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Other Puerto Rican strings

The Cuban-Puerto Rican tres

While touring across Latin America in 1934 the great Cuban Tres player Isaac Oviedo brought his Tres to Puerto Rico, and showed "Piliche," the guitarist of the group Trío Lirico, the rudiments of how to play it. After Oviedo returned to Cuba, Piliche described the Tres he saw to the instrument maker Medina of Santurce and asked him to make him one. That is how, we believe, the tradition of the Puerto Rican Tres began. To learn more about this fascinating tradition, visit our page, The Cuban-Puerto Rican Tres

The jíbaro guitars
The jíbaro also carved out guitars in the hinterlands. In some regions these were called "vihuelas" or "biguelas", a ancient name that hailed back to the large vihuelas the Spaniards brought to their colonies during the 18th and 19th centuries. Read here about an authentic old jíbaro guitar we found in New York.

The Taíno jabao o babao
Interest has recently surged in a supposed Puerto Rican stringed instrument, one made by the Island's indigenous Taíno population. The only thing to have apparently survived is it's name, "jabao taíno". We have inquired at some length about it during our research, but the search has not borne much fruit. Some musicologists say the instrument is only a legend, because no traces of the instrument survive. Read an article about the search for the Jabao Taíno here. 

 The "cuatrés"
We have been informed by several senior cuatro-makers and cuatro players of the existence of an instrument that has been custom-made for cuatristas who wish to play Cuban music, such as guarachas and sones--usually played on a tres--but preferred their own familiar open-string intervals in fourths, rather than the tres's distinctive modal tuning. So the cuatres is an option: a Puerto Rican tres with four (rather than three) triple-string courses, tuned in fourths.
Puerto Rican requinto guitars
Puerto Rican concert classic guitars  
 The Violarina
The trasporte
 The Loarina