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Drums

Best Drum Throne

A drum throne is a fancy name for the stool that drummers sit on while they play. After all, since you’re sitting on a throne, you should feel like a king! A good drum throne will position the player in an upright and comfortable position. The three main variables that distinguish drum thrones from each other are: seat design, height adjustment mechanism, and legs; these often change within models provided by a particular company.

The most important part of the throne is the padded seat (for obvious reasons) which vary by design and the amount of cushion they provide. Ideally you’ll want to have several thrones you can use for different gigs. For example, if you have an intense rock gig, you may prefer a firm seat and vice versa a soft seat for musical theater or pops concert gigs.

One common seat design is a round pad that looks similar to the top of a barstool. The other design you’re likely to see is called a bicycle seat or “tractor style”, although it’s actually much wider and more comfortable than a bicycle seat. A bicycle/tractor seat design is triangular in shape, and feels drastically different than a round top. I have thrones with both seat designs and I usually use the bicycle/tractor style for longer gigs because they’re more comfortable.

The seats height adjustment mechanism is sometimes hydraulic (similar to a modern office chair) with a lever that you pull to raise and lower the seat. This mechanism adjusts the quickest but it will most likely start to fail after several years of consistent use. There’s also an extended pole design similar to a cymbal stand and other pieces of drumming hardware. This design can be difficult to adjust but it’s often the easiest to set and remain level if you have a locking bracket. Finally there’s the screw type design that spins to adjust the height. In my opinion this design often moves around slightly height-wise but is more durable overall.

The last variable to account for is the number of legs on a throne. Thrones typically have three, four, or even five legs which can usually be folded so the base can be neatly packed into a hardware bag. Many thrones also have a backrest that you can purchase separately and is highly recommended if you spend a lot of time playing. One thing to note is some companies are experimenting with tilting thrones but we’re going to be focusing on the traditional design for this best list.

The criteria we’ve used in choosing these best drum thrones is their level of comfort, ease of adjustment, and overall durability. Comfort is important when you spend long hours practicing and playing gigs and these picks feature the perfect amount of support and padding, both the resting position and while you’re playing.

Drum thrones also need to be height adjustable for obvious reasons, and all of these picks are easily adjustable; you may find yourself plating gigs that don’t allow a lot of space to get off of your throne to adjust the height so this is a key feature to have. Lastly, each of these thrones are durably constructed because who doesn’t hate situations in which you reach to pick up your throne, and the seat separates from the base?

ROC-N-SOC Lunar Series Gas Lift Drum Throne

The Roc-N-Soc Lunar Series is the most customizable throne available. When purchasing this throne, you can choose one of four different seat designs which are available in multiple velour colors of velour and are also available in black vinyl. With five different height options to choose from, the Lunar series also features a gas lift for easy height adjustments. There’s even integrated gas shocks which reduce back fatigue. With five legs on the base for added stability, the Lunar throne is the perfect balance of a comfortable easy chair which gives you a good surface to work from.

Pork Pie Round Throne - Metallic Gold/Black Crush

Pork Pie Round Throne - Metallic Gold/Black Crush

No list of best drum thrones would be complete without a selection from Pork Pie which manufactures some of the most comfortable thrones on the market. The seat top is made of high density foam designed to support any drummer for hours of playing. The throne features a durable, screw-type height adjustment mechanism and three double braced legs to keep you steady. This throne is sturdy enough to support drummers of almost any shape or size, it’s one of the softest thrones available without sacrificing a solid base to play from. Granted, it’s a fairly expensive throne, but well worth the price of entry for the level of quality you’re getting.

Drum Workshop CP9100AL 9000 Series Heavy Duty Air-lift Throne

DW’s Airlift 9100 AL is part of their top of the line DW 9000 series hardware so right off the bat you just know this is a throne of the highest quality. My favorite part about this throne is that it has four legs instead of three. The extra leg makes a world of difference as the throne is overall much more stable. Drummers will find the thrones seat offers firm support without sacrificing any comfort.  This throne offers hydraulic height adjustment and it’s also built to be very durable for years of reliable use. With the DW 9000 name on it, you know it is of the highest quality. While this throne is available in a 9120 model with a bicycle style seat, I personally recommend the round seat of the 9100.

Ahead Spinal G Drum Throne

Ahead is a company specializing in making unique products for drummers. Ahead has recently developed their Spinal-G throne to try and combat back pain with a bicycle seat looks like it has a slice down the center. Made up of two separate parts, the seats opening is meant to stop the tail-bone from compressing which causes pain. It features a four legged base that is very sturdy, a screw-type height adjuster, and the seat is filled with memory foam for a comfortable seating experience.

Available in a couple different top and side colors, I personally prefer the black-on-black combination because it hides the opening a little better than the red top. The price of this throne is on the high end of the spectrum, but it is still competitively priced. It will be well worth the money for players who have tried other thrones and still have chronic back pain.

Tama HT130 Standard Throne

Tama’s HT130 is a basic but wonderful throne for your consideration. This pick has a firm, round seat covered by leather which makes it very affordable and durable. While I have several drum thrones for a variety of different playing situations, I often use the HT130 for recording because it seems to keep me in the moment. I’ll admit it’s a little harder than most thrones, but this throne is still comfortable enough to use for short playing sessions.

The thrones height adjustment mechanism is similar to a cymbal stand along with a locking clamp to prevent it from falling if the tightening wing nut fails. The base of the throne is very solid in comparison to other entry level thrones and its pretty lightweight which means easy transportation when you’re gigging. I also appreciate that the top of the seat detaches with a simple turn of a wing nut for travel purposes. Overall this seat is a great value for the budget conscious drummer.

Rick Urban
Rick began playing drums at the age of 10. In 2003, He received Bachelor's Degrees in Percussion Performance and Music Composition from the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago. While at DePaul, Rick studied with Ted Atkatz (Principal Percussionist - Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Also founder of the band NYCO), Mike Green (Principal Percussionist - Lyric Opera of Chicago), Al Payson (Percussionist - Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Fred Selvaggio (Drumset and Marimba Artist) and Ed Harrison (Principal Timpani - Lyric Opera of Chicago) In 2005, Rick received a Master's Degree of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he studied with Will Hudgins (Percussionist - Boston Symphony Orchestra), and Fred Buda (Drummer - Boston Pops). While in graduate school, Rick performed with the Boston Philharmonic, including performances at Carnegie Hall and Symphony Hall in Boston.  

As a performer, Rick has performed with orchestras all over the world. He has also played drums for several groups in everything from rock bands to musical theater. He has worked with such world-renowned conductors as Bernard Haitink, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, and Michael Tilson Thomas. He has performed with the New World Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the National Reperatory Orchestra, and the Schlesvig Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany. Rick is also the drummer for the band Standby Radio. In 2010 they recorded their first album entitled When Signals Cross, and they released Awake at Midnight in 2012.

In the summer of 2005, Rick moved to Chicago and became Music Director of the A.A. Stagg Percussion Ensemble. He also created and served as the resident conductor for the "Bad Vibes" new music ensemble. In the fall of 2005, rick became a percussionist with the West Michigan Symphony under the direction of Scott Speck. In 2009 He became the resident conductor of the Lincoln Park Percussion Ensemble. In 2011 they premiered his latest percussion ensemble work entitled Over 4. In the Fall of 2010, Rick enrolled in the "Music Composition for the Screen" program at Columbia College under the direction of Andy Hill and David McHugh. While studying with Mr. Hill and Mr. McHugh at Columbia, Rick also studied Film Composition with Gary Chang and Hummie Mann. He also studied conducting with Alan Tinkham.

In the Spring of 2012, Rick received his Master's of Music from Columbia College and moved to Los Angeles. Since moving to Southern California, Rick has played with the San Diego Symphony and the Santa Barbara Symphony. He is currently the Percussion Ensemble Director of the Open Academy of Los Angeles.
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