Just like an orchestra, the BSS Bateria is made up of different instrument sections that make an ensemble to play the collective sound of our 'samba batucada'.
BSS has six main sections, comprised of the following instruments:
The largest of the drums, the surdo players form the foundations of the bateria with what might be classed as the 'bass drums'. We use three sizes/tunings of surdo - primera (lowest tone), segunda (mid toned) and terceira (highest tone). Each surdo is played with a single beater, and all three tones of surdo provide a syncopated rhythm section.
The 'caixa' is the bateria's snare drum equivalent and is played with two drumsticks.
The caixa section provides a consistent drive and energy to the samba.
The 'repinique' is played with a single stick and one hand, and is typically played by a smaller number of players.
This drum is also used as the 'call to arms' for the entire bateria, with one player playing a series of 'calls' that the rest of the bateria respond to before the samba begins.
The chocalho is a hand-held instrument (no sticks needed) and sounds like a full-bodied tambourine when played.
Like the caixa section, the chocalhos provide another, bright layer of energy to the samba.
The 'agogo' is another handheld instrument, played with one stick on two different tone 'bells'.
The agogo section provides melody to the samba and there can be several patterns and rhythms to memorise and play.
The 'tamborim' is a small 6-inch diameter drum, held in the hand and played with a flexible beater.
Tamborim players will play a number of rhythms in a samba, and also contribute to the energy of the samba with a fast-turning technique called 'virado'.
How to learn samba drumming
If you would like to learn to play samba with BSS, please check our Bateria Classes or Calendar pages for upcoming samba drumming classes.