Drum thrones can play an extremely important role in helping you with your drumming skills, comfort, technique, speed and endurance. If you tried out several drum thrones already, you probably noticed how some of them feel great, and allow you to focus just right.
But what are the real qualities and considerations to keep in mind in order to find your groove and get your timing just right? We will explore all these issues and many more below.
Different Types of Drum Thrones
Choosing the right drum throne has a lot to do with the specific features associated with each product in part. Do you need to adjust the height more often? Are you interested in a cutting edge hydraulic system? Maybe you need a bicycle-style seat to ensure perfect stability and high precision.
When considering the different types of drum thrones you can buy, here are a few of the questions you should ask yourself first:
What style do you play, and how long are your typical routines?
Do you tend to move around a lot while drumming?
How much of a role does stability and precision play in your drumming technique?
Based on these considerations you can make an informed choice about which drum throne to choose. But let’s take a closer look at the specific types of thrones and their unique qualities.
Round or Bicycle?
There are two main types of drum thrones out there, based on their construction and their different approach to providing comfort. The main debate in selecting the right drum throne has to do with whether to opt for a round or bicycle style seat.
The idea behind the latter is that bicycle-style offers an improved range of movement and stability, so you might get a better experience out of them when performing fast-paced, dynamic moves. If you feel comfortable riding on a bike or a saddle, and if you’re used to wild drumming routines that don’t take too much time to perform, this type might be the best for you.
On the other hand, a round throne is much more comfortable in most cases, especially in the case of longer routines. You are less hindered, and the rounded shape will ensure improved circulation and fewer aches and pains. Also, and what’s probably most important, most drummers claim they don’t get as distracted by a round drum throne as by a bicycle-style one – which can make all the difference when you’re playing on stage.
What to Look for in a Good Drum Throne
Now that you know which type of throne you want, it’s time to balance the value/price equation and strive to get the most out of your purchase. For that, you need to find the perfect features to look for in your new drum throne selection.
Comfort should be one of the primary qualities you’re looking for. The material, the padding and the maneuverability features (height and swivel) can all play a role in this. However, the padding is probably the most important. What you’re looking for is a good balance between soft and sturdy, so you neither have to worry about discomfort, nor about your back hurting later on.
Stability is essential if you don’t want to make mistakes in your drumming routine. Start looking for rubberized feet and non-slip surfaces, as well as the type of construction that works best for you (bicycle or round).
The main thing to look for is a drum throne with good height adjustment. Height adjustment should also be easy and seamless, and it should give you a good range of about 6-8 inches. If you’re looking to share your drums with another band member, this is an essential asset to look for.
Most drum seats also have swivel action to ensure perfect shifting and precision. Swivel action can improve both comfort and maneuverability by moving the entire seat with your body for hassle-free drumming.
Gibraltar and Roc-N-Soc are two of the most popular brands producing high quality bicycle-style drumming seats. They often receive a high number of positive reviews, and with additional high end features like shock absorbing and hydraulic control, you don’t have to worry about poor construction.
Gibraltar 6608 Heavy Drum Throne
The Gibraltar 6608 offers a refined level of quality and an aesthetically pleasing design. Its height can be adjusted between 18 and 24 inches, and the throne even has a special memory lock that doesn’t require you to keep adjusting it to your preferred height every time you use it.
The double braced architecture is excellent for added support and resilience, and what really makes this throne special is that it can support weights of up to 350 lbs.
The Nitro is literally top-of-the-line when it comes to drum throne construction. This bicycle-style throne features an elegant design and height adjustment that goes up to 24 inches. It’s sturdy and easy to manage, and its cutting edge nitrogen gas shock absorber is a unique and handy feature that sets it apart from all the other products on our list.
Rounded designs are more lightweight, stable and comfortable. Also, they feature better padding for the most part. The Gibraltar 9608 and the DW 700 series are some of the best products you can consider at a relatively affordable price.
Gibraltar 9608 Drum Throne
This throne is ideal for taller people. You can adjust it between 20 and 28 inches, and its solid leg base makes it one of the most stable seats you can opt for. The Gibraltar also comes with a super-lock seat fastening system that ensures you’ll always retain your stability. Reviewers mainly love it because of its large surface area and ingenious comfort-oriented construction, which makes double pedals a total breeze.
DW 700 Series Drum Throne
Finally, we have the DW 700 series drum throne – a product that has gained widespread popularity due to its lightweight construction and 12-inch diameter padded seat cushion. Comfort levels are excellent, and the carriage-bold height adjustment system was built to last. If you want a secure, light and easy to use throne that won’t start to creek and slide down over a long period of use, the DW 700 is definitely worth a glance.
While electric guitars have been popularized by rock stars for about half a century, there are many other musical instruments that can benefit greatly from the same principle of using electronic amplifiers to make them sound better and stronger.
A good example for this is the electric ukulele. This instrument is designed as a counterpart to more commonly known acoustic ukuleles which are built similarly to guitars, but use only four nylon strings. Electric ukuleles are commonly available as built by numerous well-known manufacturers, including Kala, Cordoba and Luna.
How Does An Electric Ukulele Work?
Solid-body electric ukuleles produce a very faint sound that can’t be heard properly from more than a few feet away. This is why, as in the case of electric guitars, an electric amplifier is used to boost the signal and make it audible when played in a grand hall.
Some electric ukuleles use single-coil magnetic pickups, while others are designed exclusively with nylon strings and passive pickups. Unlike in the case of the latter, single-coil magnetic pickups require metal strings. On the other hand, there are also electric-acoustic ukes that do not require metallic strings, and can be played just as well acoustically as electrically.
The acoustic and electric tones differ in the case of each electric ukulele, and in some cases, electric-acoustic designs are built to enhance the amplified sound at the expense of the acoustic quality.
Less common designs also exist, such as the electric lap steel ukulele. This instrument is essentially a smaller version of the lap steel guitar, featuring four strings that are raised about its small solid body. Instead of being pressed down on the fret board, the strings are played with the help of a steel slide.
The greatest advantage in using an electric ukulele is that artists and sound technicians have a far better degree of freedom in amplifying the sound. This is good news for professional uke players, who can make use of the instrument’s naturally sweet and intimate tone, while customizing the amplification according to their own preference without the use of a microphone.
Since neither electric nor acoustic/electric ukuleles are strictly acoustic in design, the use of high quality wood is of lesser importance when it comes to the quality of the sound and more important in keeping the structure of the body resilient and aesthetically appealing. Spruce is the most commonly used type of wood in building electric ukuleles, especially around mid pricing ranges.
The quality of pickups and amplifiers used also plays an integral role in influencing the value of the overall product. Fortunately, the amplifiers, as well as the passive and active pickups that are used in electric ukuleles today, are mostly built using high grade electronic components. This, of course, isn’t the status quo, since some artists may choose an older pickup in order to get a specific quality of sound that newer designs aren’t able to mimic.
Kala KA-SE Mahogany Series Soprano Acoustic Electric Ukulele
When it comes down to considering the best electric ukuleles available on the market at a reasonable price, we can’t ignore the Kala brand. As with many of its models, the Kala KA-SE is a superior quality ukulele built using refined mahogany wood. The superior quality rosewood fingerboard and the premium Aquilla nylon strings also attest to the high value of the instrument.
The soprano size is an inspired choice for beginners and people who prefer smaller instruments. The quality of the sound doesn’t falter if you switch from electric to acoustic, and in fact, most of those who have bought this instrument claim that it plays beautifully both as electric and acoustic.
Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic Electric Tenor Ukulele
This tenor acoustic electric uke is ideal if you’re looking for a lightweight, stage-ready ukulele that you can tune and play without much technical experience. It features a solid mahogany top, a rosewood bridge, Aquilla nylon strings and Cordoba’s superior quality 2Band EQ pickup.
The attention to detail in the satin finish and the remarkably refined sound quality draw even more attention when you remember that this instrument was completely hand-crafted. Also, the uke only weighs a meager 2.1 lbs, which makes it one of the most lightweight choices for this type of instrument.
Kmise Soild Spruce Ukulele
The natural matte finish and artistic design of the Kmise’s solid spruce body will make you feel that you’re holding an actual showpiece. The rosewood fret board also attests to the brand’s superior quality, and the fact that the Kmise solid spruce uke only weighs 2.3 lbs definitely weighs in a lot as well.
As for the sound quality, it’s clear evidence as to why many manufacturers prefer to opt for a spruce body. The easy to use tuner will get the tone to stay ideally tuned even if you don’t use it all the time, and the overall ease of use of this ukulele is rated high by most beginners who were inspired to start learning as soon as they bought it.
Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic Electric Ukulele
At the higher end we have a quality acoustic electric uke built by Epiphone on the classic Les Paul profile. The instrument features an AAA-grade maple top and a 15-inch scale that, together with the solid hardware and rosewood saddle, will help you play some truly refined tunes.
The most unique feature of the Epiphone ukulele is the high end piezo film pickup found under the saddle. The conveniently mounted ¼ inch output jack can be plugged into any amplifier, and you can get professional stage-quality sound at a short notice.
Luna Mahogany Series Tattoo Concert Acoustic-Electric Ukulele
Luna has always been right at the top when it comes to creating unique and aesthetically pleasing ukulele bodies that actually contribute a great deal to the sound quality. The appearance of this mahogany series is based on traditional Hawaiian tattoo patterns, and the “pearloid” tuners further add to the instrument’s aesthetic appeal.
According to many of those who have tried the Luna, this is one of the most pleasant and easy to use acoustic/electric designs they have come across. Perfect for playing soft music at the campfire or on the beach, it is intuitively built, and can be used by beginners to learn the basics of playing the ukulele within the shortest time possible.
Buying a ukulele can be a major step forward for your musical career. It can also simply represent an inspired choice in picking up a brand new hobby. But what makes the ukulele such a popular option for beginners? And which ones are best for someone with no prior knowledge of how to play a string instrument?
Different Sizes and Types of Ukuleles
The size of a ukulele has a lot to do with its scale length and its frets. Instruments that have a larger space between frets – the thin metal bars located on the fingerboard – usually offer improved maneuverability and an easier overall experience.
Depending on the size of the scale and the area left free between their frets, there are four types of ukuleles you can consider: Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone. We will look at each of these in detail below.
Concert and Tenor ukuleles are among the ones that have the largest scale length. This means their frets are easier to manage as well, and they are not as cramped as Sopranos and Baritones. But let’s take a closer look at what the major pros and cons of each of these instruments truly are.
The soprano has a traditional look and feel that makes it one of the top choices for most ukulele players. If you have smaller hands, you’ll find the tinier size of a soprano to be much more convenient, a quality that also plays an important role when it comes to portability. Sopranos are also less expensive than most conventional ukes, which makes them a desirable choice if you’re on a budget.
Concert ukuleles represent the middle ground between sopranos and tenors. Their total length is 23 inches, while the scale length ranges between 15 and 16 inches. These instruments are ideal if you’re looking for something a little larger than a soprano, but you’re not ready to tackle an instrument as imposing as the tenor.
Less traditional but increasingly popular, the tenor is considered by many to be the ideal choice when it comes to deciding on the best ukuleles for beginners. Its large size (17-18-inch scale length and 26-inch total length) offers excellent maneuverability, and its length makes its tighter strings perfect for finger picking. This is also one of the most commonly found ukuleles on stage, being a preferred instrument for artists like Jake Shimabukuro, Brittni Paiva and James Hill.
Baritones are the largest of all ukuleles, and that would normally mean that they should be the best choice for you – right? In terms of size, the baritone is a notch up from tenor, and it is also one of the more unique ukulele types out there when it comes to tone and melody. Also, if you had some experience with guitars, you may find baritones to be a good choice.
The only real drawback of the baritone is that it’s tuned differently than any of the other ukuleles. Because of this, you might find it harder to locate too many good tutorials on how to start out with it.
What to Look for When Buying a Beginner Ukulele
It’s best to try and find the best ukulele for a reasonable price. When it comes to the pricing range itself, you should normally look in the vicinity of $40 and $150 for best value.
As seen earlier, the size is also an important factor, but beginners also have to realize how sizes affect the tone of the instrument. A larger body means a warmer and more resonant tone, but if you want something that sounds more subdued, a soprano might be best.
Finally, make sure you check out some of the best brands of high quality ukuleles. As you will see below, Kala and Diamond Head ukuleles are some of the best, although other brands like Mahalo, Cordoba and Luna ukuleles are also worth considering.
Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
The KA-15S is considered one of the very best low-priced sopranos out there. Made from superior quality mahogany and rosewood, this Kala model features a traditional ukulele body and look, as well as a refined satin finish. The white chrome die-cast geared tuners are also an excellent asset, allowing beginners to easily tune the instrument to sound just right. Easy to learn, the Kala sounds beautiful, and its surprisingly light constructions makes it a true delight to play.
Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele
Also a traditional soprano, the Diamond Head DU-150 is one of the most popular choices on review sites. The 3-chord chart makes it surprisingly easy to learn to play using this instrument, and its full body sound allows you to play professional quality music. This is also one of the more durable instruments you can choose, featuring a strong maple neck and body and geared guitar-styled tuners that keep it in tune much longer than most other ukuleles out there.
Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Starter Kit
This complete beginner kit will lead you to one of the most comprehensive and overall easy approaches to learning how to play the ukulele. The Kala-quality craftsmanship leaves nothing to the imagination with premium tuners and strings, a beautiful and resilient mahogany body with a satin finish and a superior construction that keeps the instrument tuned longer. The kit also includes a useful set of online lessons to help you on your first steps to playing beautiful music, and the easy to use Kala tuner app.
Mahalo Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele Starter Pack
Mahalo is a unique brand that sells surprisingly high quality ukuleles. The Rainbow series is a good example, and also represents one of the most affordable instruments in our list. This ukulele comes with a sturdy carrying bag and the Ukulele Bartt digital lesson set. The quality craftsmanship on the instrument itself will surprise you, especially at such a low cost. It comes with a hand-painted body, and is designed to produce superior, balanced sound with increased projection. The Mahalo Rainbow Series is also a feature-rich product that includes a Canadian NuBone XB bridge saddle, Aquila New Nylgut strings and Mahalo’s well-known, geared tuners, fashioned in the shape of a dolphin.
If you want to learn how to play the drums, your options are normally considered too few to count. You can try free online video sites, and look for free lessons, but the value offered is questionable at best, and the videos don’t go into too much depth.
For anyone interested in avoiding this hassle and staying away from the hefty costs of professional lessons, a brand new alternative is presented through Drumeo Edge – the most comprehensive video learning experience currently available on the web. With crystal clear lessons offered by more than 40 professional instructors, high quality materials, and support from a large online community, learning to play the drums with Drumeo will be easier than ever!
What You Get in the Course
Drumeo Edge offers comprehensive advantages when compared to private drumming lessons and regular online courses and videos. First of all, the course is available online, so you can follow all the lessons from your home. You get full online access 24/7 to the to the Ultimate Online Drum Lesson Experience™, and the Drumeo online community forum. There is also a new live lesson provided each day.
Additionally, beginners can learn from over 1,500 hours of on-demand video lessons, and gain access to student plans and video reviews, as well as dozens of play-along songs with new tracks added every week. You even get various bonus lessons and extras for free, and their overall value currently amounts to more than $300.
The lessons are straightforward, easy to follow and structured in an orderly fashion. The video quality is excellent, and the instructors use a friendly approach when displaying, describing and teaching the various techniques and approaches that are provided with each lesson.
After showing you the technique discussed in the lesson, the teacher will explain the concept and proceed with going over all the exercises for viewers to follow. Sheet music will be shown, if you choose to follow along, and lessons can last anything from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.
The video lessons cover everything from playing double bass and picking up speed, to stick tricks. You also get to submit your own suggestions regarding the topics you’d like covered in future lessons.
The videos work on all mobile devices, and existing lessons are neatly arranged in a list that you can browse through as soon as you gain access. The great thing about live Drumeo lessons is that the schedule is published up to 6 weeks in advance, so you have plenty of time to plan on attending them, regardless of which part of the world you live in.
Access to A Large Song Library
The play-along library has an impressive number of songs you can follow. Some of the tunes are basic, while others also feature a demonstration video and no less than three downloadable MP3 files. One of the files features a clicktrack, the second is without clicktrack and the third is a full drum version.
There are currently more than 100 play-along songs in the Drumeo library, with new songs offered on a regular basis. You also get the chance to submit your own requests for new songs, as part of Drumeo’s policy to maintain an interactive and flexible community.
Quality Drumeo Edge Instructors
Drumeo is the only online drumming community that actually gives you the chance to learn from some of the best drummers in the world. While some are lesser known, but still highly skilled, other instructors are world-class, and you can imagine how difficult it would be to get a private lesson from them.
The lessons are completely exclusive, so you can be sure you won’t find them anywhere else. Also, since all the teachers have their own unique style and approach, you can pick your own preferred instructors and focus mainly on their lessons.
Among the 40+ drumming instructors currently showcasing lessons for Drumeo are famous names such as Peter Erskine from Weather Report, Jim Riley from Rascal Flatts and Kenny Aronoff from the legendary 1970s rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The Forum and Community
Drumeo Edge is not just a set of static drumming lessons you can get on DVD. It’s also a dynamic online community where members can take part in lively conversations and share their experience.
Through the supportive Drumeo community, you can ask questions from professional trainers and share your experiences with other students. You are also able to post comments on videos and take part in lengthy discussions regarding specific drumming techniques and lessons. There’s even a Student Focus section, where students can upload their own videos, and their instructors may point out mistakes or give advice based on the student’s performance.
When you think that the price you pay for Drumeo edge is more than ten times lower than what you’d normally pay for professional drumming lessons, and the quality provided is actually much higher, opting for this package is definitely starting to sound like a good bargain. Moreover, the online support and community, and the many hours of valuable video lessons will make your experience completely invaluable.
Choosing the right instrument is not easy, and some musical instruments are significantly more difficult to learn than others. A harmonica may be best if you’re a complete novice, while guitars, bongos and ukuleles may require a more physically demanding approach.
By taking into account the uniqueness and the specific pros and cons of each instrument, however, you can decide on the ones that would be particularly easy and enjoyable for you. So let’s begin by taking into account the qualities that you should look for in a musical instrument for beginners.
How to Choose an Instrument That Is Right for You to Learn
Choosing an instrument is not easy unless you already know what’s out there. Whether or not the instrument is fun should never be your only criteria on why you should start learning it. Case in point: the piano is a fun and melodious instrument, but it can take more than a decade to master, especially if you’re an adult.
Ease of use, maintenance, cost over time and your own specific ability with various types of instruments versus others are some of the main criteria you should be looking at.
Experimenting and Finding the Fun Factor
The first thing to do when you’re looking for a new instrument to learn is to try out different types of instruments, and see how well they feel and sound. Keyboard-based instruments may be easy and comfortable, since all you have to do is press a few keys, and music comes out as if by magic. If that resonates with you, consider an organ, accordion or synthesizer.
String instruments can also be considered a good place to start, and are generally easier to learn than a piano. A ukulele, banjo, guitar or mandolin can all be great for beginners.
Finally, if you are more into classical music, you can try a viola, violin or cello. These are somewhat more refined, and they aren’t considered as “cool” if you want to be a rock star, for example. The good news is there are many great tutorials out there to help you out.
What Are Your Possibilities?
How much money can you spend? Would you be able to fit an organ or a grand piano in your apartment? Do you prefer a kind of instrument that you can carry with you on trains and planes for easy travel?
All these questions will give you a hint at the kind of instrument that would be best for your own specific needs and abilities. Also, consider the maintenance costs and the difficulty levels associated with tasks such as tuning or repairing the instrument when needed.
Types of Instruments and Resources
Some types of instruments can be easier to learn simply because there are a plethora of online lessons and resources such as sheet music available. If you want to spend money on a guitar or an electronic keyboard, you’re sure to find a lot of support for learning how to play.
However, it’s also a good idea to consider the simplicity of an instrument. A ukulele or a harmonica will be easier to manage simply because the learning curve is much more manageable. Also, in today’s information age you can still get plenty of learning resources even for lesser known musical instruments.
Should You Get Tuition or Self Teach?
So you just picked out your favorite instrument, and you’re trying to find out whether to learn on your own or get an online lesson or course. Most experts will tell you to choose the latter simply because:
Tuition is much faster.
You get help from a professional, so the learning curve will be easier as well.
Online lessons can make studying fun and flexible.
Tuition will help you avoid all the common misconceptions and pitfalls.
It’ll give you much more confidence in the long run.
That being said, tuition has its own disadvantages: it can keep you dependent on your teacher, and you can’t learn whenever you want. Also, music lessons might be costly and difficult to obtain, depending on the type of instrument you choose.
On the other hand, the benefits of self-teaching might be better for some:
You can set up your own unique schedule and curriculum.
You can use whatever resources and approaches you want.
There are fewer monetary constrictions.
Video instructions are available for free on online video sites.
You will be a lot more independent and free to improvise.
Of course, you might stumble a lot before learning the basics and figuring out all the misconceptions and contradictions between learning styles with just an instruction manual and some sheet music at your disposal.
Some of the Best Instruments You Could Choose
Depending on your preference regarding types of instruments and the learning curves they present, you can choose among a wide variety of great musical instruments. However, the following four are often considered to be easiest and most fun to learn.
Bongos are probably the simplest percussion instruments out there. Originating in Cuba around the mid-1800s, they are known for their soft tone, high pitch and remarkable simplicity. You can learn to play the bongos without much special training, and you’ll find the experience will be incredibly rewarding, especially if you like Latin music.
The ukulele is a string instrument similar to a guitar. Today it’s considered to be a fun, fashionable and sophisticated instrument that also has the advantage of being extremely easy to learn. Unlike a common guitar, the ukulele only has four strings, and the complexity of its chords is far more manageable. The nylon strings are easier on the fingers, and there’s almost instant gratification in picking up new songs.
Xylophones are great for kids and adults alike. They rely on simple motor skills, and you don’t need as much coordination to master them, as you would in the case of a guitar or piano. Xylophones can be fun to learn together with your children, and the sound they make is quite relaxing.
The harmonica is a small, portable instrument that anyone can figure out without much difficulty. The technique is very straightforward, and most simple songs take minutes to learn. Also, did you know playing the harmonica may be good for your health? The instrument can increase lung power and capacity, while reducing stress, optimizing heart rate and eliminating HBP.