The agogo is the first instrument a beginner capoeira musician should try as it is the easiest to pick up and learn.
It is made up of two different sized bells/nuts and has 2 sounds: high and low.
To play in the capoeira roda, it’s as simple as High, Low, High.
Played in a basic 4 beat, beats 1 and 3 is the low note, beat 2 is the high note, and beat 4 is a rest.
1 2 3 4
High - Low - High - Rest
The agogo is also played in the same beat and rhythm as the clapping during a roda.
Variations in playing can be done but are usually only short simple riffs as to not take focus off of the berimbau.
As in the case of all instruments, all variations should revert back to the basic way of playing.
Agogo needs to be in sync with the pandeiro and atabaque.
If it’s hit at the wrong time, it can be very obvious and distracting.
In the roda, all instruments must complement each other and must not be played louder than the berimbau.