Hey everyone, I wanted to tell you about an awesome capoeira blog/website I’ve been following for a bit now, called Soul Capoeira. It’s an extremely prolific and informative site, run by Chan Griffin, that offers everything from in-depth history, to stories and tales, to intricately retold memories, to basic as well as (very) specific information about all sorts of capoeira topics.
What really got me, though, was the inclusion of beat-by-beat musical rhythm instruction!! You have no idea how excited I was to find this. I don’t know how it was for you when you first started learning the berimbau, but I know for many people they do it intuitively, by listening to and watching someone else play, then copying as best they can. For me though, I had to know exactly in my mind that it was, for instance, “1 down, 2 up, 2 buzz, repeat” or “4 down, 2 buzz, 3 down 1 up, 2 buzz, 4 up, 2 buzz, up-down-up-down” before I’d be able to play the toque successfully. (Yes, I do find it easier to remember that than mimicking and yes, my friends thought I was crazy too.)
Anyway, I still find that to be the most effective way I learn new rhythms (unfortunately, my teachers haven’t always agreed with me on that point XD), and it applies to the other instruments as well. So if you happen to learn that way too—or even if you don’t, it can still be useful—Soul Capoeira comes through amazingly. Whether it’s pandeiro technique, berimbau toques, or maculelê on the atabaque (at long last, our intrepid Joaninha has stumbled upon the Holy Grail!), if you can read…you can play! Thanks, Chan!
Picture source: http://www.capoeirasuldabahia.com.br/images/musica.jpg