Diane Hirakawa

United States

Teacher/School: Studio West San Diego Simon DasGupta

I started drumming as a 10 year old in an all girl drum and bugle corps. In the 1960’s I was accepted into a previously all-male drum line, when female drummers weren’t that prevalent. I’ve been passionate about drumming ever since. After drumming through High School and college I took time off to raise a family. Decades later I started drumming again with a music instructor who taught me to read drum musical notation. We were quite surprised my “chops” were still intact . I have entered “Hit Like a Girl” many times including classic rock tunes by Neil Peart and John Bonham. But unlike my previous entries, this entry is a fast paced 1930’s swing tune by Benny Goodman titled, “Sing Sing Sing” with Gene Krupa on drums. To get that “swing” feel, I’ve been listening to jazz and swing 24/7. I also went back to a traditional vs. match grip (like Gene Krupa) even though it’s been quite awhile. My favorite section includes a rudimental part where I inserted a string of various paradiddles toward the end. Swing music is vibrant and peppy and makes me reminisce of my tap dancing to swing. I am also paying tribute to my mother who allowed me to drum after school while she watched her soap operas. Having a kidney transplant a decade ago didn’t slow me down. I just played without accents for awhile. During this 2023 production I remembered words of a veteran advertising man, Phil Slot, and a potential problem was averted . He is quoted as saying, “Never let them see you sweat.”


  1. hlag on March 24, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    Hi, Diane. So good to see you back for another year… and swinging like crazy!

    • DianeHirakawa DianeHirakawa on March 24, 2023 at 7:15 pm

      Thank you. Decided to curtail rock and try another jazz/swing as I did back in 2017 with Stang’s Swang. Both were fun tunes!

  2. Re Bonnell Chamberlin on March 26, 2023 at 4:23 am

    Really great job Spanky!

    • DianeHirakawa DianeHirakawa on March 26, 2023 at 9:38 am

      Thanks so much to a long time, past drum and bugle corps buddy. I tried something new, instead of my usual Rock. It was fun.

  3. Kathie Breest on March 31, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    So good to see you still drumming! You’re a lot more ambitious than I am. Great job! Good luck in this year’s contest!

    Kathie Breest

  4. Nadine Kelly on April 3, 2023 at 10:50 am

    This was such a great performance! I couldn’t help dancing along. Thanks for sharing! You rock (and swing!!)

  5. Yumiko Sugimoto on April 5, 2023 at 5:09 am

    Very very cool !!!!!

  6. DianeHirakawa DianeHirakawa on April 5, 2023 at 7:49 am

    Over Spring Break with our school system, I commented on each and every one of the 40+ contestants. I thought it the right thing to do paying tribute to everyone’s hard work.

  7. Carolyn Potts Carolyn Potts on April 5, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    It’s always nice to see you here. You sound great and as always nailed it! Great job!!

  8. Jeanine Jeanine on April 6, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    Great job..always fun to see your entries year to year! Good luck

  9. Wes S on April 8, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    That’s some great drumming! Loved it!

  10. Lachimolaladrum Lachimolaladrum on April 9, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    Diane – those paradiddles are my #drumgoals2023! I love your cover of this song – it really makes you want to get up and dance – nice job! I’m bummed that I never got to see your previous year entry – you mentioned it was different than this year’s – I bet it was really good! If you have a link anywhere to share, I would love to see it. But your entry this year was great – I loved watching it. Congratulations!

    • DianeHirakawa DianeHirakawa on April 12, 2023 at 1:36 pm

      Hi, thank you for the compliments. I love all the diddle combinations. Just start slow (50 bpm) and every week get about 5 bpm faster. Maybe you can open one of my past ROCK entries. Here’s one of my favorite: Tom Sawyer. https://youtu.be/DLXuWXqOyuI. All are under You Tube either Diane M. Hirakawa or Diane Hirakawa if you have time. Good Luck!

  11. jenmarinasfong jenmarinasfong on April 10, 2023 at 10:35 pm

    Diane! Great to see you here as I miss seeing you in my drum cover compilations for DGU. Awesome job on this song, super fun and played so smoothly! Best of luck!

  12. DianeHirakawa DianeHirakawa on April 12, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve been injured so not drumming or sitting up much. I’ll focus on getting healed and get back to DGU. Thanks. BTW: How do I invite my friends to vote? Thanks if you can guide me. Drummer Di

  13. Nikitadrums Nikitadrums on April 12, 2023 at 5:23 pm

    I love this song! I just started playing some swing grooves and you are an inspiration, great timing and wow… that stick work! So great!

  14. filizsenem filizsenem on April 13, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    Wonderful, lovely listening and watching ypu. Congrats

  15. ayumu ayumu on April 15, 2023 at 1:34 am

    Hi Diane! Great music selection, great performance!😊

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