How well you play the drums is directly related to how good a throne you have. That may sound unlikely, but it’s true. A drum throne provides comfort and stability, a study base from which you play. The more you practice, the more you’ll come to appreciate these things.
By investing in a good drum throne you complete your kit. It supports movement, technique, it can even improve your footwork. The right throne can last for years, and can make you into a better drummer.
With this guide we can help you choose the right drum throne. We’ve considered everything from the seat to the feet, so you can make a pick that’s perfect for you.
What is a drum throne?
For those who are new to drumming and don’t know the term, a drum throne is the seat you sit on when using your kit.
A throne normally consists of a metal base with 3 to 5 legs, a padded seat that’s either rounded or shaped, and a mechanism for height adjustment. They might sound basic, but there’s a world of difference between a good throne and a bad throne.
Like every part of the drum kit, a throne can end up being an expensive purchase. That’s why so many choose to go for a bargain here, rather than cut costs elsewhere.
But after a while you’ll start to feel the difference between a good drum throne and a bad one. And by a while, we mean after the first few hours. That’s when your back will start to ache.
A comfortable drum throne improves your playing. Why? For a start, you can actually play, rather than having to adjust your seat all the time.
Feeling comfortable leads to more time playing, leading to you mastering technique. And you have more freedom as you play, because an actual good throne supports your movements.
So, what drum throne should you look for?
OUR TOP PICK
Roc-N-Soc have managed to build a fantastic reputation with the drum community over the past years, to the point where for many they’re synonymous with drum thrones. Some wouldn’t consider looking anywhere other than Roc-N-Soc when making a purchase.
It’s a reputation that’s well-earned, and one you’ll instantly understand as soon as you sit on the Nitro Throne. This thing is comfortable. If you’ve been using a bad throne for years, you can immediately feel the difference.
Roc-N-Soc take pride in their comfort. The bicycle style seat is contoured to prevent leg fatigue, with layers of padding. They use unique nitrogen gas shock absorber technology to give the cushion bounce and take strain off the body. And the spine is supported as well, with the free spinning chair doing all the twisting, so your back doesn’t have to.
We cannot recommend this enough, and we aren’t the only ones. In fact, you’ll struggle to find a bad word against Roc-N-Soc. With an adjustable height of 18” to 24”, this is a throne for everyone. We like the Nitro, but across the range they’re crafting high-quality drum thrones. There’s something to suit everyone.
- Adjustable height - Pneumatic height adjustment for easy movement.
- Free spinning and contoured bicycle style seat - To take the strain of the spine and the legs.
- You won’t want to stand up.
Best Round Seat
If you’ve been playing for a long time you may find the motorcycle seats too much of an adjustment. While they can be more comfortable, they do take some getting used to.
Luckily, there are still high-quality round seats on the market. This one from Drum Workshop is perhaps a little pricey, but well worth every penny.
Drum Workshop are one of the most reliable names on the market, producing a number of different stools for everyone. If you don’t like round seats, check out this tractor style option.
They both come with a sturdy quad-legged base, and pneumatic height adjustment. The seats are dual foam, for extra comfort. Both options provide much need supported to the legs and spine.
- Dual foam top - Comfortable to sit on for hours.
- Quad-leg base - A solid and sturdy base.
- Cushion size - An ample size that offers support and comfort.
- Perhaps not as comfortable as the motorcycle style seat.
Best for Beginners
We all understand that drumming is an expensive interest. The cost of all the equipment adds up incredibly quickly, so you might be looking for areas to grab a bargain.
While we wouldn’t recommend going too low on the throne, there are budget options out there that still provide some level of support.
If you’re new to drumming and don't want to invest in an expensive throne just yet, this is our top pick. The main thing it has going for it is price, but that isn’t the only benefit.
When you buy a throne from Drum Workshop you can rest assured that you’re buying something of sturdy construction and good design. The seat is comfortable enough to get you through practice sections, and the lightweight frame is portable.
One issue is that the seat doesn’t swivel. If you’re used to having a throne that moves along with you, then you can risk causing damage with overenthusiastic movement.
This is a throne that should last you for a good few years as you start to play. Then, when you’re ready to move on, you can invest in something of a higher quality.
- Double-braced legs - Sturdy, for support across long hours.
- Lightweight - Easily portable.
- Affordable - If you’re just starting out, this is a solid throne for beginners.
- No swivel - The throne doesn’t move with you, so the spine has to twist.
- It’s budget, and you can feel that in the quality. Although a good throne, it doesn’t have the longevity or support of a premium model.
Best for Size
The larger seat of this Gibraltar drum throne is all about comfort. At almost 19” across, it can accommodate larger and smaller frames equally, without compromising on stability. Made with a cordura top and vinyl edges around top-grade foam, this has a surprising luxury for a lower price.
The base is as sturdy as the seat is cushioned. With heavy duty double-braced legs supported by rubber feet, this is a solid foundation.
The threaded height adjustment has memory lock capabilities and a super-lock cast seat fastening system. It’s a throne that can stand hours of enthusiastic use, and swivel to adjust to your movements.
This is perhaps Gibraltar's most comfortable throne going. As a brand, they aren’t as high-end as others, but they’re still solid. If you’re wary of the budget but still unwilling to compromise much on comfort and support, then Gibraltar might be the choice for you.
- Size - The wide motorcycle cushion is supportive for all builds.
- Top grade foam - Perhaps the most comfortable throne is the Gibraltar range.
- Double-braced legs - A solid and stable base.
- Weight - The extra size comes with extra weight, so it’s not as portable as some others.
If you want a drum throne that gets the job done, then Gibraltar is the best place to look. Where most budget options come with a round seat, Gibraltar have made this motorcycle style. The motorcycle seat offers extra comfort, as well as providing more stability.
This throne isn’t perfect for long practice sessions, but it holds up well to regular use. The double-braced legs are sturdy, and the seat can be made to swivel with movements. It has good height adjustment as well, allowing you to change it between 18” and 24”, and lock into place with a memory lock.
This throne won’t last you a lifetime, but it should last for a solid few years before you need to upgrade. A popular choice amongst beginners, it’s budget without the major sacrifices that other brands make.
- Double-braced legs - The sturdy base makes the throne more durable.
- Motorcycle style seat - Unusual for a budget item, this offers support and stability.
- Comfort - It’s comfortable enough, but after long sessions you’ll start to feel it.
Best Drum Thrones Buying Guide
How to pick the right drum throne?
There’s no drum throne that’s right for everyone, the same way everyone plays in their own style.
We recommend looking for a well known brand, like the ones we’ve listed here, so you can be sure of quality. Other than that, it’s a matter of personal preference.
By this point you’ve probably noticed that the price range for drum thrones is large. You may be wondering why you’d pay out several hundred dollars when you can get something for a quarter of the price that looks the same. But the cost is worth it.
For a start, you play better when you’re comfortable. You can focus on what you’re actually doing rather than the constant need to readjust. Plus, you can play for longer. Which means you can practice for longer, so you sound better.
Sitting on a bad or uncomfortable throne can cause long-term damage. Your spine and legs can all suffer from sitting on something that offers no support.
Finally, a high-quality drum throne is an investment. It should last for years, and keep you comfortable throughout. Although you pay more upfront, overtime you make those costs back. Buying a budget item that falls apart means paying for regular replacements. Overtime, the costs add up.
The first thing you’re going to want to decide when buying a throne is the shape of the seat. Round is traditional, but motorcycle style seats can be contoured, for better comfort.
We tend to prefer motorcycle, but that’s not to say there aren’t some great round ones out there.
The reason we advise you to go for a well known brand is a matter of construction. The more you play, the more the throne gets used. This means picking it up, moving it about, changing the height. Sitting up and down, over and over again. You want a throne you know will be moving along with you.
The construction refers to how well the base is made, the security of the height adjustments, the foam used, even the stitching on the seat.
A sturdy throne will be with you for years of playing.
If you suffer from back problems, then you might want to consider investing in a throne with a backrest. Some designs come with the backrest included, but you can often buy one separately that attaches to a basic throne.
Backrests can improve your posture. For those with frequent back problems, they offer an extra level of support that shouldn’t be overlooked.
How high you set the chair is important for supporting you as you play. Most thrones come with height adjustment, so you can set it right for you. If you’re particularly short or tall, you want to find a throne that can accommodate you.
Height may also be causing back problems. If you set it too high you may have to overcompensate by slouching. This causes back pain and tension across the midsection.
Hydraulic or Manual?
Hydraulic thrones are easy to adjust with just a pull of a lever, but they have more bounce. Manual or spindle thrones are steadier, but harder to adjust.
Some people like bounce, others don’t. It’s another matter of personal preference. There are great thrones available in both types, and for many it’s simply a matter of getting used to one over the other.
Is a drum throne necessary?
You should think of the drum throne as a part of the kit, and see it as a necessity. A drum throne is at the foundation of a drum kit.
A good one provides years of support and stability, aiding movement, footwork, technique, and performance. It should be taken care of the way you would any other part of the kit.