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Choosing a drum throne is a lot more critical than many drummers think. When one wants to play drums for an extended length of time, any drummer knows that your lower back can hurt quite a bit if you don’t have a comfortable seat. And this can occur in a relatively short length of time given an inferior quality throne.
So, how does one decide which throne is right for them? It’s pretty simple; the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ tends to be the rule for drum thrones and some other forms of drum hardware.
It doesn’t mean that one should run out and buy the most expensive throne on the market, although that isn’t necessarily a bad idea, it may not be the right throne.
Do Thrones Affect the Way I Play Drums?
Many a drummer has asked the question, ‘Do thrones affect how I play drums?’. And they are right to ask. The drummer’s posture plays a significant role in how the drummer plays and for how long. And a proper throne is essential to comfortably maintaining good posture.
Think of it like this; assume a bike courier was asking the question about their bike seat. What do you think the answer would be? A seat designed for the purpose has quality cushioning and support.
How Do You Choose Which Type of Drum Throne is Best?
There are several different styles of drum thrones to choose from. The standard three types of thrones are classic round throne, bicycle seat, and bench style.
The best way to choose is to find one that is comfortable for you. Some thrones designed for larger, taller bodies, and some are not. Some are short and some taller. Some newer thrones have adjustable height just like a desk chair, controlled via a lever. Others have height adjustment by screwing a shaft upward or downward.
The point in telling you about the many different types is to exemplify that drum thrones have a lot more involved with them than just being a seat.
Remember that all four of your limbs will be at work when drumming. It means that you will be lifting each leg; you will be doing so at different times and sometimes at nearly the same time.
Due to the excessive leg movement and strain on the lower back, it is important to ensure that the choice of the throne is found to be comfortable after not just a few minutes and after a few hours of playing.
With modern memory foams and controlled densities of foams, new thrones’ quality and comfort are getting better every day.
Whether you prefer a bench style, bicycle seat style, or the traditional round style of the throne, just remember a few key things when you are choosing.
First, the throne needs to be a comfortable height and should not feel like you need to break it in. There should be sufficient softer foam for a pleasant sitting experience and yet denser foam under for optimal support.
Lifting one’s legs as though playing the bass and hi-hat pedals, the legs and thighs should feel comfortable when moving upward and downward on the seat.
A Good Drum Throne Has a Solid Base
Next, the drum throne should have a solid base. A double braced base is best as these offer the best stability. The adjustment mechanism should stay in the setting and not come loose—the last thing one wants when playing is to have the throne wobble around underneath, causing instability during a performance.
And lastly, one should like how it looks. Because after all, drumming has a certain sense of style, and one might want a particular look behind the kit.
Can Some Drum Thrones Cause Back Problems?
If a drum throne offers inadequate support, it could cause a drummer to suffer from back injuries. With extended use, a drum throne that does not offer enough support or offers too much support will not be as comfortable. Many drummers have faced issues with drum throne comfort.
However, even the best quality drum throne won’t help a drummer with poor posture. If a drummer has habits of slouching or sitting further to one side or another, the drummer may face back pain no matter which throne they use.
Should a Drum Throne be Very Soft?
When it comes to comfort, a drum throne needs a certain level of softness. Similarly, when support is involved, more of a firm approach is best. The perfect place is somewhere in between these two.
New technology with memory foams and stuffing density control has advanced the ability of a chair of some kind to have both a soft outer padding and a more dense inner padding suitable for appropriate support.
However, the balance will come down to personal preference—the cheaper the throne, the cheaper the throne. Moreover, if one intends to play drums for extended periods, then spending a bit more than originally anticipated for a throne is probably a wise decision.
Pay for a Drum Throne or Good Cymbal Stands?
Another point to mention is that if one considers the drummer’s weight and the cost of the throne vs the cost of cymbal stands. When one considers the cost of multiple stands, the throne may be considerably cheaper.
The only way to truly determine if a throne is too soft or too hard is to try playing while sitting on the throne for an extended period. Unfortunately, many stores do not rent drum thrones, but it is a wise idea to do it if given the opportunity.
Round Drum Throne Review
Gibraltar 9608-SFT (Amazon Link)
There’s a lot of great things to be said about the Gibraltar 9608SFT drum throne. As with most things, let’s start from the ground up.
The Gibraltar throne starts with a set of three solid foundation super feet. These grippy feet don’t mess around, and they don’t slide around either!
Attached to the super gripping feet are the double-braced tripod legs. It is a fairly standard setup on most of the best thrones.
What isn’t standard is the memory lock feature on the throne height adjustment. Similar to many other top-quality drum thrones, the 9608SFT uses a threaded rod for height adjustments.
One of the common issues with threaded rod height adjustments is that the throne can ‘lose’ it’s preferred position. Be it from traveling with the throne, bandmates sitting, and even spinning the throne up or down, not realizing the set height is being affected. No matter the cause, having the throne, the incorrect height can be a nuisance. The solution is to include a locking collar like the one on the Gibraltar 9608SFT.
Add that height lock to the incredibly comfortable seat, and we’ve got a great throne.
The seat has a layer of memory foam that makes it one of the softest and most comfortable round drum thrones on the market.
Add in the durable top, and thicker, more supportive inner foam cushioning, and this is one of the best round drum thrones on the market.
Saddle Drum Throne Review
Ahead Spinal-G Throne (Amazon Link) with the four-legged base is a quality saddle throne. This throne features a few things that stand out in the crowd.
First, this is one of the more stable thrones, being a four-legged base rather than the traditional tripod base. There’s check number one for the Ahead Spinal-G.
Next, we have a split throne. It is a new technology with a specific design intended for a body in motion while seated. It’s what a drummer needs in a decent throne.
Memory Foam in a Drum Throne
Third, we have a super comfortable memory foam seat in the saddle formation. This seat may look a little odd, but the comfortable seat saves your lower back and tailbone the aggravation of drumming.
And last, who could get over the gorgeous red velour top.
Like many other professional-caliber drum thrones, the height adjustment is again a threaded rod-style adjustment. This throne also boasts a second locking height mechanism to keep things in place during performance.
When it comes to deciding between a round drum throne or a saddle drum throne, the debate is one part scientific, two parts subjective. And in the end, it will come down to subjective personal preference. One thing that both the round throne lovers and the saddle throne lovers can agree on, though, is that a cheap throne can be a contributor to lower back issues.
And with lower back issues being something no drummer wants, we recommend only the best drum thrones like the Gibraltar 9608SFT or the Ahead Spinal-G thrones. Both are reasonably priced for an expertly designed drum throne.
Whether one is in the neighborhood looking for their first drum throne or just looking to upgrade, comfort and function should be number one and two priorities. Price should only come in third. It’s your throne, after all.
- “Gibraltar 9608SFT Drum Throne” Gibraltar Hardware, https://www.gibraltarhardware.com/product/9608sft/, Accessed July 19, 2020.
- “The Trouble with Chairs – The science of being sedentary and how much it does (or doesn’t) affect your health and back pain” Pain Science, https://www.painscience.com/articles/chair-trouble.php, Accessed July 19, 2020.