Rocinha samba – third surdos

Samba specifics for third surdos

Video screengrab of 3rd surdos at Newtown Fair 2021. Video by Antonio Hernández.

On this page:

Although these videos were taken for the surdos 1 & 2, you can still see what the thirds are doing, so I think they’re useful – at least until we get some more thirds-focused material.

The introduction

This is how we will start the Rocinha samba during performances – with a long call-and-response intro between the director and the band.

Since the workshop Tim and Darryn have re-arranged the intro, so what we play now is different to what we learned in November. Part 1 is the same as it was, but parts 2 and 3 have changed. The parts the directors play have not changed, however.

Members of the main band demonstrating the Rocinha samba introduction. Note that the third section of this intro would normally be played twice through.

See Rocinha samba – whole band for more videos of the intro.

Pattern 1

3rd Surdos – pattern 1, turn, then pattern 1 but with an introduction to begin, otherwise known as a ‘2/5/2’.
(2021 Beginners class, week 3)

Pattern 2 with variation 2

Demo by Tim on a repinique.
He shows “Variation 2” which can be played by advanced players on the director’s signal within pattern 2.
Halfway through the video he plays the normal Pattern 2 (variation 1) for a while, and then switches to variation 2 again.

Mocidade break

Note there is no turn before the Mocidade break. It’s just a 4-count and in.

The band plays the Mocidade break, with a focus on the director who is vocalising it at the same time.

The band plays the Mocidade break, with a focus on the surdos.

Funk break

Whole band – Funk break (2021 Beginners class, week 5)

Wave break

The band plays the Wave break with pattern #1 before and after.


Ijexá is one of our two long breaks, in which we switch to playing a completely different pattern during a performance of Rocinha samba, and then eventually we return back to samba again.

The third surdos have a pattern #1 and pattern #2 for Ijexá. The signal for pattern #2 is hands held up in a cup shape.

In this video you will see the intro, pattern #1, pattern #2, the stop and the return to the Rocinha samba pattern #1.

Rocinha samba – Ijexá break – whole band

Rocinha samba – Ijexá break – whole band – showing patterns #1 and #2, focusing on each section in turn.

Surdo 3 – Ijexá pattern #1 (2021 Beginners class, week 3)

Demonstration of Ijexá pattern #2 for third surdo


Six-Eight is the other of our long breaks, where we play a completely different set of patterns for a while, in the middle of Rocinha samba. It’s signalled with hands showing 6 and then 8 fingers.

We play 3 pattern variations within this break. This video shows all three patterns.

As the band plays Rocinha samba, Tim signals the Six-Eight break.

It begins with our standard Chris’s samba Six-Eight pattern. This is sometimes signalled with a “C” shaped hand (but not always, and not in this video).

On the director’s signal for #2 we then switch to our old Fred’s samba pattern #1 for Six-Eight, which is the one where we step-turn in a full circle every 4 bars. Then (on a #3 signal) we switch to Fred’s pattern #2, and so on.

Rocinha samba – Six-Eight break – whole band

Drum notation

Thanks to Jamie Baddeley for the workshop videos.

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