Review: Lvl 2-Afro Brazilian Percussion Studies

Dates: Group 1 Module 1, 17th to 22nd October 2006
Venue: Whaley Hall, Debryshire
Tutor: Ravin ‘Raz’ Jayasuriya

The aim of the course is to provide all participants with a solid grounding in a wide range of percussion instruments and rhythms from Brazil, to enrich knowledge, ability and understanding of musical concepts and to develop existing skills of experienced players. Participants become a closed group that encourages individual development.

Tutor summary:
This was the first, of six, modules of a new course on Afro Brazilian percussion. We studied a range of material from traditional and popular music styles. Initially the intense structure was a bit overwhelming for some but everyone adapted quickly and paced themselves over the five days.
Guest tutor Bosco de Oliveira
Most had some Conga playing experience and this certainly helped as much of the material we cover is from the Congas up. We learn traditional rhythms and discover how they have influenced popular music styles and which elements have been incorporated in popular rhythms.

We began with Samba studies on congas (Samba de Roda, Samba de Caboclo etc) and then moved onto instruments played in the bateria (Surdo, Repinique, Caixa etc). Studying in this way helped to inform people of the roots of the music and gain a better understanding for the ‘swing’ in the music.

We did a lot of studies for playing with drum sticks, learning many patterns and variations for snare. The group was introduced to toques (rhythms) from Candomble de Ketu (Yoruba tradition), worked on Samba Batucada, a modern groove for the bateria and some basic Pandeiro studies.

Samba ~ playing 3rd surdo

Rhythms: Samba for congas, samba batucada, a fusion groove for bateria, Toque de Ogum and Ijexa,

Instruments: Congas, Atabaques, Pandeiro, Repinque, Surdo, Caixa,

Techniques: for conga drumming, drum sticks work, pandeiro exercises

Participants’ Comments:
Many thanks again for the first module, it was a fantastic experience all round; there’s no other way of saying it!
Justine Blore

“Raz is a wonderful teacher. He has a unique way of relaxing you into the rhythms, which really facilitates learning. At the same time, he challenges you to push yourself to do better.

Overall, I felt that the course was very well structured and presented. It’s rare to find an Afro Brazilian course that provides such a good balance of traditional rhythms, fusion grooves, technique and skill development alongside some of the most knowledgeable teachers in the UK!”
Elaine Bradley

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