Useful tips and information
Repinique - shopping guide
In Rio´s Samba schools you will hardly see any other size than a 12'' repinique. So if Batucada is what you want to play, a 12'' instrument is what you´re looking for. Same thing for Samba Reggae. 12'' is the standard size, except for Timbalada grooves where you also find 10'' or 8'' repiniques, the so called Bacurinhas. They are pitched really high and almost sound like a tamborim. For kids and youngsters, but also for grownups with back problems, a 10'' or 11'' repinique may be a considerable alternative.
How many tension rods?
The standard are 6 tension rods. The advantage is that you have enough space between the single rods. This is especially important if you want to play with the screw nuts up, but even if they point down they won´t disturb you so much by poking your legs. It just makes sense considering 8 or 12 tension rods if you want to pitch your repinique up really high. In Brazil you probably won´t see a repinique with 12 tension rods.
Aluminium or galvanized sheet?
Aluminium is lighter and hardly doen´t oxidate. The shell provides a higher metallic part of the sound. The galvanized surface of the steel sheet looses it´s gloss pretty soon and turns matt. A body made from galvanized steel sheet also weighs a little bit more. But those who love the authentic, typically dry sound, won´t make this a criteria for his choice. In Brazil´s Samba schools you see those instruments a lot, simply because they sound great and they are cheaper than aluminium instruments.
How high is the rim?
This does not only depend on the brand of the repinique. Also the head is decisive for how high the rim is. A brandnew head will automatically produce a higher rim position, at least in the beginning. If you keep tuning your repinique, the rim will slowly settle. As soon as the rim is comfortably settled, it will have lowered and you'll find it easier to play. Once the rim is really low, that usually also means the approaching end of the head and you should consider exchanging it. If you have an extremely high rim, it might be helpful to put on a new head in slighlty inclined position and then play on the side that flattens towards you. Policarpo Signature repiniques have a leveled rim between two lugs. Gope has low pre-pressed heads that automatically provide a lower fit.
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