View Full Version : Cuatro?

02-28-2010, 03:48 PM
Has anyone besides me considered restringing a Tenor Uke like a Venezuela Cuatro? They are typically strung ADF#B with the two outer ends strung an octave low.

I'm considering taking my low G Tenor and swapping the high A for a low string. Chord patterns will be the same but with a lower voicing. If you want to hear a reason why, listen to this:


03-05-2010, 10:16 AM
Nobody? Strange, you all seem so talkative otherwise...

Anyway, I found a low "B" string from a "Baritone strings for Tenor" set and installed it in the place of the high A string, giving me GCEA with G and A an octave lower. So far with a capo on the second fret I can match the Cuatro player on the left note for note. All I need now is a second player to do the Ukulele part and I'm all set. Monthly Uke meeting is tomorrow morning.

Jason Paul
03-05-2010, 10:51 AM
Interesting - haven't heard of doing this before. Unique, non-uke-ish sound, but complementary to the soprano.

I must say that I couldn't look at the soprano player without imagining it was Stephen Colbert...


03-05-2010, 10:53 AM
I'm going to try playing along with tomorrow's club session. Hoping it will harmonize nicely with the others.

03-05-2010, 11:52 AM
A friend of mine builds cuatros for some of the leading cuatro artists in Venezuela as well as players here in the US. The normal scale length is 21 1/4" vs a tenor uke at ~17.5". I've assumed that by tuning up that high would either damage the top or the strings would break. Good luck in your meeting. I'd be curious to know how it turns out. BTW my friend's name is Aquiles Torres and can be found at atorresguitars.com. He also has a great article with plans in American Lutherie Magazine in issue 94 / Summer 2008.


03-05-2010, 12:34 PM
Nope, didn't have to tune high at all. The shorter scale is naturally higher anyway, so I just used existing string gauges to lower (not raise) the two outer strings. It's a full step lower than a Cuatro, but that means I can play along with standard "C" tuned Ukuleles.