Interview with Japanese drummer Shingo Uchida

Shingo Uchida is a drummer from Japan who runs a successful music school. He has performed with Rikugo and Freewill. Shingo currently has over 40k followers on Instagram.

By Magesh MageshContributing Author

Article photo - Interview with Japanese drummer Shingo Uchida

Magesh, Musicngear: You have played in many different bands, what advice can you give to drummers when playing in a new band?

The first step is to listen to the other members of the band. It is very important to know the styles and timings of the guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, and vocalist.

Then, the band members should share an image of what songs they want to play and how they want to play them. This will help you understand what the song wants you to play.

I have noticed you have great independence! What exercises do you do to help coordinate your hands and feet?

Thank you. But I am far from my ideal. I need to practice more. Here are some exercises I usually do. Practicing linear patterns is also good practice.

exercise1: RKLK RKLK RKLK RKLK RKLK (right foot only and alternating both feet)

exercise2 : KLRL*4 RKRL*4 RLKL*4 RLRK*4

exercise3 : KKRL*4 KLRK*4 RLKK*4 RKKL*4

Is the music business hard to break into in Japan?

It is very difficult to make a living just by playing as a drummer. There is not a lot of money available to musicians in the Japanese music business system. There are only a few projects with big budgets, and most of those jobs are concentrated in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. 

I live in Kyoto, not Tokyo, and my main business is drum lessons. There is some income from live performances and recordings, but the percentage is very small.

You have to get into what you want to do, try something that interests you, and keep doing it, day in and day out.

You have nearly 40 thousand followers on Instagram. What can musicians do to help build their social network following?

I still can't believe why so many people are following me. Thank you.

There are probably three important things. To send out information that is useful to others. And to keep going and not compare yourself with others.

The reason I upload drum videos every day is above all for myself. That is why I can continue. I believe that it is ultimately useful for someone else.

The more followers you have on social networking sites, the more power you have to communicate, which is advantageous for a musician. However, the priority should not be the number of followers, but what you want to do.

What drums and cymbals are you using at the moment?

The drum kit is Sakae Almighty Maple, sizes are Kick 22″ x 18″, Floor Toms 16″ x 14″, 14″ x 12″, Toms 12″ x 10″, 10″ x 8″, 8″ x 7″. I like them very much.

I use Meinl Cymbals for all of my cymbals, and I love that each Meinl cymbal series is designed with a clear intention in mind, and you can tell from the Meinl artists' drum videos and sound sample videos that they love their cymbals. I use Meinl cymbals because I am attracted to the fact that they treat sound and design with so much care.

Meinl Cymbals: Meinl 15' Byzance Dark Hi-Hat, Meinl 14' Byzance Dual Hi-HatMeinl 22' Byzance Equilibrium Ride, Meinl 22' Byzance Dark Ride, Meinl 18' Byzance Extra Thin CrashMeinl 18' Byzance Medium Thin CrashMeinl 19' Byzance Med. Thin Crash B.Meinl 18' Byzance Dual ChinaMeinl 16' Byzance Vintage TrashCrashMeinl Pure Alloy 12' Trash ChinaMeinl 06' Byzance Splash BrilliantMeinl 08' Byzance Splash BrilliantMeinl 10' Byzance Dual Splash.

What advice do you have for young musicians who want to make a career out of playing music?

Keep going. You have to get into what you want to do, try something that interests you, and keep doing it, day in and day out.

You can only keep going if it is something you really want to do. If you keep doing what you want to do, you may be able to make a living with music, even if you are not special like me.

Connect With Shingo Uchida
Instagram / YouTube / Facebook / TikTok

About Magesh Magesh

Magesh is a musician and producer who has worked with Rihanna, Lionel Richie, Ricky Martin, Chris Brown, The Pussy Cat Dolls, Nelly Furtado, and Vernon Reid of Living Colour. He released an instructional drumming DVD called "Unique Beats" where he mixed the drum kit with electronics and Indian hand percussion. He recently moved from Australia to the UK to explore new musical opportunities.

Contact Magesh Magesh at

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