In a recent viral video, gamers test their skills at the local recording studio. Is all of that hot-blooded tapping a step on the way to stardom?

We can’t all be baby drumming virtuosos like 6-year-old prodigy Torataro. Like any musicial instrument – and indeed, like any art form – drumming takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears before you’re ready to beat your way through your favorite anime jams.

Maybe there’s a way to beat the grind of daily practice, though! What if you spent every day at the game center, alternating rapidly between the beefy taiko drum games and the DrumMania consoles? Heck, you could even brush up on your DJ abilities with a side of Beatmania! After all, unlike games like Guitar Hero, a drumming game utilizes all the same muscles, coordination and sense of rhythm as real drums… At least in theory.

YouTuber kaito821 decided to put this thought experiment into practice. In his video titled “Can you play drums if you’re good at DrumMania?” he explains his experiment’s goal outright, along with an explanation of the ‘laboratory’ specifics:

“A laptop monitor will be placed atop the drum set. We will observe if hitting the drums in response to the prompts onscreen will result in an adequate drum performance. The left foot will alternate between the two left foot pedals. Likewise, the right hand will be shared between the two kinds of cymbals.”

Our first subject is K, who has extensive history with rhythm games (he even starred in a “rhythm game band” at one point). While he has four years of real drumming experience he’s poor at sight-reading, so the prompts from the monitor should be enough… Hopefully.

▼ K on the drums

For his first test, he would attempt to play the drumline from “Rin to shite Saku Hana no Gotoku,” a popular song throughout all Beatmania properties.

▼ Here’s a funky update of the original: it was released in the English version of Dance Dance Revolution as NADESHIKO.

A series of dramatic cymbal clashes and one thundering chorus later, and he cleared it! Bravo, drum master!

His next test would be the much more difficult “PIRATES’ BANQUET,” filled with tricky licks and fills that send novice players running for the hills. Our YouTuber confesses that the test subject has never successfully cleared it even in the game, so who knows what he’s hoping to achieve here. Launching himself into the song with gusto, it’s only ten seconds or less before he makes his first major foul up. and then another. And another.

▼ Sorry, man.

This didn’t satisfy kaito821’s thirst for scientific study. No, he would have to scout out a true DrumMania expert and set them loose on a real drum kit. Thankfully, he had just the man at his disposal, who appears where the video is queued up below.

Introducing our second test subject: Etsuya. A one-time DrumMania champion, recognized in the greater rhythm games community under the rainbow name XD.2BOT (only top ranking players can display their names in rainbows). He reportedly had zero real-world drumming experience… So clearly now was the time to test him out on the real thing!

He practiced a little before the video itself to warm up, and while he seemed unsure how well he might do he swore to do his best.

kaito821 had a good challenge lined up for him to cut his teeth on: Atsumi Ueda’s “Hatashijou.” In a flurry of sticks and shining cymbals, Etsuya tackled the drum kit with gusto and banged out a passable attempt at this pretty piece of pop-rock.

▼ The original, for comparison.

Clearly Etsuya needed a tougher challenge, just like our initial test player. Enter a tricky little song called “Concertino in Blue.” This song has some difficult twists and turns befitting its jazzy tempo, and the strain really started to show in Etsuya’s face as he tried to map his gaming know-how to the complicated hand maneuvers of a real drummer.

When the song finally finished, his relieved laughter was a great testament to how tough it was. And Etsuya is one of the best players out there!

The next song kaito821 had Etsuya try was “O JIYA” by ASMAT and emi. Mercilessly, kaito821 immediately flunked Etsuya because he wasn’t playing the right instrument for the drum line.

▼ You might notice that the original drum line of this song is not played on a standard drum set.

After failing the challenge, Etsuya apologized for not being able to transfer his skills effectively to the real drums, and the not-so-scientific experiment was over. kaito821 then did us the favor of writing down the strengths of DrumMania’s school of rock!

benefits of learning drums through playing DrumMania:

  • Learn to move your arms and feet separately
  • Feel the rhythm with your whole body
  • You can get good at a bunch of tricky parts
  • Acclimatize to a whole bunch of genres

Weaknesses of DrumMania players when playing real drums:

  • No sense of pressure
  • No icons to tell you if you hit it accurately
  • You have to set the rhythm yourself
  • You have to listen to the noise you’re making to tell how you’re doing
  • You have to make the beat sound good, not just hit it
  • You have to know the difference between when you should hit hard or gently

He also noted that while DrumMania skills don’t translate into being an instant rock god on the drums, people who enjoyed the video should definitely head into their local music studio and have a bash at the drums themselves. Besides, to many of the YouTube commenters, both the guys in the video looked kind of cool! Or at least, very funny.

“I’ve been drumming for nine years. Yesterday I decided to finally try out that drumming game at the arcade… I totally sucked at it, LMAO!”
“I’m a drummer, and this video was so interesting! You guys finally piqued my interest in DrumMania.”
“I was laughing my ass off at how neither of you put your shoulders into the drumming!”
“I watched a TV show on the Discovery Channel about people trying to improve their golf skills with videogames and it turned out almost exactly like this video. You just can’t factor in all the subtle things, like effectively using your body (especially your torso), the surrounding sounds and motion… Plus I don’t think games have the capacity yet to cover such a wide area of space like you would use in those activities.”

That’s okay. Even if we can’t game our way to musical success, at least we’ll always have videos of adorable kids being way better at instruments than we’ll ever be. And teenagers. And heck, even cuddly prefectural mascots.

Source: YouTube/kaito821 via Jin
Images: YouTube/kaito821