not be exposed to any back injuries.
Proper Posture and Sitting Position
Good posture on the drums and sitting position will determine how to sit on a drum throne. Doing these things right can help you avoid back pain and other spine problems.
It would be best to not lean forward or be backed down backward. This depends on how close you are to your drum set.
Sitting up straight in the middle of your drum throne with your back straightened up would be best. However, the proper posture also depends on how you position your body.
You need to be able to reach every drum and cymbal without turning or weird twisting that will make you feel uncomfortable.
So you want to make sure you sit comfortably in relation to your snare, kick drum, and hi-hat and position everything else according to these three elements.
Then, you want to make sure that both of your legs are positioned in a way that will not make you bend, twirl, or do any kind of body movement that can affect your posture.
Not too wide or narrow, but just as natural as possible. They should be nicely supported, not bend too much but far away from the pedals.
Find your sweet spot with your back straight and firm, and you can start drumming without any issues, pain, or injury whatsoever.
When it comes to the sitting position, many drummers prefer to sit at the edge of a drum throne. However, sitting in the middle of your throne can be much more beneficial.
This is because more weight is centered on this throne and underneath your hips, allowing you to quickly move and lift your legs up as high as you want without any restriction or much power of your whole body to manipulate your movements.
Finding a Comfortable Balance Point
Here are a few steps to find a comfortable balance point aside from determining the height of your drum throne with your knee.
The first thing you want to do is set the throne at the highest and sit on it. Sit straight and try to raise your leg up as high as you can without moving your spine at all. Please do this for both of your legs because they can be different, and that’s normal.
Now lower the throne a few inches and try it again. The throne height should not limit your hip flexion motion. Try that a couple of times until you find the perfect spot.
Your spine shouldn’t move. Once you reach that, it means you have found your comfortable balance for sitting without endangering your back and preventing it from hurting or even injured.
Using a Footrest, if necessary
Using a footrest on your drum pedal is always a good idea. Most of the newer pedals have this component, but if you own an old one, there’s a possibility that your pedal will lack a footrest.
Playing for many hours in the same position can be tiring and cause cramps and pain in your leg, that’s why drum footrests are very helpful.
Every time you have a chance to rest your feet between songs or breaks, do it. It is very convenient since even the slightest rest can help during long gigs and ensure your muscles do not tire quickly.
Taking Breaks and Stretching Exercises
Taking breaks and resting your muscles can help you eliminate that back pain.
Sometimes, you can be so exhausted from hours and hours of practice, gigging, and playing that your body needs some reset and a quiet, no-movement time. Find a balance and listen to your body.
Stretching can also be helpful if you are careful enough. However, stretching is only sometimes a good idea.
This is because when you feel pain, there’s a significant physical force on a particular muscle.
By stretching that muscle, you are putting more force into it, which can cause more pain, problems, and even injuries.
That’s why you must be careful and gentle and not overdo it. We are not doctors; we are drummers, and doing these things without proper advisement can lead to unwanted consequences.
If you have been struggling with pain for a long time now and you tried almost everything to get rid of it, go to see a specialist or a chiropractor.
Opinion from a professional will solve your long-term problem rather than keep dealing with pain that can lead to serious back issues.