When you want to learn to play the traditional instruments of capoeira, you’ll have to practice a lot at home. There often isn’t enough time during a regular class to focus on playing the berimbau or to learn how to sing in a bateria. You’ll need to put those hours in at home so you can ask for feedback during class.
The only problem when practicing alone is that it can be hard to get a feeling of the right rhythm. You might think you are doing well until you grab a berimbau at the end of a class and you realize you can’t play along with your teacher, even though you play the correct notes.
The best way to learn this is to play while listening to some form of audio feedback. Several options are possible, depending on your skill level. One trick is to imagine yourself in the bateria of a CD you are listening to and just play along (with headphones). But if you’re still inexperienced, it might be too difficult to focus on the rhythm when you hear a full bateria, improvisations and singing.
Another solution is to record yourself playing an instrument, or maybe just clapping your hands to mark the beat. Then listen to your own recording and play simultaneously. Of course, if your own rhythm isn’t steady yet, this might not work.
Luckily we have platforms like YouTube. Below you can find a playlist of the most common berimbau toques (patterns). It’s only a single berimbau, without variations or vocals and the quality is very good. All tracks are long enough as they last around 5 minutes. So if you want to learn to play in a bateria, practice variations (viradas or repiques), use counter rhythms (contra-toques), play other instruments, or sing, you can use these samples as backing tracks. Plug in in year headphones, grab your berimbau and hit play.