Welcome to CubanTres.com

The Cuban Tres

The Cuban Tres is a guitar-like instrument with three double strings (six strings in all). It played a key role in the Cuban "Son" musical style and continues to play a part in many Afro-Cuban inspired bands. It is sometime referred to as "Cuban Tres Guitar", "Tres Cubano" or "Tres Guitar". Some instruments from Puerto Rico have three triple strings (nine strings in all).

CubanTres.com is an educational site dedicated to the instrument and its music. It will offer profiles/interviews of contemporary New York and Cuban Tres players.

Note: In the above photograph Mario Hernandez is playing a Puerto-Rican style Tres. One of the most common forms of the Tres is a retrofitted guitar, i.e. a typical acoustic guitar strung with different gauge strings and tuned like a Tres (g-c-e)- See picture below. The Cuban Tres is sometimes referred to as the "Tres Guitar".



"El Ciego Maravilloso"


Arsenio Rodriguez (1911-1970) helped expand the role of the Tres as a solo instrument.


The Tres:


Tres Players:





Recommended recordings featuring the Tres:

This list is organized by the tres player featured on the recording:

Arsenio Rodriguez:

  1. Arsenio Rodriguez y su conjunto "Vol 1 & 2" Ansonia records (1962,1965)
    • Style: Cuban Son
    • Essential recordings for any collection
  2. Patato y Totico 1975 RVC records - recorded 1965
    • Style: Rumba

Nino Rivera:

  1. Miguelito Cuni - "Sones De Ayer" Rhumba records 1950's
    • Cuni was the singer from Conjunto Chappottin. This is his recording as a leader.
    • Style: Cuban Son
  2. Estrellas de areito 1979 Areito
    • Style: Cuban Son
    • All Star Jam session

Mario Hernandez:

  1. Adalberto Santiago - "Adalberto Santiago" 1981 Fania
    • Style: New York Salsa
  2. Monguito - "El Unico" 1984 Toboga
  3. Sexteto Borinquen "El Autentico" "Como un Recuerdo" - Mayra 0005
  4. Ismael Rivera y sus cachimbos - "esti su es lo mio" 1978 Fania

Nelson Gonzalez:

  1. Grupo Folkloric y Experimental Nuevayoriquino - "Concepts in unity" 1975 Salsoul
    • A classic with Jerry and Andy Gonzalez from the Fort Apache band.
    • Style: Rumba, Folkloric
  2. Grupo Folkloric y Experimental Nuevayoriquino - "Lo dice todo" 1976 Mericana
    • The Guaguanaco "Trompeta N Curero" features a nice tres solo by Nelson.
    • Style: Rumba, Folkloric
  3. Tipica '73 - "Tipica '73" 1974 Inca
  4. Tipica '73 - "La Candela" 1975 Inca

Charlie Rodriguez:

  1. Conjunto Candela - "Vol. 1" 1976 Combo Records
    • Featuring legendary sonero Nestor Sanchez and plently of tres work from Charlie. You must have this record!
  2. Charlie Rodriguez y Ray Reyes -1981 Guajiro Records
  3. Monguito - "Yo No Soy Mentiroso" 1979 SAR

Jorge Cabrera:

  1. Conjunto Yumuri - La Paella 1980 Caney Records
    • Wonderful tres solos on this record.

Victor (chino) Trias:

  1. Conjunto Crema - "Roberto Torres Presenta al Conjunto Crema" 1980 SAR
    • Some very nice tres solos on this record.

Harry Viggiano:

  1. Orchestra Harlow- "Salsa" 1974 Fania
    • Style: New York Salsa
  2. Junior Gonzalez - "Tiempos buenos/good times" Fania 1977
    • Style: New York Salsa

Ivan (Palomita) Conde:

  1. Conjunto Clasico - "Felicitaciones" 1988 Lo Mejor Records
  2. Tito Allen - "Cantar" 1981 Lo Mejor Records

Yomo Toro (Cuatro - an instrument from puerto rico similar to the tres ):

  1. Yomo Toro - "Funky Jibaro" Antilles 1988. Produced by my friend Bob Musso.

Arturo Harbey:

  1. Chappottin y su conjunto - "Sabor Tropical" Antilles

Francisco "Pancho" Amat:

  1. Adalberto Alvarez - Adalberto Alvarez presenta: Son 14 1983 Egrem
    • Style: Contemporary Cuban Son

Francisco Gonzalez:

  1. Sexteto Nacional -"Como Se Baila El 'Son'" Bravo - recordings from the 30's
    • Style: Cuban Son


  1. Pete "el Conde" Rodriguez -"Este Negro Si Es Sabroso" 1976 Fania
    • The tres is heavily featured in this great album.
  2. Johnny Pacheco - "Tres de Cafe Y Dos de Azucar" 1973 Fania
  3. Pete "el Conde" Rodriguez - "el Conde" 1974 Fania - If you know who the tres player on this is let me know.
    • 'Los Compadres' and 'Soy Guajiro' del Verdad' feature tres solos.
  4. Johnny Pacheco con Pete (Conde) Rodriguez - "la perfecta combinacion"
    • 'Sonero' featues a tres solo.

Note: The record citations all refer to LPs. In most cases the CDs have been re-issued under the same labels. The "Style" category is subjective.



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@ copyright 2002 Scott Cushman