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Jude's avatar

I've never played the drums before and whilst in Austin this summer I was thinking of joining this group. How hard would it be to learn, do you think?

Asked by Jude (31974 points ) April 8th, 2010

I do have rhythm, yes. It’s Samba School

My ex girlfriend is going to be taking them with me. We’ll get to play in practice along with Samba dancers. ;-)

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7 Answers

DeanV's avatar

Do you mean drum set or just Samba drums?

Are you all that coordinated?

Jude's avatar

Samba drums. Yes, I’m quite coordinated.

wonderingwhy's avatar

For me it’d be hard. But for someone who can carry a beat, probably not so much. If you’re going to be there anyway, absolutely, give it a shot! I think it would be fun :)

wundayatta's avatar

Anyone can learn. You just start with basic beats (like the one beat) and build up. You learn syncopation (hitting on the off beat), and you’ll do fine. Just don’t expect to jump right in from the beginning. Work your way up. If you try to start at too complicated a level, you’ll get frustrated and stop.

In Samba, I would imagine (I’ve never played, but I’ve heard a lot, and I’ve played a lot of other kinds of drums), the key is to be able to keep your part going without getting confused by other parts. It takes focus and awareness at the same time. It’s a pretty cool skill.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

It’s not a cake walk – how complex of stuff would you be playing? ...Oh @dverhey is already here – I bow to his far superior experience and knowledge.

squidcake's avatar

Are you talking about learning the toms they’re playing or the snares they’re playing?
Anyone who has got rhythm can play the toms. You’ll get the hang of it really quickly.

Also, hand drums (djembe, congas, etc.) are easy to learn if you have rhythm. I don’t know if they include those at the school.

However, if you want to play something like the snare it takes more experience. You need more knowledge of stick control, drum rudiments, etc.
Unless you can already whip out some knowledge of the rudiments , i.e. paradiddle taps and flam drags, I’d stick to the simpler percussion instruments.

DeanV's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre Thank you sir.

I haven’t had much of a chance to answer this, but I think you’ll do fine if you have a chance to practice. Depending on what kind of samba drums you’re going to be playing (Surdo or Snare), you’ll definitely want to find some way to practice the rhythms outside of class.

If you go the snare route, I’d recommend you get a little practice pad like this and spend a lot of time outside of the class working on stick control and the rudiments like @squidcake suggested.

If you go the Surdo route (the big drums), I wouldn’t worry about it too much. They’re pretty simple in rhythm (mostly 4/4 beats without triplets or duplets), and a lot easier to pick up. If you do plan on marching with them for prolonged periods of time, though, be warned. Those things are a bitch to carry if you’re small in stature or not all that strong.

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