Relatives of the Cuatro

In this occasion we will go over a couple of instruments which can be considered as relatives to the Cuatro. There are many more than this, but the most popular or known cousins of the Cuatro are:

The Ukulele

Ukulele

The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete, a small guitar-like instrument related to the cavaquinho, braguinha and the rajao, taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants.

It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.

The Banjo

Banjo

A four-, five- or (occasionally) six-stringed instrument with a thin membrane stretched over a frame or cavity as a resonator.

The membrane is typically a piece of animal skin or plastic, and the frame is typically circular. Simpler forms of the instrument were fashioned by Africans in Colonial America, adapted from several African instruments of similar design

The Mandolin

Mandolin

A musical instrument in the lute family (plucked, or strummed) usually with four courses of strings, tuned in perfect fifths and plucked with a plectrum.

The Charrango

Charango

A small Bolivian Andean stringed instrument of the lute family, about 66 cm long, traditionally made with the shell of the back of an armadillo. Primarily played in traditional Andean music, and is sometimes used by other Latin American musicians

Origins of String Instruments & History of the Cuatro

Without a doubt, the most common relative is the Ukulele. It shares many similarities to the Cuatro in terms of the number of strings and size. Play the Uke? Transfer your skills and play the Cuatro!