While on holiday in the Caribbean a few years back, we visited a drum shop. Clearly facing a group of clueless tourists, the shop owner took an instant dislike to us. Reluctantly, he eventually displayed his range of rhythm makers.

Spontaneously, having spotted a rather lovely, large Djembe, we made some comment about how we'd happily beat that all day.

"You don't beat the drum. You play the drum," came a remarkably terse reply.

We can only imagine what he'd say about running this inventive piece of homebrew, which turns your DS into a stylus-loving drum set.

But let's forget about him, because this is a tremendous amount of fun. Sure, we'll be honest enough to admit we don't for one minute think that Neil Peart, Keith Moon, Dave Lombardo or Chad Smith ever started like this, but it's certainly a hell of a lot more practical than sharing your entrance hall with a drum set. Cheaper, too.

Download files

The first step is to download the files you will need. If you are tidy little bod you may want to collect them together in a folder on your PC. You need to download the following: - Finger Drum: FingerDrum.nds which is zipped up, from here
- DLDI File System Patcher Software: dlditool-win32-gui.zip from here
- DLDI Driver File: from here
How to drum DS 1
Patch Drum Software Because Finger Drum uses a generic file system library, it needs to be patched so it can access files on your particular homebrew card. 1. Extract the dlditool-win32-gui.zip Patcher software to a folder on your PC. 2. Run the dlditool32.exe program. 3. Click the DLDI File button and browse to the location of the DLDI driver file you downloaded during Step 01. Ensure you have downloaded the DLDI driver file for your particular homebrew card from the list provided here. 4. Click the Binaries button and browse to the folder on your desktop and select the FingerDrum.nds file. How to drum DS 2
Copy files to DS If you've got this far, you can reward yourself by copying the following file to the root folder of your homebrew card: - FingerDrum.nds How to drum DS 3
Drum up Finger Drum You can now fire up the Finger Drum software. 1. Remove your homebrew card or Memory Stick from your PC. 2. Insert your homebrew card into your DS. 3. Turn on the DS power and run the FingerDrum.nds file. The software will take a moment to load. How to drum DS 4

Get drumming Once loaded, watch in amazement as the software turns the bottom screen of your DS into a miniature drum kit. Then simply and instinctively grab the stylus to tap out different rhythms using the various percussion instruments available. How to drum DS 5
Advanced drumming techniques Why not introduce a second stylus to increase the different rhythm options available to you? You can work on combining different percussion timings. This can take a bit of practice, but yields some impressive results. Finish off the experience by hooking the DS up to an amp, shining the nearest spot lamp in your face and boiling the kettle for a (very brief) dry ice effect. Further information can be found here. As ever, check out our past DS How Tos to discover the many various ways of increasing your handheld's functionality.
How to drum DS 6