Infobox Instrument

classification= Hand percussion: Played by scraping,made from wood, gourd, metal, plastic or fibreglass
range=Speed of scrape produces some variation
related= Slit drum, shekere

The güiro is a percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side. It is played by rubbing a wooden stick along the notches to produce a ratchet-like sound. The güiro is commonly used in Latin-American music, and plays a key role in the typical cumbia rhythm section.Güiro is also another term for a shekere as well as the ensemble and rhythm used when playing this instrument.

In Regla de Ocha, a güiro is a musical performance/ceremony that uses shequeres, hoe blade, and at least one conga to accompany the religious songs of the Orishas.

The güiro is believed to have originated with the Taino people. The güiro is a notched, hollowed-out gourd, which was adapted from a pre-Columbian instrument. Others maintain that similar instruments were also used in other parts of Central and South America, and brought to Puerto Rico by the Arawak Indians. The güiro is made by carving the shell of the gourd and carving parallel fluting on its surface. It is played by holding the güiro in the left hand with the thumb inserted into the back sound hole to keep the instrument in place. The right hand usually holds the scraper and plays the instrument. The scraper is more properly called a "pua". Playing the güiro usually requires both long and short sounds, which are made by scraping both up and down in long or short strokes. The güiro, like the maracas, is usually played by a singer. The instrument's rasping sound adds counterpoint to folk music but is less often used in salsa bands.

The earliest known reference to the güiro is in the writings of Fray Íñigo Abbad y Lasierra in 1788. He described the güiro as one of several instruments that were used to accompany dancers. The other instruments would typically include maracas, tambourine and one or more guitars.

The güiro is known as Calabazo, Guayo, Ralladera, Rascador, and is considered a percussion instrument.


Reco-reco is the brazilian güiro, used in samba baterias and other brazilian music styles. It is about 25-30 cm long, opened metal tube with 2-3 spirals bent along it. Played with a metal stick pulled over the spirals.

Works that use the instrument


*Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
*Luciano Berio: Sinfonia
*Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
*Christopher Rouse: Der Gerettete Alberich
*Carl Orff: De Temporum Fine Comoedia
*Sofia Gubaidulina: Offertorium
*José Pablo Moncayo: Huapango
*Edgard Varèse: Ionisation (Varèse)
*Karl Jenkins: Tangollen
*James MacMillan: The Sacrifice (opera)
*Giles Swayne: Symphony No. 1
*Ástor Piazzolla: Concerto for bandoneon, strings and percussions
*Francisco Mignone: Maracatu de Chico-Rei, ballet
*Louis Andriessen: De Materie

Popular Music:

*The Pussycat Dolls: When I Grow Up
*The Drifters: Under the Boardwalk
*The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter
*Big Brother & the Holding Company: Combination of the Two
*David Bowie: The Man Who Sold the World
*R.E.M.: "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" (In the sleeve notes of the album , the guiro is praised as "the ultimate instrument in musical usefulness".)
*Tone Lōc: "Wild Thing"
*Guns N' Roses: Anything Goes.
*Burt Bacharach: The Look of Love from Casino Royale (1967 film) sung by Dusty Springfield
*Interpol: Pioneer to the Falls
*Steely Dan: Do it Again
*Rolfe Kent: Dexter (TV series)
*Marvin Gaye: Right On
*James Taylor: One Man Parade
*The Academy Is...: Unexpected Places
*Traffic: House For Everyone
*Fu Manchu: Mongoose
*Muse:Eternally Missed
*Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Red Right Hand
*Between the Buried and Me: Laser Speed
*The Beatles: Strawberry Fields Forever
*Sheryl Crow: All I Wanna Do

ee also

*Gee-haw whammy diddle

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Güiro — aus Fiberglas Der Güiro [guˈi:ʁo] (auch Guiro, span. „Flaschenkürbis“, „Ratschgurke“ oder „Fisch“ genannt) ist ein etwa 30 bis 40 cm langes, hohles Rhythmusinstrument. Das in einigen Musikstilen Mittelamerikas verbreitete… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Guiro — Güiro Der Güiro [guˈi:ʁo] (auch Guiro, span. „Flaschenkürbis“ oder Ratschgurke genannt) ist ein etwa 30 bis 40 cm langes, hohles Rhythmusinstrument aus Holz. Er gehört zur Familie der Percussionsinstrumente und genauer zu der Gruppe der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Guiro — Güiro Guiro Le güiro (Cuba, Porto Rico, Équateur), guayo, rascador (Cuba), ou guachara (Panama) est un instrument de musique de percussion idiophone constitué d un racloir. Cet instrument très répandu dans les musiques afro caribé …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Güiro — Guiro Le güiro (Cuba, Porto Rico, Équateur), guayo, rascador (Cuba), ou guachara (Panama) est un instrument de musique de percussion idiophone constitué d un racloir. Cet instrument très répandu dans les musiques afro caribéennes est peut être… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Guiro —   [spanisch, gɪro; wörtlich »Gurke«], Schrapinstrument; ursprünglich ein bis zu 60 cm langer, ausgehöhlter und getrockneter Flaschenkürbis, heute meist aus Holz oder Kunststoff. Zwei Löcher an der Unterseite dienen zum Halten des Instruments mit… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • guiro — ☆ guiro [gwē′rō, gwir′ō ] n. pl. guiros [AmSp güiro, lit., gourd] a Latin American rhythm instrument typically consisting of a long necked gourd that is sounded by scraping a stick along ridges cut into its surface …   English World dictionary

  • Güiro — Para otros usos de este término, véase Güiro (desambiguación). Güiro de salsa (o güiro cubano). El güiro es un instrumento de percusión. Está clasificado dentro de la división de los idiófonos (que suenan por sí mismos, sin cuerdas ni parches),… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Güiro — ► sustantivo masculino 1 América BOTÁNICA Calabaza vinatera. 2 México, Antillas MÚSICA Instrumento musical formado por una caja hecha con este tipo de calabaza. * * * güiro (de or. taíno) 1 (Hispam.) m. Tallo del *maíz verde. 2 (Hispam.) Nombre… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • güiro — 1. instrumento precolombino de percusión cuyo sonido se produce al frotar una varilla sobre una calabaza alongada, que es el güiro propiamente; cf. maracas; agreguémosle un fondo de güiro y flauta a esta parte de la canción, a ver cómo sale 2.… …   Diccionario de chileno actual

  • guiro — /gwear oh/; Sp. /gee rddaw/, n., pl. guiro. a South American musical instrument consisting of a hollow gourd with serrated surface that is scraped with a stick. [1895 1900; < AmerSp güiro, lit., gourd, prob. < Taino] * * * …   Universalium

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