n. A musical instrument made of a hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side, and played by rubbing a stick or scraper ("pua") along the notches to produce a ratchet-like sound.
The güiro is a Latin American percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side. It is played by rubbing a stick or tines along the notches to produce a ratchet-like sound.
The güiro is commonly used in Puerto Rican, Cuban and other forms of Latin American music, and plays a key role in the typical rhythm section of important genres like son, trova and cumbia. Playing the güiro usually requires both long and short sounds, made by scraping up and down in long or short strokes.
The güiro, like the maracas, is often played by a singer. It is closely related to the Cuban guayo and the Dominican güira, which are made of metal. Other instruments similar to the güiro are the Colombian guacharaca, the Brazilian reco-reco, the quijada (cow jawbone) and the frottoir (washboard).