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The Rhythm of Baião

by Chuck Silverman

Baião, oftentimes referred to as "baion", is a rhythm from the state of Bahia in Northeastern Brasil. Most people credit Luis Gonzaga with popularizing this rhythm.

Baião is a very important rhythm to learn for some important reasons. The number one reason is that you may have to actually play a baião! It'd be a good idea to have a few grooves from which to choose. Another good reason to learn this rhythm is the coordination that you'll learn, as you develop hand patterns to play on top of the typical bass drum pattern.

Here's a very typical baião, relatively easy to play. The top line is hi hat, bottom line is bass drum, and middle line is snare. Play the hi hat "hand to hand". So, if you're right handed, the sticking will be R - L - R - L........

And another, a bit more complicated. Play the hi hat with either hand, one hand on the hi hat the other hand playing the snare. Watch all accents and the last bass drum note. This beat comes courtesy of my drum set teacher in Salvador, Bahia, Mr. Jorge Brasil. Thank you Jorge!!

I hope this sheds a little light on the rhythm of baião. Please feel free to write me with any questions or comments you might have, and thanks for your interest!!

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