Learning the latin music alphabet

If you´ve trying to play some Cuatro songs and you´ve looking for resources, probably you´ve found that most of the chords for cuatro are disposed with a different notation than those on the guitar.

Normally  you expect to find these names on each chord:


But with the Cuatro what you find is this:


By taking some time to learn how the notes are written for the cuatro, you will get to play even more songs, just looking at resources on internet like micuatro.com (spanish) where they place every cuatro song they find but with the second notation.

It’s very important for you to understand the way this alphabet works for cuatro players.  The letters A B C D E F G correspond to each cuatro note or chords but we start our scale not from A but from C.  This way for each correlation we have the following :

DO = C
RE = D
MI = E
FA = F
LA = A
SI = B

We definitely are not going to begin with A.   But this is a curiosity, because the first note of the first string in the cuatro is, guess what, .. A.    Even though normally we start counting on C.  (I think is more a cultural thing than musical)

If you’re not familiarized with the normal music alphabet, get into consideration that the distance from each note to other is not always constant.  For example, between B and C, and also between E and F, there is no “blank” fret. These notes directly follow each other on the cuatro fretboard.

Now, try to memorize it and keep coming back for more interesting stuff about the venezuelan cuatro.

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Would you like to play a song?

TuCuatro has a lovely collection of lyrics and chords for the most famous songs there are. Give it a try and click on one of them below:

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