These are the core instruments in a samba bateria. We have a few extras that make an appearance from time to time. Members are encouraged to learn how to play each one of general instruments (surdo, tam, agogo, caixa, chocalho). Some take more skill than others and some people prefer to stick with just one.

Here’s a great Wikipedia article abut the instruments of a bateria.

Repenique: the mestre plays the repenique, calling in and out pieces, breaks and adding embellishment and interest. Always pay attention to it!
Surdo: this is the heartbeat of the samba band. It's the pulse!
Tambourim: a small high pitch frame drum played with a nylon multi-strand striker
Agogo: bells
Caixa: a.k.a. a snare drum
Chocalho: the shaker
Whistle: The leaders whistle is the most important sound in the whole band! Any time you hear it, your eyes should go straight to the leader. He's going to tell you something and you better pay attention!