Building the Samba Groove – Celso de Almeida

Brazilian jazz drummer Celso de Almeida shows you the basic building blocks for a samba beat.

For more lessons with Celso and the BRS-Quartet checkout their full course, Brazilian Rhythm Section.

Hello, everybody! I’m Celso de Almeida, and today I’m giving you a tip regarding the samba beat. As you may already know, the drum set originated from percussion instruments. So how does that affect our approach to the drums? I start thinking as follows: the bass drum plays the role of the surdo. I can play it in the following manner. I can play it like… 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2… or I can play it… 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2.

As to the snare drum, I’ll play it using the hoop, thinking of a tambourine. 1, 2, 1, 2… Do you follow? 1, 2, 1, 2… And as to the hi-hat, I’m thinking of a shaker.

For this second beat, I started playing the hoop on the downbeat. And if I change the bass drum beat… It’s very important you keep the volume equalized among all pieces. The bass drum, the hoop and the hi-hat must be at the same volume, because it’s the mix that gives us this effect.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s tip. Thank you!

Want more instruction like this?

Checkout acclaimed drummer Greg Hutchinson's exercise on practicing Brazilian rhythms anywhere.
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