Yamaha FGDP-50 & FGDP-30

Yamaha FDGP50 front

Finger drumming rises in popularity and gains attention in club performances, at live concerts and on social media. With FGDP-50 and FGDP-30, Yamaha introduces two devices tailor-made for that very purpose.

The Yamaha FGDP-50 and FGDP-30 turn finger drumming into a more versatile and more easily accessible form of musical expression. Both feature 18 pads specifically designed to be played with fingers and are self-sufficient devices to keep it simple and allow creatives of all levels of experience to immediately start finding their rhythm. The FGDP-50 offers an additional eight RGB pads and a display as well as support for USB flash drives for importing sounds, playback and recording and additional features like Note Repeat that further bolster the creative capabilities of the finger drum pads.

Yamaha optimized the FGDP pads to optimally support finger drumming. The layout is directed by the anatomy of the hand, so a typical three-finger performance is particularly easy to pull off: the thumb kicks the bass drum, the index finger hits the snare and the middle finger plays the hi-hat. This is merely a suggestion, of course – it is just as possible to use fingers of both hands or to come up with entirely different finger placements. The pads themselves are also designed with finger drumming in mind. They react more delicately than other drum pads to accommodate for the lesser energy usually exerted by fingers while also implementing appropriate dynamic control. For added expressive versatility, pushing down on the pads mutes the sound, recreating a cymbal choke effect. With this ergonomic setup, organic finger drum performance are a cinch with the FGDP-50 and FGDP-30.

Imagine having the sounds from the full-scale Yamaha e-drum kits quite literally at your fingertips – that is what FGDP-50 and FGDP-30 provide. The sounds from the DTX modules offer a variety of acoustic drum sounds to organically fit into any genre, plus newly created electronic sounds for an even wider creative range. The DTX kits have not simply been mapped onto the FGDP pads, either. Instead, they were optimized for the new instruments and adjusted for the playing with fingers instead of drum sticks, particularly in terms of velocity. The actual numbers underline the scope of the FGDP sound library: 1,500 voices and 48 preset kits for the FGDP-50 and 1,212 voices and 39 preset kits for the FGDP-30.

One major issue Yamaha wanted to address with the FGDP-50 and FGDP-30 was the accessibility of finger drumming. Finger drumming performances required controllers and music production equipment as well as a high level of expertise to set up that gear. The FGDP range requires none of that, the models are self-sufficient in that they integrate everything creatives need. Both models include a built-in 2.5 W speaker and run on USB-rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Pads and sound generator are also integrated into the device, so there is no need for any periphery to start a performance. Push the power switch and start playing – that’s how FGDP operates.

Yamaha FDGP50 rear

While there is no need to connect the Yamaha FGDP-50 and FGDP-30 to any other devices, there certainly is the possibility to do so. A USB connection to a computer allows for playing drum software or sample sounds from virtual instruments. The connection also enables recording audio or MIDI data to music production software, and playback from a smart device for practice and play-alongs. With the free Yamaha Rec’n’Share app (iOS or Android), users can easily grab and edit performances in video or audio form and upload them to social media.

The Yamaha FGDP-50 and FGDP-30 finger drum pads are available immediately. The price is 356,00 EUR for the FGDP-50 and 214,00 EUR for the FGDP-30.