Start Finger Drumming like Shawn Wasabi
Ever wanted to start finger drumming and wasn't sure how? DJ Tech Tool guides you through the process with this simple beginner's tutorial.This article originally appeared on DJ Tech Tools
Think those Shawn Wasabi finger drumming videos are cool, but have no idea what’s going on? Just picked up a Midi Fighter 3D and want to get started right away playing beats? This article is for you. Inside, get a better understanding of what’s actually happening in the videos, and some tips for getting started.
This article is intended to give new and aspiring performers a good sense of how to get started (we get hundreds of questions about this every month). Have knowledge or advice to share? Please do so in the comments!
What am I looking at in Shawn’s videos? Finger Drumming!
Shawn Wasabi relies on a Midi Fighter to make his amazing videos. The Midi Fighter is one of the most popular finger drumming controllers on the market. The authentic Japanese arcade buttons are among the highest quality buttons in the world. They offer a hyper-low latency and the highest durability around (yes, the same ones used on arcade machines).
What You’re Hearing In the Videos
What’s actually coming through your speakers is the Midi Fighter triggering audio samples that are in the computer software Ableton Live.
To do this, Shawn compiles 16 (or more!) samples he likes and activates them in Live using the Midi Fighter. This “playable song” is called a soundpack.
Shawn’s videos also have fun LED light shows. Eye-catching LED light animations illuminate the controller by default, but Shawn takes it even further with custom light shows. These advanced light shows do take some extra setup time and work great for routines. However, we recommend nailing the drumming part first before you start adding extras.
What is Finger Drumming?
Before computers, people played traditional instruments but today with electronic music – there is not a standard EDM instruments. When you combine real musicianship (drumming) with electronic sounds (sound packs), you get finger drumming. It’s insanely fun and introduces dynamics back into modern dance music.
Imagine the Midi Fighter is a laptop keyboard. On a laptop, each time you hit the letter “A”, you’ll see the letter “A” popup on the screen. The Midi Fighter’s buttons work the same way except you get to choose what sound corresponds to each button. A single button could trigger a drum loop, vocal line, melodic sounds or single percussive hit.
A great way to get started finger drumming is to start playing drums over your favorite song. If you can type, you can finger drum. Just like any musical instrument It just takes some practice and the more time you spend on it the better you’ll get.