The Puerto Rican Music

Instruments: Cuatro: Tuning

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The modern Puerto Rican cuatro has ten strings in five courses tuned from low to high as B, E, A, D and G (with B and E in octaves and A, D and G in unison pairs).

For example: 

  G4 |--------  .011 gauge
  G4 |--------  .011 gauge
  D4 |--------
  .014 gauge
  D4 |--------  .014 gauge
  A3 |--------
  .023 gauge
  A3 |--------  .023 gauge
  E3 |--------  .031 gauge
  E4 |--------  .014 gauge
  B2 |--------  .041 gauge
  B3 |--------  .023 gauge

Notice that this tuning is very similar to the way a guitar is tuned -- with the exception of the extra B course of strings. In fact, it is the same as placing your capo on the 7th fret of the guitar and ignoring the first string.

 

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