How To Play Pandeiro (Samba Style) For Absolute Beginners

This is a guest post by world music artist Poranguí


pandeiro The Pandeiro is a tambourine-style frame drum popular in Brazil. Traditionally held in the left hand with the head facing up, this little drum’s versatility lies in its ability to carry multiple layers of sound at the same time. This video shows how to play pandeiro in the samba style, perhaps the most popular approach to modern pandeiro playing.

As our guest teacher Poranguí demonstrates, there are a wide variety of rhythms that can be played on pandeiro, and a range of bass sound available through it’s tuneable head. Typical pandeiro patterns are played by alternating the thumb, fingertips, heel, and palm of the hand. A pandeiro can also be shaken to make sound, or one can run a finger along the head to produce a drum-roll sound.
The Pandeiro is used in a number of of Brazilian music forms, such as samba, choro, coco, and capoeira music.

Here’s a few pandeiro videos which show how the pandeiro is used in samba, capoeira, choro and other musical styles.

Pandeiro in Capoeira Music

Listen to the “slaps” on the pandeiro as they accent the percussive music that goes along with capoeira, the amazing Brazilian martial art:


Pandeiro in Choro Music

This jazz-influenced Brazilian music form is great for listening at any occasion. Pandeiro is the traditional drum used in choro music.


Pandeiro in Samba Music

These guys play super fast and super tight. Great example of pandeiro in the samba tradition.


Pandeiro in Samba Reggae Music

A unique blend of multiple pandeiro sounds into one rhythmic composition.


About Poranguí

porangui pandeiro didge project

Born in São José dos Campos, Brazil to two artists  –  a Brazilian mother and a Chicano father   – Poranguí grew up in the cultures of Brazil, Mexico, and the Southwestern U.S., steeped in a richness of musical, healing, and ceremonial traditions from birth. As a live musician Poranguí weaves ancestral songs and indigenous rhythms from around the globe. Creating his performances from scratch using looping technology, Poranguí’s live grooves range from meditative to dance party, moving the body, lifting the spirit, and transcending the divide between performer and audience. An evening with Poranguí might take you on a journey from deep, earthy didgeridoo grooves to high-vibe ecstatic Brazilian beats to blissful African kalimba lullabies. Serenades and storytelling to beat boxing and booty shaking: Together, these make an unforgettable experience. Visit him on the web at

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