Ochoteco Bosque Nortena 6 String Guitar

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My first Ochoteco was a Bosque Norteña in European Walnut back and sides with a fine Red Cedar top. It was a prototype for his very successful Studio Steel model, braced and voiced in Gabriel's unique way, combining the large (400mm/16 inch) lower bout with a narrow waist and small upper bout which owes more to the flamenco guitars of his native Uruguay than the ubiquitous American Martin/Gibson sound and shape. This allows much more power, tone and expression without loss of strength, it’s this guitar you see as the shapely lady on the back cover of 'Spindrift'.

The solid Mahogany neck is bolted to the body as are all Ochoteco acoustics, not for economy, but to give better access to the higher frets and, as Gabriel says, 'It makes more sense to fix the heel block inside the guitar so you don't need an external heel'. Any doubts about whether this arrangement affects the tone will be soothed away when you hear the instrument on pieces such as 'Birlinn Latharna' or 'Broom of the Cowdenknowes'. With a 650mm scale, the fingerboard is made extra wide at 50mm for fingerstyle playing, has wide, low frets and an action close to that of an electric. I tuned mine in DADGAD most of the time, and it was perfect for the fast hammer-on, pull-off and triplets that mimic the pipes.

The rich, mellow voice of the Bosque Nortena immediately won my heart when I first heard it in Gabriel's workshop in Brisbane and served me well through several recording, innumerable gigs and thousands of miles on the road. However, as soon as I got used to playing this guitar’s seven-string sister I sold her on since I can play all but a couple of the same tunes on the Ochoteco CS7 and she’s even better.