Eguie Castrillo

Timbale Fundamentals

Eguie Castrillo is one of the most prolific studio and session timbale artists in the world today. In addition to being an Associate Professor of Percussion at the Berklee College of Music, Eguie tours regularly with the Arturo Sandoval Band.

Eugie has performed with legendary timbalito Tito Puente (whom he credits as being a mentor and close personal friend), Steve Winwood, Michael Brecker, Ruben Blades, Paquito D'Rivera, Michel Camilo, KC and the Sunshine Band, Dave Valentin, and Giovanni Hidalgo.

"I want to give my students not only the knowledge of Latin rhythms, but also give them my experience as a touring musician. I have played with a lot of the big guys in Latin music, and they sat with me and told me stories. I want to pass that on.

If you want to really know the language of any instrument or any music, you have to go to the roots. I always say, I can teach you A-B-C-D-E-F-G until Z, but if I don’t teach you how to put those letters together, to make words and make sense, you don’t know what to do with them. Students have to learn—go back to the roots—no matter what instrument they play."

An Introduction and brief history of the timbales
Tracing the development of “Salsa” and the timbales as a solo instrument
Tuning the timbales
Gripping the sticks and finding the perfect playing position
Drum Technique
Sound possibilities on the timbales
The 2:3 and 3:2 Clave
Understanding the placement of the 2:3 and 3:2 Clave
The Cáscara Pattern
Fitting the Cáscara with the 3:2 and 2:3 Clave
The Left Hand Part in the Cáscara
The Mambo Bell Pattern
The Mambo Bell Pattern: Adding the Left Hand
The Cha Cha Bell Pattern
Playing Timbale Fills
Listening Suggestions
Some Ideas for Soloing

Eguie's Vic Firth implement of choice:
Alex Acuña El Palo (SAA2)
Alex Acuña's timbale sticks are designed to provide optimum response on timbales and cymbals. In hickory.
L = 16 1/8" | Dia. = .500"
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