View Full Version : new Puerto Rican cuatro!

Dave LaBoone
Oct-19-2015, 2:09pm
Hi guys,
I traveled to Puerto Rico back in August and picked up a cuatro while I was there. It's tuned in fourths: B-E-A-D-G, with the B and E doubled with higher octave strings. I've heard some people even pair the A with an octave string, which I may try next time.

Here it is, accompanying me as I sing "Ginseng Sullivan."


Oct-19-2015, 4:04pm
Great score. I love the cuatro Puertoriqueño!

I had a chance to use my cheapy cuatro at a gig last Saturday, for some latino dance music. What a fun instrument, you'll really enjoy it.


Awkward posed picture.....

Dave LaBoone
Oct-19-2015, 8:57pm
It's been fun so far! I'm enjoying working out fiddle tunes and others that I know on mandolin and/or guitar, so it's been good mental exercise!

Oct-30-2015, 6:58am
Hi! I'm visiting San Juan next week and I'm planning to buy a Cuatro. Do you know good shops on the area where I could find one? Also any info of good instruments would be greatly appreciated as I'm not an expert with cuatros... I'm not searching the most expensive instrument there is but good enough for professional playing.

Dave LaBoone
Oct-31-2015, 10:23pm
Hi Ronski,
I bought mine for less than $200 from Tropical Music in Santurce (an area of San Juan). May not qualify as "professional-playing" caliber for you, but the playability and intonation of mine is rather good, IMO.

There are lots of other towns/areas of San Juan close to where you'll be staying: Bayamon, Guaynabo, Carolina, Caguas, etc. I did a Google search for music stores in Puerto Rico and got results like this: http://www.manta.com/mb_44_B62E0_53/musical_instrument_stores/puerto_rico I called beforehand and asked what kinds of cuatros (and prices) they had in stock, so I was able to be efficient without driving all over the island.

You probably realize you can buy one without leaving your couch (this handmade instrument costs $600 - NFI: http://www.islaonline.com/prodinfo.asp?number=7093JRE), but I understand the coolness factor of picking up an instrument while traveling, not to mention the ability to play it before buying.

Buena suerte, and let us know how it turns out!