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Pandeiro: Frevo

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Frevo is a fast dance music from the State of Pernambuco, Brazil. The name frevo is derived from the portugese word ferver or to boil. This rhythm originated from the European polka during the tail end of the 19th century (the polka may have arrived in Brazil in as early as 1845), and is still popular today in Carnival in Pernambuco, as well as with many music groups from the region. As this popular dance music found it’s way into the carnival parade format, polka-marches were created.

Frevo pattern 1 and 2 are a common ways to play frevo on pandeiro.

Frevo pattern 1

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Frevo pattern 2

 

The only difference between these two patterns is the order of strokes (either starting Tips-Heel, or Heel-Tips). I don't feel that it's necessary to practice both ways, but rather pick one that feels the most comfortable and develop it. Demonstrated on the video is pattern 1 (Tips-Heel).
*notice how the left hand is incorporated in an up and down motion giving lift to the jingles.


Frevo pattern 3: uses double strokes from the fingertips, and is used by pandeiro virtuoso Guello. Notice how using the double stroke allows the rhythm to “swing” more like a snare drummer might.

Frevo pattern 3

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If the tempo is too fast to articulate this rhythm using double strokes, Guello will apply a slightly modified technique, wherein he hits into the drum with his fingertips and pushes straight through causing a bounce, thus getting two sounds with one stroke. Note: this is not a buzz roll but a double stroke. A similar technique is also used by the legendary Jorginho do Pandeiro, except that the bounce strokes are “flicked” to the side rather than straight out. Demonstrated in 3a is in the middleground of these two ideas (not exactly straight ahead, and yet not too off to the side, but rather in the middle).

Frevo pattern 3a

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Frevo pattern 4: is a version of the frevo rhythm in the style of pandeiro superstar Marcos Suzano. *Notice how the left hand differs in this particular pattern by rotating rather than lifting up and down.

Frevo pattern 4

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Frevo pattern 5: this extended technique, is a way to employ the use of a double stroke from the side of the hand. This motion is akin to a “chop” followed by a “bounce” or “drag” which resolves to the thumb.

Frevo pattern 5

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© Randy Gloss

  • Written by: Randy Gloss
  • Sunday, 26 February 2012
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  • Posted in: South American

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