Latin for Drummies #01 Candombe

Candombe is the heritage of enslaved Africans in the Rio de la Plata area. Originally forbidden and confined to a small room, it is proudly played in the streets nowadays and continues to reflect the deep identity feeling that makes it born and raised.

Candombe was originally forbidden and confined to closed ceremonies due to its obvious relationship with the unknown social and religious practices originally from Africa. This rhythm especially provides the deep feeling of identity and brotherhood. The original small room was kept so small that at first, on weekends, holidays and patriotic dates, everybody went to a meeting point to dance and play the drums in this marvellous reunion. Fortunately, every single occasion is a good excuse to tune the drums and play a little bit these days.

Candombe is played with three different drums. The biggest and lowest-pitched one is called the “Tambor Piano” (Piano drum), the middle one is called the “Tambor Repique” (Repique drum), and finally, the highest-pitched one is called the “Tambor Chico” (Chico drum).

To play one of these drums, you will need one hand and a single stick on the other hand (like drumsticks). Of course, if you play the bigger – lowest drum, you will need a bigger stick!!!

First, in the tradition, when you play Candombe, you play standing on your feet, walking with the drum hanged on your shoulder around several blocks of streets (maybe ten…). Nowadays, it is usual to see Candombe drummers playing sited in different modern contexts.