Samba Band

Samba Instruments


The surdo is a large bass drum, used to play the lower parts from a samba band.

Our surdo sizes vary between 18" to 24" in diameter, 60cm deep. Although surdos may have shells of wood, galvanized steel, or aluminum, we have selected to use the aluminium ones for their lightness with plastic heads. Surdos are worn from a waist belt or shoulder strap.

  Samba Band

Caixa / Snare

The caixa is a Brazilian samba snare drum traditionally used for a samba rhythm. It is much lighter and dryer toned drum than a standard snare drum and has a straight wire snare on the top surface.

The blackdown samba band always prides itself on being different... we do not actually use the traditional caixa drums! We use piccolo snare drums as they produce a crisp brilliant attack and tight sound with excellent projection. It's a tough instrument to play as the beats are quick and non-stop!

  Somerset Samba Band


A repinique is a Brazilian drum used in samba bands. It is tuned very high to produce a tone that cuts through the sound of the rest of the group and for that reason is normally used as the lead and to provide solos.

Typically the repinique body is made of metal. The heads are tightened using the metal tuning rods. The instrument is usually smaller in diameter than the ciaxa/snare drum, but longer in height and does not have a snare.

We tend to play the Repinique with two wooden sticks as Darren is here on the left, but can also be played using one "whippy" stick.

  Samba Band Somerset

Agogo bell

An agogo bell is a single or multiple bell has the highest pitch of any of the samba instruments.

Our bells are made of metal with a chrome finish and consists of two bells of a different size. This allows a differently pitched note to be produced depending on which bell has been hit.

The smaller bell (which has the highest pitch) is held at the top. Either bell may be hit with a wooden stick to make a cowbell like sound or by squeezing the two bells together a clicking sound is produced.


Samba Bands



Not to be confused with a tambourine, the tamborim is a small, round Brazilian frame drum of Portuguese and African origin. Ours have a frame of 6" diameter and are made from plastic or wood. The head is very tightly tuned in order to ensure a high, sharp sound. We play them with beaters made of several flexible nylon sticks bound together.

Tamborim players play either the main groove pattern or other signature rhythms which are easily distinguished above the other percussion instruments due to the loud crack sound they produce.

  Samba Band Tamborim


The term shaker refers to a variety of percussion instruments that keep a groove by shaking them, moving the instrument rather than striking them.

We have a selection of shakers including caxixis and egg shakers. Brian is pictured here on the left playing his preferred choice.

  Shaker Samba Band