"Ceithre" - a Venezuelan Cuatro





The twelfth of my De Faoite Anniversary Instruments is "Ceithre" - Venezuelan Cuatro. In essence it's a large ukulele - between a tenor and baritone in size - tuned one step up from a ukulele ADF#B (think bottom four strings of a guitar in EADGBE Capoed at the 7th fret) with "reverse" re-entrant tuning - the top B string is an octave lower and a semitone higher than the bottom A string. Re-entrant tuning has the outer two strings close together in pitch and is effective with up/down strumming patterns. On ukulele's the bottom G string is tuned an octave higher and is a semi-tone lower than the high A string. Cuatro is Spanish for four and so my instrument had to be "Ceithre" - Gaelic for four and pronounced "Heh-reh". I decided to make it as a miniature version of a flamenco guitar, the top is Lawson's Cypress from "The Musical Tree" and the back and sides are Sapele and the neck Spanish cedar. Bindings, trimmings and Golpeador are Etimoe and the bridge is English Walnut. Tuners are Gotoh ukulele pegs (1:1) with Ebony Banjo buttons. Scale length is 498mm A photo-documentary of making a commissioned "Ceithre" can be found here. Here's a recording of me playing "Ceithre Shuffle" on "Ceithre".