Many drummers don’t think about how they’re sitting while they’re playing drums and the best drumming posture to adopt. But the truth is, your sitting posture can have a big impact on your playing. By big I mean massive. Not only does it help you play better, but it also prevents injuries. Long and short-term injuries.
In this article, we’ll go over the correct way to sit at a drum set so that you can avoid pain and play your best. But I will also introduce you to a technique that may very well change your drumming and your life.
“Come off it,” I hear you say. “Sitting can’t change my life”.
Well, I am not being dramatic when I say that correct posture can and will change your life for the better.
How? You may ask. And I will tell you shortly. But first, let’s look at the basic mechanism of sitting at the drum kit.
We will do this in a simple way. A way that you have no doubt been told all of your life. Especially when you were attending school. “Don’t lean over your desk” the teacher would say. “stop slouching” and other phrases that describe bad posture.
- Sit up straight. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to sit up straight while you’re playing the drums. Slouching over the drums can put a strain on your back and neck, and it can also lead to bad drumming techniques. So make sure you’re sitting up nice and tall!
- Use a drum stool or chair that is the right height for you. This will help ensure that you’re sitting in the correct position. And that you’re not straining your body in any way. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that your feet are first flat on the pedals and that your knees are at a 90-degree angle. After you lift your heels from the peals 2-3 inches. And f course 2-3 inches from the end of the pedal board.
- Relax your shoulders and arms and place them by your side. Again, this may seem like common sense. But it’s important to relax your shoulders and arms while you’re playing. If you’re tense, it will be harder to play well and you may find yourself making mistakes. So take a deep breath and relax!
So there you have it. A basic description of seating posture to avoid having a bad back later on in life.
The Best Drumming Posture Technique
When sitting at a drum set, use the above description. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to be as relaxed as possible. Tension will only make it harder to play well and can lead to injuries that develop over time. So, to make sure we get it. Here again, are the basic seating posture guidelines:
- Your feet should be flat on the ground and about shoulder-width apart.
- Your knees should be bent at about a 95-degree angle.
- Maintain a straight back and relaxed shoulders, while allowing your arms to hang naturally by your sides.
- Ensure your wrists align with your forearms for proper posture.
- Once you’re in position, take a few deep breaths and allow your body to relax.
If you find that you’re getting tense or fatigued, at any time, then take a break! It’s important to listen to your body and give yourself time to rest. Drumming is an energetic activity, so it’s normal to get tired. Just make sure that you’re sitting correctly so that you don’t strain any muscles in the process.
Well, that doesn’t seem like a life-changing seating position does it? Well, no, it doesn’t. So let’s take it a step further.
The Alexander Technique – A Drummer’s Best Friend
You may not have heard of the Alexander Technique before. It’s a method of self-care that is widely used by actors, musicians, and other performers. To prevent injuries and help them perform at their best.
As a drummer, I have found the Alexander Technique to be incredibly helpful. In preventing injuries and improving my overall performance. I’m now going to share with you some of the things I’ve learned about the Alexander Technique. And how it can help you as a drummer.
What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is a method of self-care. It was developed by F.M. Alexander in the late 19th century. The technique is based on the premise that many of the aches and pains we experience. Are caused by bad posture and poor movement habits.
The aim of the Alexander Technique is to re-educate the body in order to achieve enhanced efficiency and natural movement by realigning the skeletal structure.
How Can The Alexander Technique Help Drummers?
As drummers, we are constantly using our bodies to create music. We sit for long periods of time in an unnatural position. Which can lead to pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and back. The Alexander Technique can help alleviate these problems. By teaching us how to sit, stand, and move in a way that puts less strain on our bodies.
In addition, the Alexander Technique can help improve our drumming technique. By learning how to move more efficiently, we can use less effort to produce the same sound. Which leads to improved stamina and better control over our playing.
A Life-Changing Seating Posture
When using the previously mentioned seating directions. Focus on your body. Focus on your back as you sit up straight. Focus on your shoulders as you relax them. Focus on your legs as you lift them to play the pedals. Sit erect and focus on your prowess.
When you are not playing the drums, walk in the same manner. Take special note of when you sit or stand. Focus on your back and keep it straight. Never bend your back. In other words. Every movement you make, make a conscious effort to focus on your posture. And your physical movements.
Then, make this an ongoing habit. To continually focus on yourself
Why Is This Posture Focusing Life-Changing?
Using the Alexander Technique does a very specific thing. It clears your nervous system. And aligns your skeletal system to its natural position. This removes kinks from the nervous system. Through the nerves that run down your back and it then gives you much clearer focus.
Your whole consciousness clears up negative energies. And you begin to feel much better. With this feeling or state, you begin to live a better life. A better version of yourself if you will. You become someone who can focus intently and effortlessly on each task you perform. As a result, your drumming improves. Simply because you begin to see yourself as a better being.
And most important. Your concentration improves. And after many years of living your life and playing drums. You will come to realize that concentration is your superpower.
Recommended Reading Material
In case you are interested, I have put together a few of the best Alexander Technique books so you can take your posture to a new level of mastery. Remember, in order to play masterfully, every drummer needs to feel masterful. That supreme state is achieved through the Alexander Technique.
The Alexander Technique for Musicians
The Alexander Technique For Musicians offers a distinctive and informative guide, ensuring musicians’ success and comfort. Ideal for beginners or as a supplement to lessons, it covers breathing, performance anxiety, teacher-student dynamics, and applying the Alexander Technique to instrumental and vocal work.
It gives tried-and-tested advice, drawn from the author’s twenty-plus years of experience working with musicians.
Guided Lessons For Students of The Alexander Technique
Guided Lessons aim to support your exploration of the Alexander Technique, whether with or without a teacher.
It offers straightforward activities to practice pausing, noticing, inhibiting, directing, and allowing, with guiding words to prevent reverting to old habits.
The Use of The Self
In his twenties, he became a professional reciter of dramatic pieces.
After almost completely losing his voice he pioneered a method of improving the ‘use’ of his body musculature in all positions and movements and cured his vocal problems without medical aid.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your drumming technique and prevent injuries. I highly recommend checking out the Alexander Technique. Buy yourself one or more books on the subject and learn more about it. Use it as part of your drumming development program. It’s helped me immensely in my own playing, and I’m confident it can do the same for you.
Sitting with correct drumming posture is important for many reasons. It helps you avoid strain on your body, and ensures that you’re using good playing technique. And allows you to play more relaxed and mistake-free. So next time you sit down to play, make sure you keep these three tips in mind!
Remember to relax and take breaks when needed, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great drummer! One who deserves to sit on his own throne.
Thanks for reading! If you have any other posture-related ideas or tips. Please share them in the comments below.