View Full Version : for what it's worth: You can get something halfway decent for cheap

12-14-2012, 08:30 AM
I have six or seven different ukes: baris, tenors, and concerts, different tunings, and a very good Kanilea tenor,mostly Southcoast strings. I play them all often, a couple of hrs a day in total.

I needed another bari to use for a Cuatro tuning. Got a good and slightly blemished Lanakai bari with a spruce top for only $90 bucks total including shipping.

12-14-2012, 08:39 AM
What type of Cuatro? Mine is tuned b e a d g.

12-14-2012, 08:43 AM
What type of Cuatro? Mine is tuned b e a d g.

Venezuelan Cuatro. Cuatro implies four strings. What you have is a Puerto Rican Cuatro - 5 double courses. I always wondered how the Puerto Ricans came up with that name.

The Puerto Rican version is pretty much limited to the Puerto Rican community, and has it's own unique shape and construction. The Venezuelan version is older - it's a 4-stringer that's about the same size and shape as a Baritone Ukulele, though with a lighter build and often with significantly higher action. It's pretty much a straight descendant of the Renaissance Guitar, and is used throughout northern South America, Central America and the Caribbean. In South America, you often hear it played with heavy Flamenco style strumming (hence the high action), in the Caribbean it's more of a Mento / Calypso instrument and in Central America you get both those styles.

It works great in a number of other applications - I've heard Kimo use it to great effect with Bossa Nova (you should post that sample you sent me!).

It uses a reentrant tuning like Ukulele reentrant, but with the 1st & 4th strings dropped an octave. That means you select a higher key for your tuning, but the chord names and fingering are the same as with an ukulele, so if you have several instruments, a Baritone in (Venezuelan) Cuatro tuning is well worth a look.