Ergonomics Discovery

CSR

Member since May 2000
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
6,888
Reaction score
1,636
Location
- Snow Belt, New York State, USA, Earth
This is probably obvious and something that every drummer knows about, but to me it was a surprising insight that improved my drumming. If you picture the snare drum sitting in front of you as a clock, I normally sat at the 6:00 position. This put my bass drum foot at an angle across the pedal. To try something different, I rotated my throne to the 5 o’clock position. This put my foot straight on the bass drum pedal, and my right hand closer to the ride cymbal, mounted tom, and the floor tom. I rotated my hi hat, crash cymbal, and music stand around the snare. Instantly my playing improved. Since my music stand is over the hi hat to my left, reading and playing became easier.

Since I am at home more during the quarantine and practicing more frequently and for longer periods, I’m trying to be considerate of my wife. I added Sound-off drum and cymbal mutes to my kit. After playing this way for a couple of weeks, I took the mutes off and played as usual. I was surprised that my speed and fluency seem better than they were before. After half a century of playing, these two changes are a welcome surprise. I guess you can sometimes teach an old dog new tricks.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,335
Reaction score
951
Location
Germany
There was a 90s MD article called "The twisted torso" that dealt with the asymmetry of the frontal bass drum.

In your description I notice you still use the direction of the bass drum as the 12 o'clock marker. Ideally your new position that you describe as "sitting at 5 o'clock" should be the new 6 o'clock in your mind.
Imagine sitting down on the drum stool, no drums at all, as the starting point. Then, put up the snare in front of you, think orchestral player. Now look at where your feet go intuitively (symmetrically left and right of the snare, at an angle) and place the pedals where your feet are. Your bass drum will be pointing out to the right, while you're oriented straight ahead. That's the true ergonomic position, but on stage people still expect the bass drum to "look" straight ahead, as if it's the center of the kit. It's not, it's the right half.
 

CSR

Member since May 2000
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
6,888
Reaction score
1,636
Location
- Snow Belt, New York State, USA, Earth
My bass actually does point directly at the audience. I sit stage right of my big band, with the bass pointing directly towards the audience and me facing slightly left towards the reeds and ‘bones. If I faced the audience, my bass would angle slightly right. Does that make any sense?
 

studrum

DFO Master
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
3,092
Reaction score
648
Hey, it's always good for us to be checking out our "erg," for many reasons. Your explanations of your reaction to a previously presented topic may yield new insight to us.
 

Ptrick

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,010
Reaction score
1,370
Location
USA
My bass drum is kicked to the right like the illustration above. I just angle my carpet a bit to the left to get the bass drum more centered.
AFCB0384-A347-4AE7-909B-C5432A42DF17.jpeg
 

TheBeachBoy

Ringo Fire
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
8,142
Reaction score
730
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I've done that "fig 3" setup for at least 10 years now and it's so much more comfortable. I seem to be the only one doing that because whenever I play a backline kit the bass drum is parallel with the stage and usually I can't move it because it'll change everything around it plus the mic. Can't justify it for a 45 minute set plus having to move it back to how I found it.
 

CC Cirillo

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
697
Reaction score
1,055
Location
Northern California
This is an important topic. I recall my first introduction to this was Billy Ward’s great dvd “Big Time”. Need to watch that again.
Thanks, CSR, for bringing this up.
...but wait..dude you have a music stand...?
 

CSR

Member since May 2000
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
6,888
Reaction score
1,636
Location
- Snow Belt, New York State, USA, Earth
8F1F9B39-BB81-4931-A31B-F30F1EA4CEF3.jpeg
This is an important topic. I recall my first introduction to this was Billy Ward’s great dvd “Big Time”. Need to watch that again.
Thanks, CSR, for bringing this up.
...but wait..dude you have a music stand...?
Yeah, one big band has 250+ charts, the other 500+. Ya gotta read!
 

supershifter2

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 11, 2009
Messages
6,272
Reaction score
860
Location
Lost Angeles , Ca.
Ergo is vital. My lower right leg is about 1" shorter than my lower left leg and that means my bass drums are at slightly different angles to the centerline of my thorax abdomental centerline. When I sits down my feet automatically rest on top of the bass pedal boards. My natural open leg sitting position.


tama overhead 4.jpg
 

repete

This one goes to eleven
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
5,266
Reaction score
1,115
Location
south florida
My bass is slightly angled as well but will also rotate the kit to my left if I want to it to appear that it’s facing straight out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CSR

Ghostin one

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
171
Reaction score
111
Location
Eastern PA
The leader of the last band I was in was adamant about the bass drum facing the audience squarely, but he was always off to my right which made things harder.

I couldn't get it across to him that I had to twist around to see any cues that might happen.
 

Latest posts



Top