Latin American musical culture has a very distinctive and vibrant collection of stringed instruments. From the tresero of Cuba to the bajo sexto of Mexico, each Latin string has a colored history that dates back centuries. The unique capabilities of these instruments are a great option if you are looking to incorporate a new tonal element or simply explore a new form of world music. The category of Latin strings includes a very broad range of instruments with no two that sound exactly alike. Each instrument has at least one unique characteristic, setting it apart from a guitar, banjo or mandolin. The difference that a cut-out, rounded back or smaller construction can make to the overall sound is quite remarkable. The Paracho Elite Gonzales Requinto is a perfect example of a Latin stringed instrument with a deceiving look. This instrument, upon first glance, may look like a simple six string, but it's smaller than standard sizing and deeper body produce a sound that you'd typically hear on the streets of Playa del Carmen. The resonating sound is very familiar to the ear and is a great way to make your own arrangement sound original. For those mandolin aficionados, the Paracho Elite Puerto Rican Cuatro is a unique twist on this popular instrument. With a body similar to a violin, the bridge of a classic guitar and a rounded body, this distinctly shaped instrument has a vastly different tone but still easily suits a variety of musical genres. The harmonic strings help add an echo texture that will impress you. If you want to try your hand at the traditional art of mariachi, the Vihuela by Lucida guitars is a great option. This five-stringed instrument is classically heard throughout Mexico, but can easily be played and included whether your band is interested in Latin styles or not. The full sound this larger guitar offers can provide you with a rich textural effect that will make your band's sound stand out. Each Latin string offers an original tone that sets itself apart. Whether you're part of a world beat orchestra or simply looking to expand your horizons, choosing a Latin stringed instrument is always a good move. Learning a different playing style can really help your practice and allow you to come up with even more unique song ideas.