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Samba/batucada band Kunming

bluppfisk (398 posts) • 0

I don't know about other places, but in Europe, almost every major city has a Batucada Samba band. I've played in several, in Ghent, Brussels, Uppsala and Berlin, and I miss it. Anyone interested in forming one here or elsewhere in China? I'd be ready to move for this. Not only do I think it a great way to bring some life to the streets of Kunming, but it could also be pretty much a self-supporting gig.

Of course, we'd need to get instruments (although you get a long way with disassembled drum kits) and a maestro confident enough to lead a band like this. Technically, you can start playing from 5 people, but the more the merrier, as long as it remains tight.

For those who don't know what it is, it's simply percussion-only music with Brazilian/African roots and played by a batería (band) where each member carries one or more percussion instrument(s). A maestro (leader) manipulates the music as he sees fit or to play the crowd by giving signs and provoking responses to calls. When played well, it gets the crowd (and the musicians) into a sort of a trance.

Watch these vids, but imagine a way fuller sound.

Bloco X at Sziget Festival: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbVcIDKPnUU

or a rehearsal vid from São Miguel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA-pvIMHu0Q

A clean recording, yet lacking bass: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpkJ1RQnzhQ

Olodum, in Bahia, one of the classics: www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3o30YJiWsc

Sometimes you can sing/play a small ukelele-like guitar to it:

Maravilha: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VugdtLihoA

bluppfisk (398 posts) • 0

Cool, how about you talk to them? Anyone familiar enough with the type of music to play the mestre? Alternatively, we can also just be a marching drum band.

Philou (208 posts) • 0

Yes, I'm in too... I was just thinking about it at last night's practice in green lake: would be so much fun if we were mobile!

bluppfisk, you're the experienced one, we'll need some guidance from you to start things up

bluppfisk (398 posts) • 0

Experienced with playing some of the instruments, yes. Not quite confident to teach let alone lead an entire band. Although I may give it a try.

What instruments have we got? They need to be mobile, but we've in the past been creative with bike inner tubes as straps and drum kit elements as instruments.

Necessary instruments are:
- a tamborim, ideally played with a plastic, flexible brush; a drum stick would work for now. Requires a fair amount of training. upload.wikimedia.org/[...]

- a repinique, played with one bare hand and a drumstick. To be played by an experienced drummer. This instrument is used to initiate call and response breaks and usually played by the mestre. A snare drum without the strings would do for now. upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/Repinique.JPG

- surdo's. Ideally three with different pitches (primeira, secunda, terceira). Drum kit toms are acceptable alternatives. Played with a big, stick with a padded head and the hand. www.csos.org.uk/images/bauer-surdo.jpg

- caixa, military style drum with strings on top, played with two sticks either on the shoulder or at the waist. A tuned-up snare drum will work fine. This is the instrument I usually play. upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/CaixaDeSamba.JPG

- agogos, a set of two to four bells played with a drum stick. They can be pinched together to create a third sound in case of the twin-bell variant. www.empowernetwork.com/chris23/files/2013/01/agogo-300x297.jpg

- chocalho: a shaker, your typical eight-figure movement for someone with strong forearms. Anything will do really, as long as it's LOUD. upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Chocalho.JPG

So seven or eight people would actually be ideal. If any of these instruments are readily available, let me know.

bluppfisk (398 posts) • 0

Tamborim technique: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzfVjiq6ykY
Repinique: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAKMZsWr4Ps
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y5dhUCjKDY
Caixa: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ass2HonPHBM
Repique call/response chamadas: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZV76C3Jpyo

An example of a fairly easy rhythm we could start off playing:
Samba Reggae, www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PLSVBRUVn0

And here's an instruction for some of the instruments: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmd_7p62Z18

bluppfisk (398 posts) • 0

And we could also use the practice room? I've asked for some tips from the mestres of the bands I played in in the past. See what they say!

weekapaughead (51 posts) • 0

bluppfisk- what instrument do you play?

I have been to brazil before and have seen these groups play. The drummers are all incredibly talented and have amazing technique. They also started playing these instruments when they were children. My only concern is that it is going to take lots of practice from everyone to execute this well. I even watch those tamborim players play and would never dare to pick one of those things up in their presence. It looks so small and easy, but really no one (that i know of) in km is familiar with one of those.

I suggest we move this to e-mail and bump the thread every once and a while. If we start an e-mail with interested people we could at least just set up a meeting.

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