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Soon we will feature more material on the history, technique, and repertoire of the timbales.

A distant cousin of the timbales: the djun basket


Timbales (the timbal page)

Timbales are cylindrical , usually metal drums which are played with two sticks, usually along with a bell or two and a wood or plastic sound block or two. They are of Cuban origin, and are actually related to the tympani. The are occasionally referred to as "pailas" or pails, and here is why:

Excerpt from Chuck Silverman's
"Changuito - A Master's Approach to Timbales:

Photo posted with permission 
Susanne Moss

"According to the writer Pichardo, paila is a vessel of iron or copper in the shape of half an orange. These vessels were used in the sugar cane factories and were used to hold guarapo, or the juice of the cane. They were also used to fashion the Cuban Tympani. In many cases, only one paila was used, because one drum was more portable. It was up to the musical technique of the pailero to get all the sounds necessary for the various musical genres."

In our opinion, the Chuck Silverman/changuito book is the definitive book/CD on playing timbales..

Buy this book at amazon

Watch a video of three of the greats on timbales: Tito Puente, and Pete and Sheila Escovedo..





timbales links

Read this interview with changuito

Interview with Tito Puente

interview with Orestes Vilato

The Tito Puente tribute at Congahead

Pete Escovedo is one of the best

A lesson from Trevor Salloum: Timbale Transitions

Victor Rendon's new book,
the Art of Playing Timbales





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