Drumming With Samba and Bossa Nova Beats

Are you tired of playing the same old beats on your drum set? Wanna add some Brazilian flavor to your rhythm game? Well, look no further than Samba, Baião and Bossa Nova drum beats!

Let’s learn some of the basics of these Brazilian beats on the drum set.

I use Bossa Nova Beats in almost all of the bands I play with.

Bossa Nova Beats – Smooth and Relaxing

Bossa Nova beats are popular Brazilian beats known for their smooth and relaxing rhythm. They’re great to add to your drumming bag of tricks and perfect for jamming with friends.

The key to Bossa Nova and also Samba, is in the foot patterns. The repeated bass drum and hi-hat groove forms the foundation for everything you play with your hands. 

I’ve written out the Bossa Nova/Samba foot patterns below.  B = Bass drum and H = Hi-hat foot. Count out loud, “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.”

Play your feet when you see a B or H under a count. Start without tempo and just practice the coordination. Then gradually increase your speed until it’s moving along.

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  
B    H   B B     H  B

When your feet are solid, your hands will just float around on top of that rhythm.  It’s such a great feeling!

Samba – Classic Brazilian Beat

No discussion of Brazilian drumming is complete without talking about Samba. It’s a classic beat that’s a must-learn for every drummer.

To play Samba on the drum set, we use the same bass drum/hi-hat pattern as with Bossa Nova, and speed it up. If Bossa Nova is the relaxing beach groove, Samba is the nighttime party beat. It always gets people dancing and it’s insanely fun to play!

There are 6 rhythmic patterns that you’ll hear in all of Brazilian Samba and Bossa Nova music.  Knowing these patterns will give you infinite ideas for what play with your hands. 

I teach these 6 rhythmic patterns and the Bossa Nova/Samba foot patterns in my Brazilian Drumming course

Bossa Nova Beats can actually fit into many different styles of music.

Baião – Upbeat and Fun Beat

Baião is a smooth upbeat fun drum beat with incredible forward motion. It’s a bit less well-known than Bossa Nova and Samba, but it’s still an important beat to add to your Jazz Drumming repertoire.

I use variations of Baião often in my Jazz drumming. It’s kind of a Swiss Army knife groove that can morph into many different grooves from Afro-CubanJazz Funk to Pop. I also teach the Baião for drum brushes in my Brushes Mastery Course

It’s a bit more complex than Bossa Nova, but less so than Samba. The hi-hat foot plays the same as with Bossa Nova and Samba but the bass drum follows a different rhythmic pattern.

Here are the basic Baião foot patterns written out for you

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +
B    H  B          H

You can learn Baião drum set too in my Brazilian Drumming course. 

Practice Makes Fun!

Learning Bossa Nova drum beats, Samba or Baião takes time. You won’t be able to play like a pro overnight, but with a commitment to practice,  they’ll start feeling more natural. 

We always hear people say, “Practice makes perfect.” but I like to say, “Practice makes fun!”  I don’t care if I’m perfect because the measurement for perfection constantly changes. What remains the same is the fun. 

Want to bang on things and make some music? Join my Brazilian Drumming Course and learn how to make some serious noise…in a good way!

Join a Brazilian Drumming Group

If you really want to take your Brazilian drumming to the next level, consider joining a Brazilian drumming group. They’re often called Samba Schools or Escolas de Samba.

I have been a part of and lead many in my career. They’re a total blast, a great opportunity to make new friends and do some crazy awesome drumming.  You’ll also be able to jam with and learn from more experienced drummers. 

Another big advantage of joining a Samba School, is you’ll learn how to play all of the percussion that we imitate on the drum set. Brazilian drum beats are actually taking 4 percussion instruments and playing each with a different limb at the same time. 

When you learn to play Brazilian percussion, you’ll also sound more authentic in playing Brazilian beats on the drum set. 

There are plenty of Brazilian drumming groups around the World, so do some research and find one that’s near you. Don’t be afraid to attend a few times at first and ease your way into the group.

Check out my article to learn more about what makes groove, groove.


Learning Samba, Baião and Bossa Nova drum beats on the drum set will add a lot of spice to your drumming game. Get those feet moving and grooving and then let the hands float around on top.

Remember, practice makes fun, so don’t be afraid to dedicate some time each day to honing your skills. And if you really want to take your Brazilian drumming to the next level, join my online course and/or a Brazilian drumming group.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your drumsticks, let’s get drumming! Keep swinging my friend!

Do you want to play Jazz on the drums?

Hey, I’m Von Baron. I’m determined to help you become an AMAZING Jazz drummer.  My only question is, are you ready?

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