Saturday, January 26, 2013

Another samba builder

Our previous “samba builder” was very batucada-focused (and probably in need of an update); this has more to do with samba as played on the drums, like in our Milton Banana pieces. The method is straightforward; work up a good feel with the feet/right hand parts, and add the various left hand parts to them. Treat the phrase-ending bass drum variations almost as fills; the left hand part can defer to them when you decide to throw them in.

Keep the feel light, but solid and driving. Play the right hand near the bell of the hihat or ride cymbal. You can play the left hand as rim clicks, high-pitched rimshots near the edge of the snare (not too loud!), or with a variety of accents and articulations; you can also improvise moves between drums. Also play the left hand parts with both hands in unison, along with the first, feet-only pattern. To develop the left hand more comprehensively, see the 16th note section of Louis Bellson's Modern Reading Text in 4/4, pp. 26-46

We've dedicated considerable ink— well, bytes, anyway— to the subject of the special type of swing found in samba, but in most drumset applications the 16ths are basically be played evenly. Exceptions to that would come when emulating the more folkloric styles, or a batucada feel. You can listen to, and play along with, the Salve a Mocidade recording to get an idea of the type of feel we're after here. 

Get the pdf

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