Finger Drumming Exercise 

While a drum roll is often used to announce a new product, in this case the drum roll is the product.
Re:creation finger drums

When checking out this next product I was reminded of a Yellow Pages advertisement of a few years ago which advised customers "to let your fingers do the walking".  However, in this case, instead of walking, your fingers would be required to do the drumming with Finger Beats.  This product, distributed in the UK by Re:creation, could well be described as a portable drum kit for the emerging percussionist.

Shaped a little like an artist's palette and measuring 265 x 205mm (L x W) with a depth of 40mm at one section dropping down to 20mm at the thinnest point, the Finger Beats unit is obviously meant to be used laid on a flat surface.  Taking over the thickest section is the unit's speaker with an array of controls positioned to the right and running down beneath it..  Occupying the rest of the Finger Beats surface is a coloured image of a drum kit consisting of five drums and three cymbals.  It is this area which provides the actual percussion effects.

Initially I had very little success with creating any worthwhile drumming sessions.  However this lack of success was more down to the method of drumming I was using rather than a deficiency with the product.  Rather than tap the various images making up this drum kit, you really need to rest your fingers on each item and then apply a degree of pressure as necessary to produce your drum solo.

Buttons are available to adjust the sound level and tempo speeds plus play the four sample backing tracks that come preloaded on the device.  You can record and playback your own solos at a touch of a button.  However any recordings made are lost whenever Finger Beats is turned off for any reason.  There are a couple of additional buttons on the top of the device.  Unlike the other buttons, these are unlabelled and are not referred to anywhere within the rather limited documentation which consists of a single A5 sheet of paper.  These unidentified buttons can be depressed but I was unable to work out what purpose they served.

Re:creation finger drums

Located on the back of the Finger Beats unit, along with a power switch, are sockets for a headphone set and connecting an MP3 player using the supplied 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable.  In order for the MP3 player link to work, the Finger Beats unit does need to be in record, playback or demo mode.  Any recordings made while MP3 music being played will only capture the drum contribution with the MP3 input being totally ignored.

While I could hardly be considered a fan of drum music, I was reasonably impressed with the drumming effects produced by Finger Beats.  The documentation is rather sparse and I would have preferred a method of saving favourite drum rolls rather than loosing them whenever the device was closed down.  Power is provided by four AAA batteries which are supplied with the product.  Finger Beats is priced at £19.99.

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