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The Collaborative International Dictionary

The güira is a metal scraper from the Dominican Republic used as a percussion instrument in merengue and, to a lesser extent, other genres such as bachata. It is made of a metal sheet (commonly steel, sometimes from a five-gallon oil can) and played with a stiff brush, thus being similar to the Cuban guayo (also a metal scraper) and the güiro (a gourd scraper). Güira, guayo and güiro all have a function akin to that of the maracas or the trap-kit's hi-hat, namely providing a complementary beat.

Performers on the güira are referred to as güireros and in merengue típico ensembles they often co-lead percussion sections along with tambora-playing tamboreros, due to the significance of their African-derived interlocking rhythms in providing a basic musical foundation for the dance.


Guira may refer to:

  • Guira cuckoo (Guira guira)
  • Guira tanager (Hemithraupis guira)
  • Güira, musical instrument

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