Senri Kawaguchi: The Mighty Jazz and Fusion Drummer

Senri Kawaguchi drumming
The Princess of Many Strokes in action! Thanks to the ever awesome Drumeo for the image.

Female Japanese drummers are taking the world by storm at the moment! There’s 12 year old Yoyoka Soma already destined for greatness.

But there’s also already 24 year old Senri Kawaguchi, who’s a multi award-winning drummer also known as the Princess of Many Strokes. Subarashī!

The Jazzy Drumming Chops of Senri Kawaguchi

“This is an amazing solo put together by an accomplished musician, that showcases technique, musicality, groove, showmanship, broken sticks, and total control over the drum-set.”

That’s the verdict by Drumeo! And we totally agree with that 110%.

But Kawaguchi has that most endearing of Japanese traits. Being incredibly good at something, whilst remaining utterly modest about it.

All whilst coming up with some sick beats like this, yo.

From Nagoya in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, her father introduced her to drumming when she was five. But a nipper!

She was practicing on it from the off and took drum lessons from around the age of six. She was so good her local instructor suggested she step things up with lessons from Kozo Suganuma (something of a drumming legend in Japan).

By the age of 13, in 2010, she was already reaching the list of top 500 drummers in Drummerworld’s reckoning.

She developed this reputation, in part, through her YouTube channel. This was from 2013 when she was 16.

Since then she’s worked with many labels and drums for various bands, kind of as a touring session drummer.

But she’s also recorded many albums, her first in 2013 (A la Mode). Then in 2016 she released three albums! Laziness. Sheer laziness! Four would have been better.

She’s much in demand at festivals, too, and regularly attends many Japanese jazz events. Or other diverse things. For example, she was invited to perform at Nintendo’s Super Mario 30th Anniversary Concert in Tokyo.

Her playing style is characterised by very nimble fingers, which allows her to cram a lot of action in a very short space of time.

She’s also get excellent limb dependency, which very few drummers get total mastery of.

IKawaguchi has built neat tricks into her performances, too, particularly with juggling sticks mid-playing.

So, yes, at 24 there’s a hell of a lot more to come from Senri Kawaguchi.

She’s incredibly active on the drumming scene, often performing live on YouTube, or spending her time in the studio, or performing live at events (pandemic permitting).

And it’s great to see she’s getting this attention, with Japan turning into something of a drumming powerhouse over the last decade. Long may it continue!

How to Play the Drums Better (by Senri Kawaguchi)

If you’re a struggling drummer wondering why you’re so rubbish, then Kawaguchi’s extended Drumeo visit featured all manner of excellence.

Her advice above is welcome for folks looking to improve their chops.

The internet era has brought together the drumming community, which is a fabulous thing. And Drumeo has been a big part of that. We’ll do a review on those guys another time.

Meanwhile, bask and listen to Senri Kawaguchi’s technique tips. Ikigai!


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