The Little Drum and Percussion Page

Phil Little's album, Samba Olimpicos, features many of the patterns detailed on this website



Starting Up A band ?

If you would like to start a Samba percussion Group or indeed any kind of Percussion Group and you don't know how to go about it see our Start Up page. The new Workshops page will tell you all about how to lead a drum workshop


Bateria - Samba Percussion


Go Straight To Rhythm Pages - Batucada - Samba Reggae and Baion - Maracatu

Go Straight To Instrument Pages - Caixa - Repenique - Ago go - Cuica


If you have got the basic idea of playing repeated two bar phrases you should have no problem in understanding the material on these pages.

A Bateria is a group of percussionists playing Samba rhythms. The Bateria can vary in size from four or five players to hundreds of players where the instruments are in sections playing a variety of parts which fit together to make The Samba. The Bateria is usually led by the Mestre who conducts the assemblage and gives the Bateria cues for changes in the rhythmical patterns and Dynamics. The Mestre may play a whistle to communicate signals to the rest of the group while playing the Samba.

Samba is the national music of Brazil but it has a rich variety of forms and individual rhythms. Some of these are typical of specific geographical areas but they can cross over quite a bit.

Typical instruments in a Bateria,

Repenique - High pitched drum played with one stick and one hand. When played by the "Mestre" the Repenique is used to signal breaks and to play the lead part in call and answer sections.

Surdo - Bass drum struck with a padded beater. There are usually three essential Surdo parts in, for example, a Batucada.

Caixa - Similar to a snare drum and played with two sticks.

Tamborim - Small drum of 6" diameter, struck with thin bamboo/plastic rods.

Ago Go - Two toned bell struck with a drum stick or similar. Ago go patterns.

Chocalho - Shaker with a sound similar to Maracas.

Cuica - Small drum with a wooden rod attached to the drum head. When rubbed with a damp cloth makes the unusual sound similar to that of a monkey.

Apito - A whistle which can have three notes, used to communicate signals for breaks etc.

Atabaque - Tall thin drum played with the hands and roughly similar to a Conga drum.

(Click on the link for more on the relevant instrument)


Follow these links to pages devoted to specific rhythm styles

Batucada - Samba Reggae and Baion - Maracatu


If you would like to start a Samba percussion Group or indeed any kind of Percussion Group and you don't know how to go about it see our Start Up page.

Also, take a look at the Drum Kit pages on this site. There are some alternative patterns for Caixa or, if you are mixing it up, other patterns you can adapt to Bells, Tamborims or whatever. There are also useful Exercises, where the dedicated can improve their technique and dexterity.

I hope that you have found some of this useful. Let me know! Come back soon to check for updates.


For music by the author, go to Phil Little Music.

Phil Little also features on The Flying Pigs CD now out on Voiceprint and on Voiceprint Brazil.


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All the material on this site is Copyright Phil Little 2000 and protected.