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 BRAZILIAN PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS

   

In this lesson we will look at Latin American instruments from Brazil. As drumset players, when we play Brazilian rhythms like Samba, Batucada and Bossa Nova, we are imitating the work of individual percussion parts with our 4 limbs. Instruments such as Surdo, Repinique and Clave can all be imitated on the drumset, and often at the same time.

SURDO: a surdo is a large drum ranging from 16 to 26 inches in diameter and around 50-60 cm deep. The surdo is played with one large felt or leather mallet. The other hand dampens the drum, and an open tone is played on beat 3 of each bar.

TAMBORIM: the tamborim is a small hand held drum, played with one stick, using a LH twisting technique.

REPENIQUE: the repenique is similar to a snare drum, but doesn’t have any snare wires, and is tuned very high. And, like the tamborim, it’s played with one stick.

CAIXA: the caixa is very similar to a snare drum and it does have snare wires. Using regular drumsticks a repetitive 8th or 16th note figure is played on top of the groove.

PANDEIRO: the pandeiro is a frame drum, very similar to a regular tambourine. But the metal jingles, called Platinellas, are cupped and closer together, producing a tighter, shorter sound which is very useful when playing complex rhythms.

AGOGO BELLS: the agogo bells are two joined bells that are held together with one hand and played with the other hand using a regular stick. Aside from the 2 different pitches, the agogo bells and be pressed and squeezed together to produce muted sounds.

CABASA: a cabasa is a hand held instrument with rows of floating beads around the far end. by twisting the cabasa you produce a sliding sound, as the beads slide over the rough surface beneath. You can also shake the cabasa quickly to get faster notes, or hit the cabasa into the free hand for accents.

THE CLAVES: the claves are two thick sticks made from wood or fibre glass. One clave rests in the finger tips of the left hand (it isn’t gripped tight, you want the clave to resonate when struck), and the right clave hits the left. The claves usually only play 1 of the 8 traditional clave rhythms; being the 2,3 or 3,2 variations of each of the son, rumba, bossa nova and Afro Cuban clave rhythms.


 

LESSON MENU or MORE LESSONS IN THIS SERIES

The Son Clave Songo Imitating TImbales
The Rhumba Clave Reggae Cuban Percussion Instruments
Basic Samba Snare Samba - Part 1 Brazilian Percussion Instruments
Expanding Latin Beats Snare Samba - Part 2 African - Bikutsi