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Cuban Timba--New Salsa Style--any tips?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by winston, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Hey, just wondering if anyone has experience with Timba, an outgrowth of salsa that's popular in Cuba and NY. I have an opportunity to try out for a timba band in the next couple of weeks and I need to know what makes it unique as a style. I was given a CD (without artists' names) and a list of Latin Real Book charts, but that's about it.

    I have several years' experience playing different Latin styles (Brazilian sambas, bossas & choros; boleros, tumbaos, mambos, songo, etc.) but not much salsa. This is a group of serious players (Cuban trumpeter who played with Ibrahim Ferrer, some of the baddest-ass percussionists in the area) so I can't be faking it. I've heard Los Van Van and the Afro-Cuban All Stars (and I've checked out www.timba.com) but would appreciate any help from TB'ers--thanks. :help:
  2. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    OK - not quite the answer you're after, I've never come across Timba - but I'm in a similar boat, just starting with a new salsa band and we've had one rehearsal so far. Playing DB, not a baby bass. I think I've got the Tumbao right - more or less. But the biggest challenges so far are 1) Pitch! A lot of the work seems higher up on the fingerboard in that no-man's land just below the neck joint. Found it hard to pull off an exact G on the D string every time - so back to pencil marks for a while. 2) Sound: the DB is boomy when amplified particularly down low and just ain't right yet. So apart from playing with EQ I'm going to try muting the sustain a bit with a sock threaded through the strings near the bridge. My instinct tells me this gives a shorter, punchier effect. 3) stamina: Holding down repeat octaves and fifths in half position for minutes at a time cramps me up if I try to hold a good "crab claw" LH position - and I end up just choking the chicken. But that's got to improve my strength. 4) Spanish: No habla. Donde esta la casa de Pedro? The cues for the percussion breaks to montuno etc are often just the end of the verse. I don't know the songs lyrics well enought to follow them and just counting the bars isn't good enough - changes all the time!

    So next rehearsal - sock, lyric sheet, pencil

    Got any more hints for me?
  3. Savino


    Jun 2, 2004
  4. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [[Spanish: No habla. Donde esta la casa de Pedro?

    Need directions?
  5. Matthew, I played in a latino band for four years, and got that Baby Bass sound by threading a handkerchief through the strings right by the bridge. Gave just the right amount of muting, and very handy if you're gonna sneeze onstage......
  6. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    I tried a sock, a handkerchief, some velcro ... but in the end I settled on a piece of high density closed-cell foam with slits cut into it. I just slip it over the strings when I want the effect and it doesn't look too daggy.