The ONE Samba Drum Beat You Have To Know

Samba Drum Beat 16th notes

Looking for an awesome samba drum beat to learn? Great idea! Those grooves are not only a lot of fun to play, but also a wonderful exercise. On top, they sound awesome.

So to get you going, I’m sharing my all-time favorite samba drum beat with you.

Please make sure to practice it slowly in the beginning, ok? As soon as you feel good playing it, you should increase the tempo.

A good starting point are 60 bpm or less on the metronome. However, make sure to set the pace fitting best for you.

But now, let’s check out the ONE samba drum beat for me. Drum roll please!

Here it is:

Samba Beat drums

It’s bar number 3 on the drum notes you can download for free right below.

The other first bars are exercises to get your feet started. They are the common feet patterns for playing the samba on the drum kit.

Bar 1 is just the bass drum with the hi-hat. When you feel secure playing this, add the stepped on hi-hat on the off-beat +.

Also note that the snare drum is played as a rim click or side stick.

So yeah, what do you think? It’s a nice and smooth rhythm. Notice how the foot ostinato is continuously repeating itself.

This is great news! Not only if you’re a beginner on the drums, this makes learning the groove much easier.

Let’s look into it, shall we?

How to practice the samba groove

As I said, let’s start with the feet. The hi-hat is played constantly with one hand, while the bass drum sets in at the first and last sixteenth note of each quarter note.

Counting really is a great choice when learning this samba drum beat. Ok, it’s really helpful not only in terms of this groove. But that’s another story.

So you’re able to play both the bass drum and hi-hat relaxed?

Great! Now let’s head over from bars 1 & 2 to the third bar. That’s the final drum groove we’re looking for.

Tips to get you started on the drum groove

Hopefully, you got your drum notes PDF right at your hand. Please look at bar 3 now. It’s the full samba beat you want to learn.

As mentioned before, the hi-hat as well as the bass drum are constantly repeating itself. Please do not add any rim click before making this work!

That’s REALLY important.

Already a no-brainer for you? Wonderful. Let’s add the clicks, then.

You can find them on different counting times. They are added as the

1 e + e 2 e + e 3 e + e 4 e + e

below the notes.

Each letter and number equals a 16th note.

That’s my way of counting 16ths. Maybe you’re using another way. But no matter how you’re counting – it comes really handy now:

The first rim click comes on the 1 and last e. Then, you play it on the 2 + just like on the 3 e.

When heading to the end of the samba beat, you will click again at the first 4 e. This might be the hardest part for a drum beginner.

And now, you also see why I mentioned counting the bar so many times. It’s a great way to see where each note has to be played.

Figuring this out by your feeling won’t be that easy. Of course, you could do so by ear.

I prefer using the drum notes and my ears. So that’s what I recommend to you, too.

4 ideas to make the ONE samba drum beat sound even cooler

Do you enjoy the samba? Yeah, that’s awesome! However, you can even make it sound cooler. And yes, I’m not kidding. 🙂

Try the following ideas if you’ve mastered the groove:


Change the dynamics: Dynamics like playing loud, soft or medium really add a lot to any drum beat. So if you want to spice your drumming up, change the volume. You could add some ghost-notes, for example. Or, you could also change the instruments. Cymbals like the hi-hat tend to be much less heavy than the floor tom or bass drum.

Here’s a cool exercise for improving your dynamic control by


Add rests: Adding rests is a great way to spice up your drumming. I don’t know who said it, but I totally agree:

Rests are as important as hearable note values in music.

So don’t hesitate to include them in your drum patterns. They can really add spice to them. And no, they are not bound to any music genre.

3 Vary the note values: As we’ve seen, the ONE samba drum beat mostly consists of 16th notes in the hi-hat. However, this is no must. You could also go for 8th notes or even quarters if you like. This makes the groove sound even more interesting.

4 Vary the rim click or side stick: Another awesome way to make the samba beat sound even more cooler is to adjust the clicks. For example, you could play them only on the +’s or on 1, 2, 3 e, 4 e +. There are countless possibilities for doing so! Each one makes for an interesting new groove idea.

Feel free to play around with the samba drum beat, then. But first, make sure to be able to play it as it is written in the sheet music.

So take your time learning it. You should be able to play it by heart. Also, the samba should be played smooth.

You could also play the second bass drum slightly louder. But for many drummers, this is no must.

Have fun with the ONE samba drum beat!



PS: How do you like the groove? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Author: Manu Holmer

Hi, I'm Manu Holmer, nice to meet you! As a professional drummer and drum teacher, my vision is to help others transform their lives with the power of music. Let's not only play the drums. Feel the rhythm & and walk to our own beats!

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