About our Instruments

All instruments are provided. On no account be put-off or intimidated by anything below. Sambalanco is a community band and has room for players of all abilities.

Agogo Bells – Metal bells played with a wooden stick

The agogo bell is a two-toned intrument used to play percussive melodies over the top of the sound of the drums. The agogo is one of the less-technical instruments to play, and this makes it the ideal place to start for new players. The technique may be straightforward, but as well as a good sense of rhythm, both speed and stamina are required.

Caixa – A Brazilian snare drum

The caixa is a lightweight drum with a distinctively high and dry sound.  On its own, the caixa may not sound like much, but as soon as a few play in unison their true power is unleashed. The caixa section, along with the chocalhos, maintains the upper end of the samba rhythm (with the surdos at the lower end) while also injecting a healthy dose of swing. As one of the more technical instruments, the caixa is best suited to experienced players and kit drummers.

Chocalho – A metal shaker

The chocalho is not technically difficult to play, but it does require a good sense of rhythm, and plenty of stamina! It's a fun instrument to play as you're also free to dance and jump around.

Surdo – A large bass drum

The surdos are the biggest and baddest drums in the band. They're the heartbeat of the music, laying down the deep, resonant bass notes that are the foundation of samba. There are three types tuned low, mid and high. The surdo needs to be played at a rock-solid tempo, and demands strength, stamina and confidence.

Repinique – A small drum tuned high and played with two plastic sticks or one hand and a wooden stick

With a distinctive high, cutting tone the repinique is used for playing the calls and patterns that start the samba tune or signal breaks and changes to the rest of the band. Like the caixa, the repinique is best suited to more experienced players and kit drummers.

Tamborim – A small high pitched hand-held drum played with one plastic stick

The most portable of all the instruments in the band, the tamborim is also one of the loudest. It's held in one hand and struck with a flexible plastic beater. It can simply be used to play patterns of single notes, but it's by playing with a technique known as "turning" ("virado") that the tamborim really comes into its own (compare the two videos below). Like the chocalho, it's a fun instrument to play as you're free to dance and jump around.

More information on all the instruments here