Latin Percussion
   

About Afro-American/Latin Percussion - Scroll For More Information
With the forced of Africans to the Americas also came African rhythms and musical concepts. In almost all parts of the British colonies and islands no drumming was allowed; consequently these areas have lagged behind the more advanced regions in rhythm. The French colonialists in New Orleans allowed drumming every Sunday in Congo Square; hence it is no surprise that, given other factors too, jazz and its comparatively more syncopated rhythms sprang from the Crescent city. In the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, there was the most widespread allowance for enslaved Africans to continue making and playing drums and other percussion instruments. In Cuba , save for occasional reactionary periods which did little to stop the tradition, it was actively encouraged.

It is no wonder so many of the drums and percussion instruments in common use around the world originated in the Latin Americas, and by far the two most productive regions have been Brazil and Cuba. Notable contributions have been made in other regions, like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, but the most common forms of the instruments are the Cuban and Brazilian variants. It must also be said that instruments are frequently “borrowed” from one culture and used in native ways; other times the playing technique has been borrowed too.

Hand percussion

Brazil

Reco-Reco- a scaper of bamboo or metal, sometimes with springs. It’s loud 8th note pattern is perfect in large bands or outdoors.

Ganza- also called cholaho, it’s a tube filled with some small pellets, making a large rattle. Often it is played with two hands it’s so big; most are metal and many are multiple tubes attached together.

Tamborim- small frame drum held in the left hand and hit with a stick in the right hand; the left hand fingers can mute and open the head, and the tamborim is often played with a “flipping” motion using rim shots and rebounding of the stick.

Pandeiro- a tamborine with jingles made to have a dry sound, not “ringing” like most tamborines. It is played held in the left hand so that the thumb and heel of the left hand support it so the fingers can mute and change the sound of the head; the right hand strikes with the side of the thumb, the heel, and the fingertips, making for a wide variety of tonal colors and rhythmic effects, including a friction roll. In Carnival, pandeiro players also do juggling and manipulation tricks , making a fine show. Similar instruments are played in Cuba and Puerto Rico; the pandereta, with jingles, and the pandero without jingles.

Agogo Bell- 2 or 3 cone shaped bells attched to a flexible metal curved shaft.They are struck with a thin stick and also clicked together to make complex rhythms.

Caxixi- small basket rattles, used sigly with the berimbau or doubly as rattles, one in each hand. Turning them gives different sound, as the beads hit either the basket or the harder bottom gourd circle.

Berimbau- a musical bow with gourd resonator, it is played with a complex technique that includes the use of a stick to hit the string, a rock or coin to raise the string’s pitch, a caxixi to add a rattle, and the opening and closing of the resonator gourd on the player’s chest. It is an indispensible instrument in the capoeira ritual.

Cuica- is a friction drum in the same family as the rommelpot of Europe, but the stick attached to the drumhead is inside the drum, allowing the right hand to rub the stick while the left hand presses on the head to alter the sound. It is capable of playing a wide range of pitches and colorations, often comical and rustic. Most are metal shelled, occasionally with added resonator horns.

Afuche/Cabasa- originally a gourd with serrations and a bead webbing, when rotated it produced pleasant scraping sounds. More common is the modern version, a corrugated metal strip with metal beads, on a wooden handle, played the same way.

Triangle- a standard triangle, but played so as to use a muting technique in the left hand to produce rhythmic variation.

Whistles- a three tone whistle is used to signal a large group, and as a sound effect on its own. Made of wood or the louder metal version.

Cuba

Claves- a pair of sticks hit together in rhythmic patterns also known as clave; the keystone ot he arch of Cuban rhythm. Even if no clave player is present, the clave pattern is always adhered to by all musicians. Two types, the more common is a pair of polished turned hardwood; the other has one much larger stick with a cut-out section to be held so that the hand adds a resonance to the wood. Clave patterns can also be played on woodblocks or the sides of a drum in a pinch.

Maracas-a matched pair of rounded pellet-filled chambers each mounted on a wooden handle; gourds were first used but increasingly other materials including leather, coconut shells, plastic and fiberglass are to be found. maracas are shaken in such a way as to control the sound of the pellets’ hitting the shell.

Guiro- a dried and hollow gourd, long and round, played by scraping a stick along cut-in grooves on the surface of the gourd. It is held vertically in the left hand and both hand are used to move the instrument in different directions. In Mexico theyu are made of turned wood, often in a fish design. Metal versions, based on a yucca grater, are in widespread use, and there is even a synthetic professional model.

Chekere-a large round gourd with a beaded webbing, with a opening on the narrow end. It is played by striking the bottom of the gourd with the right palm making a bass note, and almost tossing it between the two hands for the rattling sound. Also called agbe.

Drums

Brazil

Caixa-simply a small marching snare used in samba schools

Repinique- a metal drum, played wth a stick in the right hand, usually bounced, and the bare left hand.

Surdo- a alrge barrel shaped metal bass drum, played with a covered beater and the bare left hand opening and closing the tone on the head.

Atabaque- although originally a straight-sided drum, today the atabaque and modern conga (tumbador) are virtually identical, if not the same. However the playing techniques for Brazilian and Cuban style are not the same.

Cuba

Tumbadora- the less common Cuban name for the conga drum, a barrel shaped drum played with bare hands on the thick skins. First made of hardwood staves, it is also made of fiberglass. The name likely comes from an earlier version, the tambor de conga. Although some players use as many as 5 0r 6 drums, the early style (and most common for rumba) is to play on only one drum. The largest is called tumba, the smallest high ptiched solo drum the quinto; in between are the conga and segundo. Most often a band musician plays a pair. The main drum for rumba, it entered the bandstand with the son-montuno.

Bongo-two drums fixed together and played held between the player’s knees with the low pitch head on the right, they are possibly a distant derivation of the Moorish naqqarat. Played with the fingers and palms of the hands, the bongo can produce a wide range of sounds and rhythms. A bongocero also has a cowbell called cencerro or campana, and during parts of the music will set the bongo down and play patterns on the beel, using a heavy stick and both the rim and body of the bell for different tones. In some situations the bell is played alone. The bongo was the main drum in the son and changui.

Timbales-derived from the classical tympani, these are two metal shelled drums mounted on a stand with holders for cowbells, etc. Played with dowel-like sticks (and rarely the bare left hand). Traditionally the low pitched drum is on the left side, although some timbale players more comfortable with bongo reverse this to match the bongo’s set-up. Much of the playing style involves use of the sides of the drum (cascara) and the cowbell and a suspended cymbal. Timbales were the main drum in the danzon and charanga bands. Today a modern Salsa band will have bongo, conga and timbale, plus hand percussion, the most common the guiro.

There are many other less common drums and percussion devices in Cuba and Brazil, but they are rarely found outside the folkloric groups they are used in. The instruments listed above, though, are now found almost around the world, and in many other styles of music than the ones that produced them.


Ebony Castanets (pair) With Ebony castanets, response is immediate and pronounced, perfect for acoustic live playing / dancing environments. Designed in the traditional way, with adjustable braided cord to fit any finger size. Perfect for flamenco, as a sound or cinema FX, and much more! Includes 2 pairs of Ebony castanets, each measuring 2-5/8 inches wide by 3-1/2 inches long (6.75 x 9 cm). We do not recommend these for beginners. CAS001   $24.90  

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Basic Hardwood Castanets (pair) With Hardwood castanets, response is smooth and deliberate, perfect for controlled live playing / dancing environments, and studios. Designed in the traditional way, with adjustable braided cord to fit any finger size. Perfect for flamenco, as a sound or cinema FX, and much more! Includes 2 pairs of Hardwood castanets, one set for each hand. CAS006   $14.00  

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Castanet, Double Handle Hardwood Handle mounted castanets offer a bit of an advantage over the traditional, finger worn designs. Snare drummers will immediately notice how easy it is to apply rudiments to these very fun little percussion instruments. Use them on the stage or in the studio, they like both! 13 inches long. CAS008   $17.50  

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Ebony Castanet (single with handle) Handle mounted castanets offer a bit of an advantage over the traditional, finger worn designs. Snare drummers will immediately notice how easy it is to apply rudiments to these very fun little percussion instruments. Use them on the stage or in the studio, they like both! CAS012   $30.00  

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Castanet, Single Handle Boxwood Handle mounted castanets offer a bit of an advantage over the traditional, finger worn designs. Snare drummers will immediately notice how easy it is to apply rudiments to these very fun little percussion instruments. Use them on the stage or in the studio, they like both! CAS014   $27.00  

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Castanet, Double Handle Ebony Handle mounted castanets offer a bit of an advantage over the traditional, finger worn designs. Snare drummers will immediately notice how easy it is to apply rudiments to these very fun little percussion instruments. Use them on the stage or in the studio, they like both! Double castanets mounted on either end of a single handle. 13 inches long. CAS015   $34.00  

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Castanet, Double Handle Rosewood Handle mounted castanets offer a bit of an advantage over the traditional, finger worn designs. Snare drummers will immediately notice how easy it is to apply rudiments to these very fun little percussion instruments. Use them on the stage or in the studio, they like both! Double castanets mounted on either end of a single handle. Made of rosewood. 13 inches long. CAS016   $30.00  

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Castanet, Double Handle Boxwood Handle mounted castanets offer a bit of an advantage over the traditional, finger worn designs. Snare drummers will immediately notice how easy it is to apply rudiments to these very fun little percussion instruments. Use them on the stage or in the studio, they like both! 13 inches long. CAS017   $30.00  

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Ebony Castanet, Single With Ebony castanets, response is immediate and pronounced, perfect for acoustic live playing / dancing environments. Designed in the traditional way, with adjustable braided cord to fit any finger size. Perfect for flamenco, as a sound or cinema FX, and much more! 67mm Per one hand. CAS020   $22.00  

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Rosewood Castanet, Single With Rosewood castanets, response is immediate and pronounced, perfect for acoustic live playing / dancing environments. Designed in the traditional way, with adjustable braided cord to fit any finger size. Perfect for flamenco, as a sound or cinema FX, and much more! 67mm Per one hand. CAS021   $22.00  

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Pandeiro, 10 inch Rosewood, tunable goatskin with 7 sets of steel jingles. Includes tuning tool. PAN1   $49.90  

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Remo PANDEIRO CAPOEIRA, 10 inch, Skyndeepr Remo's Capoeira pandeiros are designed for today's modern playing techniques, are light weight and feature a new chrome plated jingle set of three that create crisp sounds which enable fast articulated beats allowing the drumhead tones to resonate freely. The Capoeira pandeiro is constructed with a fixed, pre-tuned Skyndeepr graphic drumhead with Ultratac. This new development in Remo's drumhead technologies offers enhanced sound with an attractive look. The Skyndeep with Ultratac adds a unique animal-like texture on the drumhead surface that produces low bass notes while adding pliability, making it easy to bend and modulate the pitch. Also featured on this drumhead is Remo's O ring with adhesive that reduces overtones and increases warm bass tones. The drum shell is made with Acousticonr, 100% recycled wood fiber, and is elegantly finished with an antique wood grain stain. The Capoeira pandeiro is designed with a pre-tuned low pitch head which cannot be replaced or tuned as it is a fixed non-replaceable head. You will enjoy continuous playing as Remo's Samba Capoeira pandeiros weigh only 370 grams, which is far lighter then any other model in the market today. For further care and maintenance of your quality Remo Pandeiro, see your purchased product instructions. PD-8110-81-012   $107.60  

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Remo PANDEIRO CHORO, 10 inch, Skyndeepr Remo's Choro Pandeiro is designed for today's modern playing techniques, is light weight and features a four combo set of jingles in five slots. Remo introduces the unique "Sizzle Zil" jingle design. The Sizzle Zil design combines two brass and one German silver convex jingles with a flat stainless steel chrome plated disc sitting in between. Adding the Sizzle to the Zil are the sound apertures located around the brass jingle perimeter. This lightens the pandeiros overall weight and projects the sound of the German silver jingle enabling pure, fast articulated beats which allow the drumhead tones to resonate freely. The Choro Pandeiro is constructed with a replaceable Skyndeepr graphic drumhead with Ultratac. This new development in Remo's drumhead technologies offers enhanced sound with an attractive look. The Skyndeep with Ultratac adds a unique animal-like texture on the drumhead surface that produces low bass notes while adding pliability, making it easy to bend and modulate the pitch. Also featured on this drumhead is Remo's O ring with adhesive that reduces overtones and increases warm bass tones. The drum shell is made with Acousticonr, 100% recycled wood fiber, and is elegantly finished with stained antique wood grain veneer. The Choro Pandeiro is specifically designed for low pitch tensioning and is not recommended to over tighten the replaceable drumhead. With proper care and maintenance you will enjoy continuous playing with Remo's Choro Pandeiro weighting only 540 grams, which is far lighter then any other similar model in the market today. PD-8210-81-113   $205.65  

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Remo PANDEIRO SAMBA CHORO, 10 inch Skyndeepr Remo's Samba Choro Pandeiros are designed for today's modern playing techniques. They are light weight and feature newly designed stainless steel jingles. The Samba Choro pandeiro is equipped with as single row of five triple set chrome plated jingles producing crisp sounds and enable fast articulated beats allowing the drumhead low tones to resonate freely. The Samba Choro Pandeiro is constructed with a replaceable Skyndeepr graphic drumhead with Ultratac. This new development in Remo's drumhead technologies offers enhanced sound with an attractive look. The Skyndeep with Ultratac adds a unique animal-like texture on the drumhead surface that produces low bass notes while adding pliability, making it easy to bend and modulate the pitch. Also featured on this drumhead is Remo's O ring with adhesive that reduces overtones and increases warm bass tones. The drum shell is made with Acousticonr, 100% recycled wood fiber and is elegantly finished with an antique wood grain veneer stain. The Samba Choro Pandeiro is specifically designed for low pitch tensioning and is not recommended to over tighten the replaceable drumhead. With proper care and maintenance you will enjoy continuous playing as Remo's Samba Choro Pandeiro weight only 530 grams, which is far lighter then any other similar model in the market today. PD-8210-81-213   $185.67  

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Leather Maraca, Extra Large Fashioned in an old world, traditional design, these well made maracas are crafted of hand formed and sewn, dried leather bulbs, filled with dried seeds, and attached to wooden handles. They offer a natural, earthy, unique tone that is perfectly suited for any style of music. Lightweight and easy to handle, they are perfect for any level of player, young and old. Choose from six different sizes for a full range of tonality. 12". PER179   $64.00  

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Large Puerto Rican Guiro Quality gourd, comes with a scraper. Dimensions 11-12", dense grooves. PER189   $100.00  

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Puerto Rican Guiro Medium size, 8" to 10", small lines, quality gourd, comes with a scraper. PER190   $96.00  

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Carved Gourd Guiro Woodburned designs, comes with a playing stick, 15 inches in length, 4 inches wide. PER296   $32.00  

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Tormento Wooden box lap drum with jingles inside. Approx 14" x 8.25" x 2". Great Fun PER449   $50.00  

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