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Are you ready to size up?

You are so ready to size up!

Large pandeiros are not an unusual sight in Brazil, adding a touch of oldschool and show to Brazilian music culture. But have you ever wondered why, in many other countries outside Brazil, the standard size is the more modest 10 inch pandeiro? A number of reasons has led to this trend, however, it's now time to explore the magic of XL pandeiros!

Check out pandeiros in 11", 12", 13" and 14"

These impressive instruments offer a world of benefits: from their captivating visual appeal, to the rich and resonant sound they produce, the substantial volume they bring to an ensemble, and let's not forget the fun of showing off a bit! Let's dive into the reasons why larger pandeiros can be the better choice for your musical journey.

Brazilian beats on XL pandeiros - do you dare to go big?
In the vibrant and rhythm-rich culture of Brazil, the pandeiro holds a special place. This traditional hand-frame-drum, often used in Samba and other Brazilian music genres, has taken on a fascinating evolution in recent years. The pandeiro has basically experienced a renaissance in the past decade, with innovative playing techniques pioneered by percussionists like Marcos Suzano and the emergence of new styles, championed by artists such as Scott Feiner, Tulio Araújo, Bernard Aguiar, Sergio Krakowski, and many more, including unusual ensembles like the Pandeiro Repique Duo, propelling this traditional Brazilian instrument into a contemporary and influential position within modern music.

Pandeiros in 11", 12" and 13"
While 10" pandeiros are the standard size in many other countries, Brazil has embraced the larger pandeiro, ranging up to 13" in diameter. But why? Let's explore the reasons behind this trend and discover why larger pandeiros are making waves in the world of percussion.

Did you know?
Large 11" and 12", but also huge 13" and 14" pandeiros were widely popular before modern, more filigrane playing techniques became a thing. They were even used in baterias, not so much to play - obviously you would not hear them - but as a show element! The so-called Malabaristas (jugglers) would do tricks with one or several pandeiros, spinning them on one finger, actually juggling them while moving around a passista to emphasize her spotlight. This trend is experiencing a revival! According to some pandeiro producers, around 60% of pandeiros sold are 12" or larger!

Large Pandeiros - Stunning Visual Appeal
One of the most noticeable aspects of a larger pandeiro is its impressive size. These drums can feature eye-catching hologram heads, special prints, logos, and intricate designs that capture the essence of Brazilian culture. The larger canvas allows for more intricate and detailed artwork, making the pandeiro not just a musical instrument but also a huge show element as well as a work of art. Imagine the mesmerizing effect of a hologram head reflecting the stage lights during a live performance. It adds a dynamic visual element to the music, enhancing the overall experience for both the audience and the performer.

Bigger Diameter - Richer, Fuller Sound
Size matters when it comes to pandeiros, especially in terms of sound. Larger pandeiros produce a lower pitch, creating a deep and resonant tone. This fuller sound is not only pleasing to the ears but also adds depth and richness to the music. Larger pandeiros are also louder and punchier in their frequency. This means they can cut through the mix in an ensemble, allowing them to play a more substantial role in the music. Whether it's in a samba group or a Brazilian jazz band, the larger pandeiro makes its presence felt, driving the rhythm with authority.

Lower Tuning - Volume and Presence
In a music ensemble, it's crucial for each instrument to find its place and maintain a distinct presence. Larger pandeiros excel in this regard. Their increased volume and resonance make them ideal for leading the rhythm section, soloing or providing a solid foundation for other instruments to build upon. Whether you're performing in a small intimate setting or on a grand stage, a larger pandeiro will certainly ensure that its percussive presence is felt, enriching the music and captivating the audience. You could even combine a smaller with a larger pandeiro, combining their different voices to a kind of a musical section. It's the variety that ultimately brings in the magic.

Modern Lightweight Construction In XL Pandeiros
Traditionally, one of the drawbacks of larger pandeiros was their weight. Carrying a heavy pandeiro can be a challenge for musicians, especially during extended performances. However, modern materials and innovative building strategies have revolutionized pandeiro construction and show that this argument is no longer valid. Today, it's possible to create super lightweight pandeiros even in a 13" diameter at around 600g. For a pandeiro with synthetic head in this size range - spectacular! This type of pandeiro offers all the advantages without the burden of excessive weight and tiring out. What we are saying is that you can now enjoy the benefits of a different if not fuller sound and impressive visual appeal without compromising on comfort.

XXL Pandeiro? Go On, Be A Show-Off!
Last but not least, let's not forget that the show must go on. Musicians take pride in their instruments, and a larger, beautifully crafted pandeiro can be a symbol of skill and dedication, or simply brings a bit of glam onto the stage. It's a statement piece that says, "I'm here to play, I love Samba and my pandeiro is awesome and large - so what!"

In conclusion, while 10" pandeiros may be the standard size in many parts of the world, Brazil has shown us that bigger can indeed be an interesting alternative. Larger pandeiros offer stunning visual appeal, a richer and fuller sound, increased volume and presence in ensembles, and the opportunity for a bit of showing off - and who doesn't like that! With modern lightweight construction techniques, there's no reason not to embrace the allure of the larger pandeiro. So, next time you're looking to add a touch of Brazilian flair to your music, consider going big!

Let us know what you think and what your experience is!


Here is an older video of Carlos Café do Pandeiro showing a few tricks on a big pandeiro:

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