Guiro – Guira instrument (description, playing technique)

Guiro - Guira instrument
Guiro – Guira instrument

Guiro – Latin American noise musical instrument, originally made from the pumpkins of the “oscillas” – the fruit of the gourd tree, known in Cuba and Puerto Rico as “iguero”. Horizontal incisions were made on the lateral surface of the dried fruit.

Nippon Latin Percussion 5″ x 12″ Metal Guiro with Scraper Instrument

  • Latin Percussion Instrument
  • Brushed Aluminum
  • 12″ x 5″
  • Open Ends. Includes 10 Tine Scraper
  • Brand: Zebra Sound

The sound is produced by moving the stick along these notches from top to bottom and vice versa. It is rare to find guiro with two working surfaces.

Guiro - Guira instrument 2
Guiro – Guira instrument 2

The word “guiro” comes from the language of the Taino Indians who inhabited the Antilles before the Spanish invasion.

Traditionally, in bachata and merengue, metal guiro, which has a sharper sound, is more often used, while in salsa and cha-cha-cha, it is wooden or traditional made from iguero. Other names for guiro are calabazo, ralladera, and rascador.

Mowind Stainless Steel Metal Guiro Percussion Instrument Musical Training Tool with Scraper

  • Stainless steel guiro, durable and compact.
  • Hollow stainless steel body, with two tapered ends and a side handle grip.
  • Contains iron sands inside.
  • It has a smooth surface, safe, small and easy to carry.
  • Comes with an 8 tine scraper.

Modern guiro often look like a metal tube with notches or a wooden corrugated board, made from a variety of materials: iguero fruits, wood, plastic and metal.

Guiro - Guira instrument 3
Guiro – Guira instrument 3

Guiro technique

The technique of playing the guiro in salsa does not differ from cha-cha-cha in anything, except for the speed of execution. The rhythm of the cha-cha-cha is slower than salsa.

Guiro - Guira instrument 4
Guiro – Guira instrument 4

Flexzion Metal Guiro with Scraper Shack 4″ x 12″ – Round Cylinder Stainless Steel Latin Hand Percussion Instrument with Handle Guiro Musical Training Tool for Jazz Bands, Concerts, Live Performance

  • Features a textured, stainless steel body with a hollow, open-ended design for a raspy guiro-style sound with bright overtones
  • The included scraper is designed to get loud, cutting guiro sounds while the unit can also be shaken for bright, projecting shaker sounds
  • You can even shake it and scrape it at the same time for a whole new style. This is great for accenting your latin percussion setup
  • This plays a key role in the typical rhythm section of important genres like cumbia and son. The simple percussion instrument, easy to play
  • This guiro instrument included a specially designed metal handle to provide comfort and functionality in any position
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