At first sight, it might seem fairly simple to buy a drum throne. But there are actually some things that you should look out for to make sure you get the product you like.
My best pick for a drum throne around the 200 dollar mark is the Ahead Spinal Glide (Amazon link). Its special seat surface is exceptionally comfortable, guides you into the correct sitting position, and enables fatigue-free play. The construction is very stable and secure. A bit cheaper, around the 100 dollar mark, comes the very popular Gibraltar 6908 (Amazon link), which offers a comfortable round seat and, like the Spinal Glide, a very stable construction. Both are good drumming chairs; however, you’ll feel the difference when comparing both to each other. In the end, it’s all about what you like best.
What to Look for in a Drumming Chair
A drumming chair’s main purpose is to make you comfortable while playing and avoid back pain or other inconveniences. Also, it should be robust enough to withstand the packing and unpacking for gigs.
There are certain features you should look out for a drumming chair. These are the most important ones:
3- or 4-legged? Most drum thrones have three legs. However, there a some that have four. I would always decide to get one with three legs as that is not as sensitive to bumps in the ground as a four-legged one. If you are a little heavier or turn your hips more often (e.g., due to a larger set), you will probably prefer the base with four legs.
Round or saddle-shaped seat? When sitting on a saddle shape in comparison to a round seat, it’s usually a bit more comfortable due to its ergonomic shape. But in the end, I think this aspect should have minor weight in the comparison. It is about what feels best to you.
Backrest. Standard drum thrones usually don’t come with a backrest or have no possibility to retrofit such a system. When spending many hours behind the drum kit, I definitely recommend getting a chair with a backrest (preferably removable). It might look like a chair for a 70-year-old, but no worries, you won’t need that for live gigs. But every time I’m practicing in a room with a standard drum chair, I’m sitting there crooked faster than I realize – which is terrible for your back.
Solid mechanics. Most chairs are sitting on a large screw thread and locked in position with a wing screw. Unfortunately, my experience was often that the wing screw loosened up while playing, and the chair started to wobble. It was so annoying to retighten the screw every time, without long-term success that it would hold on tightly.
Seats With Some Extras
If you are willing to invest some more money, you’ll find products with convenient features like:
Hydraulic or pneumatic height adjustment. This is certainly nice. But you don’t really need it.
Spine and coccyx relief through a small gap. This refers to my recommended seat. This is the very best and most crucial extra feature that you should look in to in my opinion.
Attachable bass shaker. This is probably the priciest add-on for a drumming chair with nearly 400 USD. Although you can mount that bass shaker to every standard drum throne, It wouldn’t be worth the price to me, and I don’t recommend getting one for a start.
Why I Chose the Ahead Spinal Glide
The simple answer is: It’s a solid chair, it’s good for your back health and still feels like sitting on a sofa.
Although it is a little more expensive than other chairs, I can definitely recommend it without any doubt. I have mine for a good four years now, and it still looks as good as new.
The “Spinal Glide” drummer seats are available in three colors, each with a three- or four-legged undercarriage, but always with an ergonomically shaped motorcycle saddle seat.
The division of the well-shaped saddle seat in the middle into an approximately 1″ wide channel avoids direct contact between the spine via the coccyx and the seat. It is, therefore, not compressed, which logically relieves the back. The well-shaped seat surface of the “Spinal Glide” seats guides you almost automatically into the correct sitting position, and even people with a somewhat protruding rear end will find comfortable seating.
The upholstery is designed in such a way that a certain sinking in and thus a high degree of comfort is guaranteed. At the same time, the upholstery is also compressed quickly so that it does not become spongy, and there is good lateral support. So that this remains so “in action”, the rather heavy seats find solid support on both undercarriages.
If you take a seat on the Ahead Spinal Glide drummer seat for the first time, you will be surprised to find that the channel between the seats does not cause any strange feeling. In fact, I immediately “only” had the feeling of sitting on a professionally manufactured and comfortable drummer’s seat. Even this seat will not be able to heal back problems, and to what extent the special seat surface can actually show medically measurable results and is, therefore, a means of prevention, can only be proven by a physician or orthopedic surgeon and a scientifically guided long-term test.
After many years of intensive use, I can confirm that the Ahead Spinal Glide Drummer Seat is super comfortable, and you can stand it for hours. And it’s the case that the specially shaped seat surface clearly guides you into the correct sitting position, which should actually prevent possible postural damage.
The whole thing is then available at a realistically calculated price. You should probably take a seat there.
Alternatives for the Smaller Budget
If you don’t want to invest in the Spinal Glide, a cheaper option would be the Gibraltar 6908 (click here to check the current price on Amazon). I haven’t owned one, but hundreds of drummers on the Internet recommend it. Also, this is Gibraltar’s best selling drum throne.
It comes with three legs, a very solid frame, and rubber feet. As with the Spinal Glide, the height is adjusted utilizing a turning spindle and additionally offers a memory lock for height adjustment.
I’ve heard of drummers who are almost 300 lb stating this stool is perfect for them. It swivels as well, for that extra bit of movement. I think, all in all, this throne is an excellent choice as an all-round type of drumming chair.