The Little Drum and Percussion Page

My album, Samba Olimpicos, features many of the patterns detailed on this website

Rhythm Pages - Batucada - Samba Reggae and Baion - Maracatu

Instrument Pages - Caixa - Repenique - Ago go - Cuica

We recommend Drumap for stunning Samba arrangements


Samba Batucada

Note: These are very basic and simple Bateria patterns for beginners. Modern Rio Samba employs much technique. We recommend you engage an experienced teacher to expand your knowledge. Try the UKSA register for contacts.

We recommend the Jean Christophe Jacquin DVD/Video which is available from Knock On Wood. It covers Rio carnival Baterias and Batucada Instruments and technique.


Samba Batucada is an up tempo rhythm which is found in the world famous Rio Carnival with baterias of up to two hundred or more percussionists, accompanied by hundreds more dancers representing Samba schools, all in competition to win that years prize for their song, arrangement and presentation.

The intro is an integral part of a samba arrangement and can be used to signal breaks later on. In the intro the low Surdo plays a pick-up beat on 4 in the second bar and the whole band begins on beat 1 of the third bar in the following example (Repenique on the top stave and Surdos on the bottom stave).


Here are two basic Repenique patterns. When you can play the first pattern, practice adding the second rimshot.

R = Right    L = Left   

o = Open   m = Muffled    r = Rimshot

The following parts come in after the intro.


Batucada Break

Here is one break that is popular and should sound familiar. It extends over eight bars. 

It can be played in unison or it can be played by the Surdos or Tamborims while the other instruments carry on playing the normal parts.

Try repeating it in multiples of four (ie 4 times, 8 times etc.). It is important to play the triplet in bar two so that it sounds like a triplet and not a bunch of quarter notes haphazardly squeezed next to each other. For triplet exercises refer to the Exercises page on this website.




This phenomenon has been debated and discussed at length by Europeans in an attempt to classify, analyse and describe it.

We recommend the video/dvd "In The heart Of The Baterias" available from Knock On Wood. This excellent film includes a sensible explanation and demonstration, albeit in French with English subtitles.



London School Of Samba - Batucada

These songs were the first recordings by the LSS. Thanks to Mestre mags and the LSS for permission to reproduce them here.

a estrada

The 16 bar Intro is a call and answer section between the Repenique and the rest of the bateria, as follows. The Repenique part is written on the snare drum (second) line and the band reply is written on the bass drum (bottom) line.

The low Surdo picks up on beat four of the last bar of above and the whole band commences playing the following parts:-

The Cuica is played really well and goes through many variations, while the Tamborims kind of sneak in. The two patterns above are simple estimates of the motifs.

After 32 bars, there is a four bar section ending in a Surdo offbeat then 12 bar 'bridge' with whistle signals setting up the break which is a repeat of the intro, followed by the whole band coming in after the pick up beat


A estrada was taken from The London School of Sambas first commercial recordings from circa 1992. These recordings are about to be released on a CD. You can contact LSS via their website at,




This is a slower rhythm, from the same LSS CD.

Then on the eighth time around the caixa plays this 'bridge' to the nect section. The Surdo joins in on the first bar.

On each new section another instrument is added:- First the Surdo

Then Ago go

and you can add more instruments on each new cycle.

Thanks again to The London School Of Samba

I hope that you have found some of this useful. Come back soon to check for updates. As always, if you are Brazilian or expert and are able to correct any errors in these transcriptions, please advise me by e-mail.



Phil Little Music


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