Cuatro is a four strings instruments of the guitar family. Its 15th-Century ancestor was the Portuguese Cavaquinho. The predecessor of the Venezuelan cuatro is the four-string Spanish guitar which disappeared in the 16th century after a short period of surging popularity. In the 1950s, Fredy Reyna documented the evolution of the renaissance guitar into the current Venezuelan Cuatro, and reinvented the cuatro as a solo instrument, equally capable of rendering traditional Venezuelan music as well as Renaissance pieces.

The cuatro is very popular in big part of Latin America especially in Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, and Puerto Rico being part of the folklore and traditional songs.

The cuatro is an important part of "música llanera", belonging to the Venezuelan area known as "El Llano". The Cuatro of Venezuela has four single nylon strings. There are variations on this instrument depending on the country and models having five strings or even six.



  • Sides

    Cuatro dimension sides (530x100x3,5)x2


    After the top, the sides and backs are the Cuatro parts that affect the sound. In that case, we know the sides have a strong impact on the Cuatro sound.

    It is important to choose the right dry wood . Due to the dimension of the sides it is very important to get the optimal temperature to get the desired curvature.

    In Maderas Barber we offer you different types of woods of different densities so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

  • Fingerboards

    Cuatro Dimension fingerboard (300x50x3mm)


    Cuatro fingerboard is a main part for the good performance of the instrument. It is a wooden narrow and long piece that covers the neck. Fingerboard is divided by the frets where the Cuatro player press the strings producing different musical notes. It is important to choose a resistance wood to reduce fingerboard wear.

    The Cuatro fingerboard is smaller than the guitar one, the number of frets can vary depending on the Cuatro maker. The most often used is the one with 14 frets.

    The fingerboards we have are African Ebony and Indian Rosewood, two of the most demanded species and the most widely used for its density and resistance.

  • Backs

    Cuatro Dimension Backs (360x130x4mm)x2


    Backs and sides are a very important part of the instrument. Sound waves bounce on the back making it vibrate.

    Normally Backs are cut to get booked matched backs and sides to ensure aesthetic and beauty between both of them.

    In Maderas Barber we have a very big range of woods, highly figured and colourful . We are a world benchmark company due to the big variety of woods we can offer to our customers.

  • Necks

    Cuatro Dimension Necks (550x70x22mm)


    It is important the election of the wood that the Cuatro maker will use. The neck on the Cuatro can bend due to the tension of the strings.

    The most common woods used are the Mahogany, the Honduras Cedar and the African Mahogany. Those are easy to work woods but also rigid woods that ensure durability and strength.

  • Tops

    Cuatro Dimension Tops (360x130x4mm)x2


    Cuatro tops are a very important part on the instrument, the sound depends a 70% on the tops. It must be constructed with care and greater precision. Sanding and the process of drying must be done correctly. If this process is not done properly sound can not be the wished one. Another factor to consider before building the instrument is the moisture content.

    Sanding on the Cuatro tops is very important. The spruce tops final thickness is 1,5 to 1,6 mm . On the Canada Cedar tops is normally 2 mm . Tops symmetry is essential.

    The differences on qualities is important. Our experts have selected the best of the woods so that you can build your instrument with the best guaranty and market price.