More Samba en la Casa

Pepa sambistaThe second installment is here! Diego and I worked all morning to make our second set of movies. This time he knew what was going on so it was a bit more complicated . . . but still fun! (Photo is little P as a baby sambista.)

I wrote previously about our reasons for playing music at home, for inviting the children to drum and dance with us, rather than with technology. We practiced two of the key rhythm patterns in the samba, the surdo (BOP boom BOP boom) and the shaker (DAK-chicka DAK-chicka).

Now — be excited! — we are going to experience the swing, the syncopation, the polyrhythm, the essence of Latin music. Two new rhythmic patterns that slide off the beat, get you to MOVE and not just march along! And if you play multiple parts yourself, you will be doing two different things at the same time. Your body will feel two different rhythms and how they fit together. In the video I play two rhythms and sing one at the same time, with *medium* success. My hubby can play a straight rhythm with one hand and a syncopated one with the other . . . I’m working on it!

Both of these rhythms you can play by clapping your hands, singing the phrase like you’ll see in the videos, or by tapping two sticks together. Or hitting a child’s drum with a mallet, or playing a child’s tambourine (or adult ones!).

First, Diego and I present to you, La Clave. This is (to quote my hubby) “fundamental” to Latin music. To your musical education. This rhythm must live inside you! You’ll probably recognize it. It’s the basis for all kinds of Afro-cuban music. I sing it: “Ti Ti Ti – Ta Ta.” Once you get it swinging in time with the shaker it really will feel like you are playing a samba. You are!

Samba en Casa 2 la Clave from Abby Jaramillo on Vimeo.

Next, another syncopated rhythm, a typical pattern played by the pandeiro in a style of samba called pagode (“pah-GOD-dgee”). I show an actual pandeiro in the movie — it looks a like a tambourine for rock music. For now, you can simply clap, sing, or use sticks like for the clave. This is a style of samba played with hand-held drums, sitting around the table in a backyard party at home, improvising wise-cracking verses. I think with this rhythm you’ll really feel it. I sing it: “Doom pah pah doom pah doom pah doom doom.”

Here we are, adding a classic pandeiro rhythm to our surdo and shaker:

Samba en Casa 3 Pandeiro from Abby Jaramillo on Vimeo.

Here are a few good recordings that highlight the pandeiro rhythm: “Ela não gosta de mim” by Agepe; and “SPC” and “Deixa a vida me levar” by Zeca Pagodinho.

Keep practicing!


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