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Having the right gear is essential for musicians. Not only will it enhance the quality of your performance, but it can also keep you in the best shape possible to play music, especially for extended periods.
Drummers are especially prone to playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (www.researchgate.net), particularly in their wrist joints and lower back. This can significantly affect their performance and cause even greater injuries over time if not addressed. Having the right gear can reduce the chances of developing these ailments as most equipment is now designed with ergonomics in mind.
It improves performance ergonomics
Choosing drum thrones or stools will depend on your height and weight and your preferred adjustability (www.latimes.com). However, it is really important to consider the ergonomics of the seat and how it will affect your lower back, which bears the brunt of your weight while you perform. A seat that’s too low can exacerbate this particular problem, while a seat that is too high can affect balance and put additional strain on your body as you play.
Another factor to think about is that you shouldn’t be under any restrictions while playing. A seat that cuts into the sides of your thighs can restrict blood flow and cause discomfort during performances. While there is no one recommended throne height that fits all, it is worth taking the time to figure out which is most comfortable for your personal needs.
It improves sound quality
These days, most of the equipment you’re likely to be practicing with, will be the same you use to perform live and record with. While not all drummers are adept at signing vocals, those who are will need a decent microphone to prevent straining their voice. The best microphone for vocals will have a frequency response optimized for the human vocal range, which typically falls between 85 Hz to 255 Hz (www.shout4music.com). High-quality microphones like the Neumann U87 AI also provide consistent performance across the entire dynamic range with a vibrant character and balanced response. It also comes with three different polar patterns for the perfect tone. This may not be essential in all drummers’ kits, but it is an especially important one to have for those who do a fair bit of singing.
Focus on ergonomics when setting out your kit
Ergonomics also needs to be considered when looking at foot placement. To maximize your speed and stamina while minimizing potential injury to your knees, calves, and ankles, the bass drum’s angle needs to conform to the natural angle of your foot. If you’re facing forward, then the pedal should be angled just slightly to the outside of your body. The right accessories on your kit can also prevent injury in this case.
Kick grips allow your foot to stay secure on the pedal while you perform. The Vratim Kick Grip, in particular, is a stellar choice as it's less damaging to socks and shoes, and barefoot players find it comfortable (www.vratim.com). Thanks to high-quality kick grips, not only will they reduce the chances of injury but they will also improve the stability and quality of your playing.
It makes playing easier
Good gear that’s configured the correct way will make playing much easier. Cymbals are a good example of this. It’s difficult enough to sustain a long or fast pattern, so you shouldn’t need to exert unnecessary effort that can lead to additional strain. Getting your cymbals as close as you can to your arms while maintaining a 90-degree elbow bend is ideal. The closer you get to this position, the better your endurance will be. This in turn will help you maintain a solid rhythm even throughout longer performances or practice sessions. When choosing your cymbals, make sure that you can get them into this position to maximize comfort and make playing easier.
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