The Cuban Guiro is a long, dried and hollowed out gourd corrugated on its face. It seems to be of Bantù (Congolese) origin, but traces of a similar instrument can be found into the Indo-Cuban cultures too.

The Guiro is played by scraping the corrugated surface with a thin stick held in the right hand. Left hand hold the guiro by placing the thumb into the hole cut which is in the back.

Typical guiro technique consists of short and long sound. This effect is obtained by varying the duration and lenght of the stroke.
For long sound right hand strokes with a brief downward motion the bottom of the guiro and immediately after scrapes upward the whole surface. Short sounds are short strokes played near the top with an up and down motion.

For faster tempos help your right hand by using left hand with an opposite movement (one hand moves down and the other moves up).


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