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Many different types of drum are played in samba bands, whose interlacing rhythms make exciting, funky samba music. Here are just a few of the drums we play:



The Surdo is the biggest drum of all and it provides the bass line for samba grooves. They come in many different tones and are made from wood or aluminium. They are played with beaters. In Brazil these drums are often highly decorated for carnivals. They are attached by a belt around the waist, a shoulder strap or a harness. In addition shin pads and gloves are often needed! We currently have about 9 of these drums in Coventry School of Samba and together they make a very impressive sound.


The Caixa is in effect a snare drum on which you play fast, repetitive rhythms, which drive the groove along and maintain the rhythm. They are played with two drumsticks. These, like the surdo, are also attached to the player by a belt around the waist.


Pronounced "hepaniki" is the weapon of choice of the group leader. The metal drum can be played with great variety as it can produce so many diferrent tones and is often the instrument used to introduce and end songs and breaks.

It is played with sticks or hands and is held on by a belt around the waist.


The Timba is usually played with two hands. It is designed as a light weight conga, or "atabaque" for parading. lt can also be played like a "tan-tan", using the low tone to mark double time with one hand on the head and the other playing counterpoint on the shell. It is used mostly in the samba reggae playing "blocos" of the North East.


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