Practicing Basics

The pandeiro is a very physically demanding instrument, so it’s important to develop good practice habits from the beginning. This section will be expanded with more information, but for now here are some important things to consider:

Posture and grip

"Proper" playing posture and grip are subjective and also depend on personal playing style and pandeiro type. However, it's important not to use a posture, or grip. that will cause you physical problems over time, or negatively affect your technique and performance. Several of the method books and dvds we sell in the shop give good examples of this.

Stretch

It’s important to stretch your hands, wrists, forearms and shoulders before and after you practice. Vina Lacerda’s book Pandeirada Brasileira has a nice section about this with illustrations.

Short sessions

When you’re first getting started don’t try to play for very long periods of time. If you do, you might hurt yourself as well as develop bad habits. Start by playing a few minutes a day and gradually increase your practice sessions.

Take breaks

Make sure to take frequent breaks when you’re practicing, especially if you feel any discomfort in your muscles, tendons, or joints. If you push it too hard you could develop tendonitis and you really don’t want that!

Use a metronome

One of the most difficult things to achieve on the pandeiro is consistent, steady time. Practicing with a metronome is the best way to discipline and train yourself. Start slow and gradually speed things up – ‘only’ after playing at slower tempos is accurate and comfortable.

Record yourself

As you practice with the metronome record yourself to be able to listen back more objectively and check your time, touch, and sound.

Play along with music

Once you’ve reached a certain level of comfort with the metronome a fun way to practice (especially for stamina) is to play along with recordings. Whatever style of music you like!