Drum roll, please! iPad drummer rocks with fast fingers

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Appleman's
Appleman's "iPad Drum Solo" video won him accolades as the "sickest drummer in metal." Photo: Appleman

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a drummer. When it came time to assign instruments in elementary school, I started on a practice drumming pad.

The music teacher never let me graduate to a real drum because he knew what he was hearing on the rubber pad would be a disaster on a simple snare. But an aspiring drummer in Japan has mastered the pad — the iPad, that is. His fast-moving fingers earned him the title of “sickest drummer in metal right now” on Digg.

Reached through Facebook, the drummer known as Appleman told Cult of Mac he has been playing drums since age 11. He was a drummer in a band while going to school in England but since his return to his hometown of Nagasaki, he joined another band as a guitar player.

He missed drumming and, given his lack of space and close proximity to neighbors, could not bring a conventional drum kit to his apartment. So he began beating virtual skins using GarageBand on the iPad.

“It took me a while to get used to playing the bass drum with my fingers. I practiced a lot,” said Appleman, who asked that his real name not be used. “I got used to the iPad drum rhythm pattern that I created and (now) I don’t feel that much difficulty expressing the beat patterns I used play on a real drum kit.”

His three-minute YouTube video “iPad Drum Solo” has been viewed more than 1.2 million times since he published it last year.

There are number of apps that teach music on the iPhone and iPad, including Chord!, GuitarBots, Piano Dust Buster, Drum Kit Pro and Rockmate, which lets you compose, record and play songs with up to four players.

Could any of this technology help me drum like Appleman? “Sickest drummer” applied to me might not have the same cool connotation.