Trying the Samba, any advice?

oops

Silver Member
I agree 100% with Deltadrummer.

Get a metronome, start out with it loud and at a medium tempo. Work on just the foot pattern and then add the hand patterns on over top.

Over time speed it up and lower the volume.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I started working on this just tonight. Like any rhythm that requires more independence than usual...you just have to do it ridiculously slow until it becomes settled in your muscle memory.

I don't even bother w/ a metronome at first with stuff like this. I work it out in a linear fashion first...very slowly. Then I take apart each "voice" and do it separately for a while (ride, snare, etc.) When I feel like I can play it fairly relaxed, I hit the metronome and try to make it feel good.

I recommend the Drummer's Bible. It comes w/ a CD so you can hear what's in the book...it makes it much easier.
 

BeethroDM

Member
Remember to focus on your posture and balance too when practicing samba. It´s crucial if you want to be able to play the foot ostinato for longer durations.
A good place to start is to play different rudiments on top of the foot ostinato. Singles, doubles paradiddles and some flam rudiments which are a bit harder coordination-wise. As far as comping goes, try playing eigth notes on your ride and some simple clave kind of patterns repeatedly with your left hand. When you get comfortable with these you can try some more complex patterns on the ride/hh and with your left hand. Ted Reeds Syncopation is good for this kind of stuff...
 
W

wy yung

Guest
A great place to begin is with this book: http://www.amazon.com/Brazilian-Rhythms-Drumset-Duduka-Fonsceca/dp/0769209874

I feel this is the easiest to follow book for the samba on the kit. The rhythms and exercises offer a great introduction to both samba and bossa nova for the samba newcomer.

Listening to authentic "Brazilian" samba music recorded in Brazil by Brazilian nationals, who actually live there is of the utmost importance. Checking out batucada recordings is also of great value. It is important to note that a drumset player is mimicing a section that consists of many drummers playing many types of drums from the repinique (pronounced hepineekay) that signals the changes, to the large surdos that hold it together and much in between. Here is a typical list of instruments found in a batucada section.

Surdos, playing various bass parts.
Tamborim playing high end rhythms. Often there is more than 1 tamborim section each with its own parts to play.
Repiniques with the leader, whistle in mouth signaling the changes.
Chochalo, a type of loud shaker.
Chekeres.
Agogo bells.
Pandeiro played by a gentleman whose job it is to lead the troupe and excite the crowd, often juggling and throwing the pandeiro high into the air.
Caixa, a type of Brazilian snare drum, often using guitar strings on top and bottom to play the rolls. These rolls have to be swung in the typical Brazilian fashion known as "Suenge". Not so easy to learn at first.
Cuica to play melodic rhythms and high energy "calls".
Ganza, another kind of shaker.
If playing samba reggae, one would also make use of the timbau. A conical hand drum hanging from a strap around one's neck.

As you can see a drummer has a lot on his plate playing samba. And I want to stress that samba is not Afro Cuban. I have met some drummers who think it is the same thing. They are separate entities.

You can learn quite a bit simply by visiting sites such as www.pandeiro.com. Or even checking out things on youtube. http://au.youtube.com/results?search_query=samba+batucada&search_type=

Good luck.
 

ImDaDrumma

Junior Member
Work on a really solid Bossa Nova and experiment with different snare/rim pattern. Up the tempo after a while and you have your Samba.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Work on a really solid Bossa Nova and experiment with different snare/rim pattern. Up the tempo after a while and you have your Samba.
That's a great point! It struck me right away that the basic Samba pattern is a fast bossa w/ a different ride pattern. If you can do a basic bossa doing straight 8ths on the ride, the Samba is no big leap.
 

echuta

Junior Member
I'm trying to learn samba and other cool stuff, too. The biggest problem really is to play it softly and with low volume while you're doing it fast. Any advice other than "it will come with time"? I know it will eventually, but you never know when you're gonna die! :)
 

ChuckSilverman

DW PRO DRUMMER
I'm trying to learn samba and other cool stuff, too. The biggest problem really is to play it softly and with low volume while you're doing it fast. Any advice other than "it will come with time"? I know it will eventually, but you never know when you're gonna die! :)
hi and thanks for this very cool question. I am currently writing an interview-type article with six great drummers from Brasil. One of my questions was "describe a typical practice session". You may have never heard of this particular drummer named Tutty Moreno. Let me tell you, you need to hear him play. He is, for me, the very definition of Brazilian jazz drumming. Tutty's answer to my question was...well, let me quote him right here....

Tutty Moreno: In my daily practice I listen to music all the time while I practice, and I always start the practice in very fast tempos, in pianissimo. This is my trick to control the dynamics. When you practice with the dynamics between pianissimo and piano, it becomes easier to have control.

I had the distinct honor of hearing Tutty play here in Los Angeles. Honestly, his control at very fast tempos and very soft volumes was extraordinary.

Now, Tutty's statement is a very relative one. By that I mean Tutty can play very fast and very soft. I, on the other hand, can play moderately fast and struggle to play pianissimo. You (perhaps), need to practice as soft as you can and as "fast" as you can. "Fast" might be at a very slow tempo, at first. Try it. It's really about control. Don't play too fast. Concentrate on your volume. You may have to play pretty slow at first in order for your body and your ears to "understand" what the goal is here, what you are actually trying to do.

Does this help you? Please let me know how else I can help you.

Very best,

Chuck
 
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