Samba drumming (Bateria) with London School of Samba Classes

Bateria is the name given to the drumming section of a samba school. London School of Samba has a long history and tradition of Brazilian drumming techniques. We offer opportunities for people who have never played an instrument to grow and learn to become part of our group. We also find that experienced drummers and musicians really enjoy the atmosphere of the our Bateria as you get all the benefits of being in a band without the responsibility of being the sole drummer. The social atmosphere within the Bateria is legendary and it is why our members stay for so long.

The great benefit of a Samba Bateria is that it is made up of a range of percussion instruments which means there is a place for everyone and it offers a great variety when playing.

The core instruments are:

  • Surdo – (the bass drums)
  • Caixa – (the snare drums)
  • Repenique – (a high pitched drum)
  • Chocalho – (a shaker made of jingles similar to those found on a tambourine, but attached to a frame)
  • Agogo Bells – (bells of different pitch)
  • Tambourim – (a small handheld drum)


Surdo’s are commonly found in a bateria in three different sizes. The largest two hold the beat between them, with the smallest drum playing more intricate patterns. The shell of the surdos in a Brazilian samba school are made of aluminium, most commonly 18″, 20″ and 22″ in diameter and 60cms deep, with the drum skin, made from goat skin. Primeira (“first”) is the largest surdo,


Caixa de Guerra (Lit. Box of War)
The caixa can also be played “Em cima”, at shoulder height, helping to project the sound of the drum further. (
navel level, “em baixo”


(Sometimes known as “repique” or “surdo de repinique”) often used to give “calls” to the rest of the drummers
a high pitched tom-tom


the chocalho will generally play in the first part
of the enredo and is silent in the second part (

Agogo Bells

Traditionally a pair of bells, but some samba schools use a set of four bells (Imperio Serrano were the first to use this).


Reco-Reco (similar to guiro), rarely used in samba schools in favour of chocalho
Frigideira (Frying pan)
Tarol (small snare drum)

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To learn more about our Bateria please join us for a class>>>