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Playing Drums

The act of hitting a drum is a very positive experience, particularly for youngsters. It is quite a common occurence at our gigs that children come up to us while we are relaxing in-between sets at community events and ask (the polite one's at least) to play the drums. We now incorporate workshops as part of our routine as demand is high (now we still have our periods of relaxation). The picture above was taken at the 'Wirral Festival of Food and Drink'.

Interested parents quite often help their child put the beat in the right place, and they often develop an interest of their own. If parents are too shy too play or are too busy taking photogtaphs the band members will help the youngster put the 'hit' in the right place.

We occasionally come across some very talented youngsters who take to rhythm and drumming very easily which is a bonus for us. However, everyone who takes part in the workshops without exception has fun and gets something out of the experience, and this to us is what drumming is all about.

Workshops In Schools

We can hold a percussion 'demo'to start the day in which we introduce everyone to the percussion instruments of the samba percussion ensemble or'bateria'.The instruments include: surdo's agogo bells, snare or 'caixa', tambourim, choclho, ganza, cuica, and timba.

A Samba Workshop

The following is a list of some of the schools we have provided samba workshops for:
South Wirral High School.
Oldershaw School.
Mosslands School.
St Anselms College.
Park High School.
Liscard primary School
Pensby Girls School
Rock Ferry High School
Hartford High School., Cheshire
Springwood Primary School. Liverpool.

What happens in a samba workshop?

This really depends on the age group, the primary school youngsters workshops are generally structured as follows:

1. Simple introduction 'call and response' rhythm.
2. An easy rhythm that everyone can play together.
3. A 'rumble' where everyone creates as much sound as possible.
4. A 'directed rumble' with 'dynamics' or loud and soft directed by the team leader.
5. A rhythm that is passed around the group.
6. A chance to be creative where everyone has the space (one bar) to create their own rhythm.
7. Some of these idea's can then be combined in a single percussion piece.


The secondary school pupils find it easier to keep a steady rhythm and we can give them some proper samba rhythms:
1. An introduction, which is based on 'call and response' with the team leader.
2. A central, main 'groove' or rhythm that combines different 'hits' from each drummer, when combined together produces a specific 'groove' or rhythmic 'feel'.
3. A short 'break' which they all play together.
4. Direction of each section of the 'bateria' or percussion group to play or keep silent whilst the other 'section' or group of people within the group play.
5. Bringing everyone back into the main rhythm or 'groove'.
6. A drum 'chorus' where all the drummers play the same rhythm. This is longer than the break' (see 3 above) which they may have played earlier.
7. If there is time another secondary rhythm or 'groove' can be shown which contrasts with the main body of the piece.

These are some of the techniques used in a samba 'bateria' or group. It depends on the age group and how quickly pupils can assimilate the information. The rhythms are quite often necessarily quite simple. Samba rhythms can be made simple, but there are more advanced rhythms and the difficulty level can be increased gradually over a period of time if a course of workshops is embarked upon. The act of hitting quite large drums, agogo bells, tambourims, etc. is in itself enormous fun.


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