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View Full Version : Is the Cordoba Cuatro an ukulele or an actual Cuatro?



MassPrimeSyndicate
08-03-2014, 02:42 PM
I have been looking at the Cordoba Cuatro because I want to learn the cuatro ever since I beat The Last of Us :). I saw a video on Hawaii music supply and it said cuatro uke. I can't find the style of Cuatro anywhere else beside cordoba. Any help?

BigD
08-03-2014, 03:04 PM
I believe it is simply a cuatro "styled" baritone ukulele, idk much about cuatros and their tuning so i could be wrong!! What is the correlation with cuatro and The Last of Us? I loved that game beat it twice and if theres something between the two id b interested in knowin :D

l3uffer
08-03-2014, 03:42 PM
Don't know what "The Last of Us" is, but at least I can help you with the cuatro question (just converted my bari into a cuatro xD)
Cuatros are Latin American instruments descended from the Renaissance Guitar and are much older than the ukulele, but are similar to the ukulele in that both have *re-entrant tuning*. We all know ukes have "high G's" or "high 4ths", but cuatros do the opposite where they have low 1sts - the 1st string is lowered by an octave. Cordoba has the cuatro to pay respects to the cuatros in South America, but really, other than a tap plate and different strings, a cuatro is usually not that much different from a baritone ukulele. It's funky to pick sometimes (your melody string just dropped an octave.. takes getting used to), but the depth of the tuning is a nice change for those who are searching.
More info from Dirk (Southcoast Strings) here:
(Tips on Cuatro Tuning): http://www.southcoastukes.com/007.htm
(Introduction and Cuatro String Sets): http://www.southcoastukes.com/cuatro.htm

Regardless, Cordoba makes good ukuleles, so the cuatro is a nice introduction into the cuatro form and style, and if you don't wanna dabble in cuatro, it can make an interesting bari uke! xD

MassPrimeSyndicate
08-04-2014, 04:58 PM
Don't know what "The Last of Us" is, but at least I can help you with the cuatro question (just converted my bari into a cuatro xD)
Cuatros are Latin American instruments descended from the Renaissance Guitar and are much older than the ukulele, but are similar to the ukulele in that both have *re-entrant tuning*. We all know ukes have "high G's" or "high 4ths", but cuatros do the opposite where they have low 1sts - the 1st string is lowered by an octave. Cordoba has the cuatro to pay respects to the cuatros in South America, but really, other than a tap plate and different strings, a cuatro is usually not that much different from a baritone ukulele. It's funky to pick sometimes (your melody string just dropped an octave.. takes getting used to), but the depth of the tuning is a nice change for those who are searching.
More info from Dirk (Southcoast Strings) here:
(Tips on Cuatro Tuning): http://www.southcoastukes.com/007.htm
(Introduction and Cuatro String Sets): http://www.southcoastukes.com/cuatro.htm

Regardless, Cordoba makes good ukuleles, so the cuatro is a nice introduction into the cuatro form and style, and if you don't wanna dabble in cuatro, it can make an interesting bari uke! xD

Thanks for the info! And the Last of Us is a game compsed by Gustavo Santaolalla. It was originally on the Ronroco, but thought it would sound cool on the Cuatro. Here is a video of the theme you should check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TLDowHsO-Y

adrianifero
06-22-2015, 08:35 AM
Being Venezuelan, I can say that the Cordoba Cuatro seems to imitate the shape of the cuatro in a good way, the head seems a little bit different tough compared with the traditional one.

Nowadays you can find and buy an authentic cuatro online, made in the countries where the cuatro is played instead of buying a cuatro made by an Ukulele company. For example, recently, Eladio Chirinos started publishing their authentic cuatros on Amazon.com, imported right from Barquisimeto, Venezuela. So this could be a better option for somebody that truly wants to dig into the Cuatro world or at least have an authentic piece for his collection. You can do a search on Amazon and check the ones with "Barquisimeto" on their title:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_st_date-desc-rank?keywords=venezuelan+cuatro&fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A11091801%2Ck%3Avenezuelan+cuatro&qid=1434997726&sort=date-desc-rank

k0k0peli
06-22-2015, 01:12 PM
For confusion, consider that some very different instruments are called 'cuatros'. I bought a cuatro (actually a cuatro-menor, a small cuatro) in Paracho, Michoacan, Mexico that looks like a thick mandolin, has four triple-steel-string (unison) courses, and is tuned like a uke. Tomorrow I may buy a Puerto Rican cuatro with five doubled courses; it looks like a notch-waisted little guitar and is tuned like a baritone uke with an added low-B course. I'll have to get a Venezualian-style (4 nylon strings, looks like a baritone uke) one of these days. But will I also get a Cuatro Alto, Cuatro Antiguo, Cuatro Bajo, Cuatro Cubano, and Cuatro Soprano? Do I have enough space and money?

loco85
06-23-2015, 05:44 AM
Kokopeli, you are missing the Puerto Rican cuatro with 6 double courses, the PR soprano and the PR tenor. Do you have a Canary Islands Timple already?

k0k0peli
06-30-2015, 05:57 AM
Kokopeli, you are missing the Puerto Rican cuatro with 6 double courses, the PR soprano and the PR tenor. Do you have a Canary Islands Timple already? Alas, I have none of those. No charango, either, just the Mexican 4-triple-course cuatro-menor, the Chinese-made Puerto Rican 5-double-course cuatro, and a 4-double+triple-course Martin? tiple. My stock of Latino instruments is woefully insufficient. I now have enough 'ukes (gasp!) and mandos. Time for new worlds.