FAQ

About the Cuatro

Capture

Music is a universal language coming in many shapes and forms. It is a way of exercising the mind, body, and soul all within the comfort of your own home. Many think this is mostly through listening to music, but being able to play the music with a subliminal instrument takes this experience to another level. Congratulations, for you, have chosen the Cuatro as your medium to express yourself with music and create an incredible sound that impacts music lovers of all kinds. It is our pleasure to not only introduce you further to the sounds of the Cuatro but also to learn about its origin, how is it played, what can you do with it and how it’s rhythms can tie into historical moments carried on through the legacy of the instrument.

Learning Outcomes

The purpose of this course is to give you detailed insight as to what the Cuatro is. This will touch upon it’s origin and how it has evolved as a musical instrument. We will indicate to you what you should look for in a Cuatro. How is it made? What materials and what kinds of Cuatros are available. You will be provided with an introduction to what you can do with the instrument and how it is so similar yet so different to it’s cousins. You will also be informed about how the courses are set up and how you will be able to move forward as a Cuatro player.

Recommended Background

None whatsoever. Start afresh, get to know the instrument which has not only captured but changed the lives of many.


Explore the Cuatro

The Cuatro is an instrument that used to be taught from generation to generation. The grandfather would teach the son, the son would teach the neighbor and the neighbor will play for his family. It is our goal as Cuatro players to offer the teachings of this incredible instrument not only to all of those who are interested, but worldwide. Learning about the Cuatro is the first step to be taken in the great journey into the world of this four-stringed marvel.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A New Kind of Sound – The Electric Cuatro
    As with other musical instruments, the Cuatro has also been exposed to the new age of innovation and interpretation by modern luthiers and artists. Here we are talking specifically about the Electric Cuatro played in the video below by She’s Alone band artist and Cuatro professor Abraham Sarache: Electric Cuatro Demonstration: “Promises” Abraham Sarache – She’s Alone There …

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  • Accompaniment Vs. Soloist
    Accompaniment instruments and music are fantastic for either strumming away in your free time or playing in a band. This can be seen as a more basic or intermediate way of playing the Cuatro. Here you combine chords and strums to form excellent interpretations of songs and genres. Again, there are different levels of accompaniment …

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  • Are there live lessons in TuCuatro?
    From time to time we will be organizing live lessons. This has been a great success in the past where many students opt for participation, and we have a growing audience in YouTube who also enjoy watching the lessons and contributing in the form of comments and encouragement. The live sessions will always relate to …

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  • Can I use Ukulele interpretations with the Cuatro?
    You can make use of Ukulele interpretations with the Cuatro. The resulting sounds can come across differently, but mainly as long as you make use of the same chords and the rhythm, then you can repeat what you play with the Cuatro. Translating interpretations is slightly different. It is not as easy as moving over …

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  • How can I buy a Cuatro at our TuCuatro Store?
    There are so many choices out there, and it’s mostly knowing what to look for and more importantly, where to look for it. One of the reasons the Cuatro may be limited in making its appearances on stages around you is because of the availability of the instrument. Typically the instruments are made by luthiers …

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  • How do I get familiar with the Cuatro?
    Learning how to play a musical instrument can be as complicated or as simple as we like. It all depends on how far it is that you would want to come. Some persons wish to learn some accompaniment songs, some chords and the ability to jam along. Others reach for the stars and try to …

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  • How do I know if a Cuatro is good?
    Before buying an instrument, it is critical that you assure that the quality of the instrument is good enough and that it tunes correctly in all frets. Our teachers and musicians are constantly helping customers at the TuCuatro Store by reviewing each instrument to guarantee the quality of the sound.  One of the most used …

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  • How does the Cuatro musical instrument look like and sound?
    The Cuatro is a four-string musical instrument, a distant cousin of the guitar, which has evolved in the regions of Colombia and Venezuela. There are many relatives of the Cuatro as several string instruments have changed from the first guitars brought by the conquistadores in the 14th century. We will mention some more information about …

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  • How long does it take to learn to play the Cuatro?
    For every instrument, cuatro, guitar, ukulele, etc, there is a learning curve, and it does take time to familiarize yourself with the style of play. A common question is how long does it take to learn how to play the Cuatro, the answer is: It is entirely up to you! The most dedicated students who …

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  • How to choose a musical instrument: classifications at TuCuatro
    It could be tricky to choose a musical instrument from a variety when you have to consider so many factors, like the type of woods, the quality of work of a manufacturer, the sound that the instrument produces, etc.  That’s why we want you to know how we’ve divided the type of instruments that we …

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  • I Don’t Have a Venezuelan Cuatro & Have No Clue How To Get One
    If you do not have a Cuatro and are interested in playing, make sure that you contact us. We have contacts with distributors and will be able to help you source a Cuatro suited for your needs. If you wish to have a long term commitment and would like to have an instrument specially made …

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  • Musical Instruments 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 The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete, a small …

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  • Parts of the Cuatro
    Get to know your Cuatro. This lesson explains the different parts of the Cuatro. It is essential to be able to describe your instrument and also to get to know it. Each Cuatro has specific characteristics and attributes. By using these features, you will be able to orientate yourself on your instrument. So if on …

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  • Popular artists using the Cuatros
    There are popular composers and famous artists for the Cuatro. These are slightly different, and most of these persons have some sort of affiliation with Venezuela. The most famous being Simon Diaz who has brought incredible masterpieces such as Caballo Viejo (international versions derived from this song are The Gypsy Kings “Bamboleo”) who brings the …

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  • String or percussion instrument?
    The answer, BOTH! Many string instruments can be played by making specific strums or hitting the wood. For most instruments, this is optional, but the Cuatro needs this kind of love! There is nothing like strumming regularly in combination with dry strums (known as chasquidos or frenados) and knocking on a specific area of the Cuatro …

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  • The History of the Cuatro Instrument
    The Venezuelan cuatro has its origins in Europe. The history of the cuatro starts with the Spanish Guitar, an instrument that used to have 4 strings. Besides the Spanish Guitar, there are also many similar instruments throughout history, like in Egipt. The arrival of the Cuatro to South America comes with the Spanish conquers, bringing …

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  • The Modern Cuatro
    New Teaching Methods The Cuatro is no longer an instrument people keep hanging on their walls as an adornment. It is an instrument admired by many and has specific characteristics. The Cuatro player also has certain features. The Cuatro player is persistent, agile and can play from a nice and simple accompaniment to a soloist …

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  • The TuCuatro Methodology
    TuCuatro uses a modular methodology with our curriculum. The lessons are divided into sections or modules of 2-4 lessons each and all sections must be completed in chronological order. At the end of each lesson, there will be a series of questions which would need to be answered prior to moving forward to the next …

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  • What is a Cuatro? Stringed Musical Instrument
    What is the Venezuelan Cuatro? The Venezuelan cuatro is a string musical instrument from the plains shared between Venezuela and Colombia. The Cuatro is considered the national instrument of Venezuela. This instrument is mainly used for a folk music style called Joropo, which gets to be popular in the plains, but it is also vastly …

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  • What is TuCuatro? Learn instruments like guitar online
    TuCuatro is a portal where interested students can learn how to play the Cuatro and other instruments like guitar online. Starting as an initiative by Venezuelan Cuatristas, we have dedicated ourselves to assisting and facilitating persons from all nationalities with a means to learn to play Cuatro. As a team, we are made up of …

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  • What kind of music is traditionally played with the Cuatro?
    Traditionally, the Cuatro is used as an accompaniment instrument to the harp & maracas. The combination of this ensemble creates music genres such as Joropo which is typical folklore music from the lowlands of Colombia & Venezuela. To the Joropo genre, there are several sub-categories such as San Rafael and Gaban, all of which will …

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  • What makes the cuatro an unique instrument?
    There are not many instruments with a reentrant running in this modern world. Probably because the influence of the modern guitar where all the strings are tuned ascendantly and all other instruments follow. Basses, violins, violonchelos, guitars and many other string instruments are tuned in a way you will always find their highest notes on …

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  • What types of Cuatros are available and who makes them?
    The quality of the Cuatro (as for any musical instrument) has a direct impact on the sound and smoothness during playing. There are exceptions to the rule, as you can get some incredible sound out of lesser quality Cuatros. It is only once you get into playing and try a Cuatro of higher quality that …

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  • What’s the difference between an Ukulele and a Cuatro
    So you discovered that there’s an instrument called Cuatro and probably know about it’s resemblance to the Ukulele. It is true that the similarities are numerous but there’s a spectacular difference: The Cuatro is has a reentrant tuning. Its fourth and last string is tuned on an octave lower, almost as low as the first …

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  • Where is the Cuatro played?
    Historically, Colombia and Venezuela…..recently WORLDWIDE!! Although the Cuatro is most popular in its region of origin, the intoxicating sounds of the instruments and incredible possibilities have spread. Modern artists such as Jorge Glem and Carlos Capacho have presented the possibilities of the instrument on an international level, but still a long way to go. There …

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  • Where to begin with the instrument learning how to play the Cuatro?
    If you are entirely new to the Cuatro as a string instrument, before you play any song, the recommendation is always to start from the very beginning of the music theory. The first lessons and courses provided at TuCuatro are the very basics of how to play, what to look out for and getting the …

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  • World music using the Cuatro
     All this talk about the Cuatro’s presence in South America. Believe us; it is not the only place! Many interpretations of music are made across the globe, and this will continue to grow. YouTube is bringing us all closer, and we invite everyone to play with TuCuatro, share your progression and your music. Have a …

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