Jazz Drummer’s Workshop
Part 4: Brazilian Applications
by Steve Fidyk
We continue our series on ways to interpret the classic Ted Reed book Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer by applying Brazilian rhythms and phrasing ideas to the written manuscript. The applications in this article can be used with any of the seventy-two repetitive one-measure examples from pages 29, 30, and 33–36, the thirty-two-measure rhythmic melodies from pages 37–44, or the accented-8th-notes section that begins on page 46.
The cornerstone of Brazilian music is samba, and performing in this style requires intensive study and listening. Check out master drummers like Milton Nascimento, Airto Moreira, and Portinho to help you develop the feeling that’s essential for playing this beautiful music. Samba rhythms have a lift and propulsion, much like jazz rhythms do. To achieve this technically, strive for a consistent balance of dynamics while focusing on your stroke and touch on each surface of the drumset.