The cuatro is a Latin American string instrument that belongs to the lute family. It looks like a small guitar with four, eight, 10, or 12 strings. It is popularly used for recreational and educational purposes. It is both a rhythmic and a harmonic instrument.
Types of Cuatros
Kinds of Cuatros include the following:
The Venezuelan cuatro has four nylon strings tuned to the keys of A-D-F#-B.
It has the shape and tune of a ukulele.
It is strummed to produce varying sounds and intonations.
It is both a rhythmic and a harmonic instrument.
It is used in many Venezuelan regions including Joropo, Gaita, Galeron, and Calypso.
Puerto Rican cuatro
The Puerto Rican cuatro is Puerto Rico’s national instrument.
It is closely related to the Spanish instrument yihuela poblana, the Medieval guitar, citola, and the Spanish laud.
It has 10 strings tuned to the keys of B, E, A, D, G, B, E, A, D, and G, with the higher B and E are in octaves, while the higher A, D, and G are in unisons.
Choosing Cuatros (Buying tips)
Number of strings: For easy and uncomplicated playing, choose a cuatro with four strings. To get a variety of notes and sounds, choose a cuatro with 10 or 12 strings. However, this type of cuatro requires careful learning and mastering.
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