What are the best timbales?
When searching for the perfect timbale, you should always consider your specific musical needs. Below are some tips for finding the right set for you.
- Size - a large drum is preferable for producing big, booming sounds, whereas you should go with a small drum for something lighter and more high-pitched.
- Material - Since timbales come in various materials, each one produces a unique, distinctive tone; choose carefully.
- Drumhead - Calfskin drum heads are typically more authentic sounding, whereas plastic has a noticeable synthetic ringing quality.
The best timbale is the one that creates the sound you need. Test out a few and you could be surprised which one becomes your favorite.
What sound do timbales make?
Timbales are known for their sharp and resonant sound due to their shallow dimensions. Their crisp notes make them ideal for adding texture to the music of the Latin or Afro-Cuban traditions and salsa, mambo, reggae, and sometimes even jazz.
That said, the material of the drum dramatically affects the sound it will make. Timbales can be brass, bronze, chrome, wood, or stainless steel.
Metal-based timbales tend to produce a slightly higher, more crisp sound than wooden drums, deeper and richer.
Since timbales always come in a set of two — with one shell typically slightly smaller than the other —the sound can vary even within the same instrument. Some even have wooden shells with metal Cáscaras or sides, making their sound even more variable.
Searching for the right drum can be tricky, given the many materials and sound variables involved. Check out the Drum Center of Portsmouth for all your timbale questions!