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What to know about the Venezuelan Cuatro
Everything to know about the venezuelan national instrument: The Cuatro.
Find places to learn to play it, videos on youtube explaining how to make it sound. Web pages and more...
I am very glad of having the opportunity of exposing trough this blog a beautiful instrument, very well known in his own land, but unkown for the mayority of us. The Venezuelan Cuatro is one of those rare things you discovery thanks to the magic of virtual communications and internet, and we will do everything we can to show what wonderful things this instrument can do in the right hands.
Unusual and unique instrument
The Venezuelan Cuatro is a particular instrument that has been used in this country and some other countries for decades. It's so popular that there's practically no genre inside the country that has not been played with a Cuatro. Even the modern popular songs are using the cuatro (mostly as a reference to the culture) inside their songs
It is an instrument with four single nylon strings, tuned (ad'f#'b), being the only instrument (that we know) tuned with his last string (b) an octave lower than the other ones.
It's so similar to the Ukelele that some people refers to it as a "Venezuelan Ukelele".
If you want to play the cuatro
You can seek more information on the most famous and known web pages about the Venezuelan Cuatro on Internet. Some of them are written in english, but most of the information is still on spanish.
You will find LOTS of videos on Youtube
Youtube is a great source for listening to the most amazing cuatro soloists. You can find every kind of cuatro players in there so it's recommended to check some cuatro videos like these ones:
On buying a Venezuelan Cuatro
If you're searching for a Venezuelan Cuatro you will find that most of the cuatros in the stores are made on industries. Even on the Chilean or Argentinian web pages the Cuatros you will find are from a series of cuatros made by an industry.
The quality of those cuatros are generally good, but not great. Not to say that those cuatros aren't going to satisfy you, because the majority of them is made with enough quality and their sound will be good enough to practice and may be playing on stage.
But if you really really want a Venezuelan Cuatro that sounds GREAT, you will have to get into the deep world of the lutherie. You'll have to contact a luthier inside Venezuela and negotiate with him the fabrication and shipping of your authentic Venezuelan Cuatro.
Contacting a Luthier in Venezuela is not an easy task. You could try to get into a website like http://camburpinton.org and contact some of them there.
You can also check these links with useful information about buying a venezuelan cuatro: