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Pizzott Artisan Pandeiros

News from pandeiro luthier PIZZOTT:
new 10.5" intermediate pandeiro size, and: traditional 10" Choro model gets a light-weight make-over

Variety is always the key with a versatile instrument like the pandeiro. There is hardly a pandeiro enthusiast who doesn't own at least 2 different pandeiros and is constantly on the lookout for the perfect blend of sound components. Jingles, frame, head, weight, sound characteristics of course and last but not least the design determine whether the small frame drum is an interesting addition to one's own assortment. If you are new to the pandeiro scene, you may not yet have ventured into the top league of handmade pandeiros. Yet there are definitely reasons to get a professional pandeiro even if you are a beginner.

Marcelo Pizzott - professional musician from Rio, pandeiro luthier and one of the oldest brands in our pandeiro range

Lightweight pandeiros require an extreme amount of background knowledge and experience in instrument making. Due to the composition of natural materials like wood and leather, pandeiros in particular depend on thorough workmanship and many years of experience. In addition, the components of handmade pandeiros are usually of a much higher quality, the design is more refined towards a light-weight concept, the skins are individually selected or, as in the case of Pizzott, subjected to special tanning processes. Marcelo Pizzott is known for lightweight instruments with high-end sound qualities, though this may not be apparent at first glance. A simple wooden frame with no fancy glitz, individually picked leather heads and meticulously handhammered jingles. A closer look reveals that the skins are unusually rough-tanned. This makes for incredibly beautiful basses! The brass jingles are hand-hammered, of course, and matched to each instrument. The frame has a rather natural, if not simple look, but finished with extreme care on account of their lightweight construction.

New 10,5" intermediate size - appealing change to standard sizes

The trend in Brazil towards larger pandeiro diameters may well be due to the fact that most pandeiristas already have a standard size 10" at home anyway and develop a desire for different sound characteristics; on the other hand, larger diameters do actually contribute with two main advantages in terms of sound:

  • A larger diameter on natural hide pandeiros allows for a lower pitch, which many musicians like, especially if the pandeiro is intended to perform a key role with bass-heavy characteristics, for example as a solo instrument on stage or as a drum set replacement with miking.
  • The larger diameter also creates space for an additional, sixth pair of jingles. The jingles perform a unique task in the sound composition of each pandeiro. With the extra set of jingles, you can both create more volume and enhance the jingle effect. The overall sound and the interaction between the head and the jingles is therefore different from that of standard 10" pandeiros, which usually have only five sets of jingles. To some, these differences may seem insignificant, but pandeiros are instruments rich in nuances, so even small changes have a big effect.

80g shaved off in a stroke: rim now made of aluminium - the 10" Choro by Pizzott

Pizzott has made yet another change to its range, which is as simple as it is ingenious and explained in one sentence: the rim of the 10" Choro round rim pandeiro is now made of aluminium instead of steel, which drops the total weight of the pandeiro by no less than 80g, entering it in our ultra-light range.

Masked nylon head - have you heard of it?

While we' re talking about Pizzott, do you know his masked nylon head artisan pandeiro for extra bass qualities? Unique and an absolute favourite in our range. The masking ensures that the nylon doesn't flap in lower pitches and produces beautiful, full bass tones. At the same time, it has all the qualities that a hand-made pandeiro must bring with, it is more resistant than a hide head pandeiro and its sound characteristics are low in overtones and gorgeously bassy. The brass jingles are hammered by hand and have small inset centre plates. The higher weight is explained by an additional pair of jingles. The nylon masked is available in a 10" and 11" size.