How to Play the Samba on Drums
The Samba is one of the most popular Latin styles to play. The main reason for this is the speed and energy of the groove. The Samba is played at an upbeat tempo that is very easy to dance to. Learning how to play the samba will increase your independence, speed, and general knowledge around the drum set. The samba beat is very similar to the Bossa Nova, so before you start to learn how to play the samba, be sure you click here to check out how to play the Bossa Nova. That been said, let’s learn the samba groove!
The main driving force of the samba beat comes from the bass drum. This is the basis to this popular Latin groove. So the first thing you want to develop is your foot pattern. This is the same pattern as the Bossa Nova, so if you are familiar with that you should have no problem with this. The only difference is the samba is played faster. So here is the bass drum pattern, make sure you start out slow, and eventually speed it up. You may want to play the slide or heel toe technique for this. That way you will be able to play this at blazing fast speeds.
Now that you have that down, you need to add in your ride cymbal. This can be a broken ride pattern, or you can play straight eighth notes. Try basic eighth notes at first so you get a decent feel for the pattern. Try this:
Now that you have the feel of the Samba down, you need to add in your left hand. This can be anything from cross sticking, cowbell, wood block, or snare drum. The choices are endless. For Latin, a cross stick sound very nice, so let’s add that in. Since the Samba is a Latin style, you can add in the clave pattern very easily. Try playing the Son Clave in this groove and see how it sounds. Try this:
That is a very common Samba groove. The bass drum in a Samba beat will always be the same, so make sure you can play that at fast tempos. Check out Jared Falk’s Bass Drum Secrets DVD for helpful tips on increasing you bass drum speed. You can experiment with different ride or hi hat patterns over top of this. Also, with your left hand, experiment with your cowbell and snare. The possibilities are endless! Have a lot of fun with this new style of drumming
By: Dave Atkinson
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