Pandeiro Practice Ritual

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Are you feeling overwhelmed with all of the material that you need to practice on the pandeiro?  Are you wondering what you should practice today?  In this blog I’ll share a Daily Pandeiro Ritual that will help you make progress and maintain your pandeiro chops.

Recently a student of mine stopped me in the middle of a class routine and said that she was feeling overwhelmed with all of the material.  She dedicates 30minutes per day to her pandeiro practice routine and she’s been studying with me for 9 months.  She has a folder filled with handouts from my classes and she doesn’t know where to begin.  This is normal.  I feel overwhelmed sometimes when I sit down to practice.  But, I am able to clear away all of the “stuff” and get straight to the routines that I know will make a difference in my playing.  Time is very limited for all of us.  You need to identify the routines that help you the best and stick to them.  Over time, a routine that took 20 minutes might only take 10 minutes to get through.  Now you have 20 extra minutes to practice stuff you don’t know!

Practice Breakdown

Here’s how I break down my practice time.

  • Prepare my practice journal.
  • Practice 15-30 mins on a rudimental/technique exercise with a Metronome
  • Practice 30-90mins on new ideas and/or challenging grooves
  • Notate everything in my practice journal including tempo markings
  • Continue my day with a healthy conscience

Depending on the day and the month I might practice for longer or shorter periods of time.  The important thing to notice is that I keep a journal, use a metronome and I always start with the same exact routine, every time!  The pandeiro is all about rote movements and internalizing these movements into our muscle memory.

The first thing to understand is that the pandeiro requires a refined technique in order to be able to play all those fun grooves that you’re dying to get into.  Without a solid technique, your groove and feel won’t develop and you’ll constantly struggle with your sound and stamina.  Focus on developing your left wrist and very clear tones with Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3.  (more on that here)

Daily Pandeiro Practice Ritual

Now let’s take a look at a practice routine that you could incorporate into your Daily Pandeiro Ritual.   Please feel free to modify and customize this routine based on your level of playing.  As you improve you might want to add more to it and connect these routines with other ones.  The more you customize the routine for yourself, the more connected you’ll be to it.  The important part here is ROUTINE.  Do it every day if you can!  If you feel that the routine is too easy, try playing it faster until you reach your breaking point.  Record the breaking point tempo in your journal and make it your goal to feel at ease playing at that tempo by next week.  Then, repeat.

Here’s 1 routine that you could incorporate into your Daily Pandeiro Ritual.  This is part of a Pandeiro Pyramid exercise that I developed.  If you’d like to check out more Pyramid exercises for Pandeiro jump on over to the Pandeiro Course.  This routine is making use of the bass tone with our thumb.  You can check out a blog post about Bass Tones here.


Daily Pandeiro Ritual by Scott Kettner


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