January was a month that, at times seemed to drag, and at other moments simply shot past. In
retrospect it has gone pretty quick! It has seen the completion of seven instruments (One of those five tenors got a bit behind due to some extras needed on it) They include 4 tenors, Ben’s 8 string, Andy’s Soprano and that project instrument that those of you following this will have seen glimpses of.
I’ve called it a Cuatrolele, mainly because it has the body shape of a Venezuelan Cuatro with the depth of a Tenor Uke, and a scale length between the two. It’s an 8 string instrument with the tuning of both instruments, making gG, cc, ee, aA . You can find a quick sound sample on the video page. You’ll notice also that it is not made from local timber, but rather from acquired pieces that I have had knocking around. It’s a rosewood back and sides, quilted maple top, mahogany neck and a rosewood fretboard bound with the quilted maple. A real departure from my normal selection, but all donated rather than bought. All the other instruments are local timbers, mainly walnut and European maple.
The Cuatrolele, to my ears, sounds pretty awesome and is surprisingly different to a ‘standard’ 8 string. Any of you wanting to give it a go are welcome to visit the workshop for a tryout. It can, of course, be tuned up to D tuning.
We also completed a repair on a near 100 year old Salvador Ibanez guitarico, an instrument that takes a second look to differentiate from a ukulele.
For the new month we have an eclectic mixture of orders to fulfill, including a dulcitar and a long neck soprano, a standard soprano, a Q-bass and getting that fifth tenor to completion. Let’s hope that the weather doesn’t make a short month even shorter!