The Cuatro, an instrument similar to the Ukulele in size and shape but with a deeper and more colorful sound. It is played in only a few countries in South America and the Caribbean Islands
This instrument is used in most of the folkloric music of countries like Aruba, Trinidad & Tobago, Colombia, and Venezuela. Here’s an example of how the cuatro sounds when used to play music from the plains of South America:
Caballo Viejo – A south American song
Tico Tico – Brazilian Song
The Cuatro also serves as a melodic instrument with unique characteristics, like of the melody being produced by the 3rd string instead of the last one. Also, a strumming pattern emerges when mixing songs with harmonies, as shown in this video
Lava – Pixar Cuatro Cover
Finally, the cuatro can imitate very well the known sound of a Ukulele. Many Ukulele players are attracted to these instruments because of the similarities and also because of the broader range of action that the Cuatro offers. Enjoy this cover of one of the last Pixar’s movie hits:
Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
Here’s a short video with a cuatro player covering a Stevie Wonder song. Possibilities are limitless!
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