Diane Hirakawa

United States

My passion for rhythm, music, and drumming began in middle school as a snare drummer in a Midwest all girl drum & bugle corps. I was an only child so being a drummer in a group with 100 girls was like having 99 sisters. On through college, in the ’70s, I continued to break down gender barriers after being accepted into a successful, previously all male Midwest drum line.
After a 30+ year break, I started drumming again with a British drum instructor, Simon Das Gupta, who taught me how to navigate a full drum set. We were quite surprised my chops were still nearly intact. He insisted I learn to read drum notation which allowed me to learn various genre on my own, especially with no instructor during the pandemic.
Learning parts of “Moby Dick” was ambitious and playing with a live band even more so. Various drum and percussion complexities were created by John Bonham plus I created some of my own. Playing a cajon at church helped me with the percussion in this adaption. My favorite sections include: the double bass with triplets, the long single roll, and the triplets around the kit. Music influences for this song include: Thomas Lang’s double bass work, Steve Gadd’s rudiments, and of course John Bonham.
I’d like to continue having an impact on elementary age girls seeking to pursue their drumming skills by teaching them various genres of music plus gaining the ability to read drum notation. And at age 73, after a successful UCLA kidney transplant 8 yrs. ago, I continue to enter this contest even though a 2 hr. magnesium infusion every other week. It is my hope I will be a positive role model for female drummers of all ages. This cover is meant to show my respect to all who came before me.
The best of luck to all. Diane (Hirakawa)


  1. hlag on April 2, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Hey, Diane. Great to see you back for another one. I LOVE the video.

    Take care and keep in touch!

  2. DianeHirakawa DianeHirakawa on April 4, 2022 at 7:29 am

    Glad to enter, again, I think for the 8th time. So thankful for my music friends to enter with me even though some are in 3 bands and a tight schedule. Would have added a couple of changes in this 3:38 video. Butdon’t we always think of what to add after our videos are set and done? I practice double bass a lot and we didn’t highlight with a “window” this year. Who knows why? Time got away during the set up. I can’t wait to view all the ladies in our 40+ category this week. Such talent and courage to put oneself ‘out there’ for judging. Since the pandemic and no instructor, the judges comments are all I have lately to improve. Thanks to the HLAG “behind the scene” volunteers to make this international contest possible, again. As I mentioned in my profile, Good Luck to everyone young and “older” alike. Diane

  3. Rasila queen on April 8, 2022 at 6:57 am

    Great to see you here. I had to dig into the past to find a video to enter as we haven’t been doing live music lately. Are going to jam wiith a guitar player, and his wife (keys) soon, so maybe something will come of it. Rock on!

  4. Jc Rox on April 9, 2022 at 1:59 am

    You are the GOAT! I hope you win! Such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing!

    • DianeHirakawa DianeHirakawa on April 13, 2022 at 7:03 pm

      WOW, what a wonderful compliment! Not sure I fulfill all of that defininition, but I sure have entered a wide variety of complex songs the past 8 years…..Thank You So Much.

  5. MariaWulf MariaWulf on April 22, 2022 at 8:54 am

    Diana, I love your story and your example you’re setting for young girls and women of all ages. Great job.

  6. kathie on April 24, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    As one of your “sisters of summer,”. I can attest to your talent and determination. Good luck! You have my votes!!❤️

  7. mgaytan175@yahoo.com mgaytan175@yahoo.com on April 26, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    Diana that was amazing- love the hand drumming and your Bonham triplets!! From one Ohio girl to another 😁

    • DianeHirakawa DianeHirakawa on May 5, 2022 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks a lot! Watched a lot of Moby Dick foot age for that!

  8. Cindi Wheeler on May 20, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    You keep on amazing me, dear cousin. Nothing holds you back and you keep improving in everything you do!

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