Last night I went to one of the regular practice sessions of Beatroot Bateria. They're a samba band like the ones you see during carnival time. The website has some MP3's if you want to hear them.
I only discovered their website a few days ago and immediately thought it sounded like a great thing to try. The band is open to beginners and you can just drop in. So I did.
I arrived, bought some ear plugs (essential!) and was eventually assigned a high surdo to play. Instruction was minimal. I was buddied with another high surdo player, shown the first rhythm I needed to know and we started. I had a bit of trouble here and there following changes but I eventually got the hang of it. There were about thirty of us in a small room so the volume is incredible.
During the break, I chatted with a few other people. They have about 10 songs they practice and play lots of live gigs. One couple had been there only three months and had already played a gig. You can change instruments if you want but most people stick to one.
I hope to take Jenny next week. She's always liked the idea of playing drums.