What is a Venezuelan Cuatro?
Let’s go ahead and get started…..so…….what is the Cuatro? Venezuelan? Colombian? Or……. The first thing to note is that this is known as a Venezuelan Cuatro. We will however be referring to it as the Cuatro since when the Cuatro was first created it was a spin off of a guitarron and Venezuela or Colombia […]
How does a Cuatro Look Like and Sound?
The Cuatro is a four string 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 evolved from the first guitars brought by the conquistadores in the 14th century. We will mention some more information about related instruments […]
Where is the Cuatro played?
Historically, Colombia and Venezuela…..recently WORLDWIDE!! Although the Cuatro is most popular in it’s 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 how far it is that you would like 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 become […]
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 nice interpretations of songs and genres. Again, there are different levels of accompaniment […]
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 known […]
Where to begin with learning how to play?
If you are completely new to the Cuatro and to string instruments, the recommendation is always to start from the very beginning. The first lessons provided are the very basics of how to play, what to look out for and getting a hang of the most basic techniques you need to know. Our lessons are […]
Can I use Ukulele interpretations with the Cuatro?
You can definitely make use of Ukulele interpretations with the Cuatro. The resulting sounds can come across differently, but essentially as long as you make use of the same chords and the rhythm, then you can repeat what you play with the Cuatro. Translating the interpretations is slightly different. It is not as easy as […]
How long does it take to learn to play the Cuatro?
For every instrument 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 practice every day have […]
How can I buy a Cuatro?
So you are considering your first Cuatro….now what? 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 it’s appearances on stages around you is because of the availability of the instrument. […]
Parts of the Cuatro
Get to know your Cuatro. This lesson explains the different parts of the Cuatro. It is important 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 characteristics. The Cuatro player is persistent, agile and can play from a nice and simple accompaniment to a soloist […]