Earlier versions of Guiro musical instrument were carved out from dried gourd which is a vegetable. Today Guiros are made from metal, wood, plastic and fibreglass. The Guiro along with other musical instruments such as claves and cymbals are part of traditional Cuban, Puerto Rican and African music and is also known as reco–reco.
Hollowed body of the Guiro is held in one hand and the scraper is held in the other. Sound of the Guiro is produced when the scraper is brushed or scraped against the notches or parallel lines which are carved on one side of the Guiro. The notches form a ribbed pattern on the sides of the instrument. On one side the ribs are close set whereas on other side they are set apart. This difference in layout produces two different sounds.
The Guiro is made of a hollowed body made of either wood, plastic or any metal and fibre accompanied by a scraper made of similar material.
Traditional Guiros were carved out of dried gourd. Modern Guiros are made from metal, wood, plastic and fibreglass. Made into a hollowed oblong or cylindrical shape, a rib like pattern is carved out on either sides of the hollow body. Today most of the Guiros are machine made whereas the earlier ones made from dried gourds were handmade.
A Guiro is an important part of Cuban, Latin American and African music played to the accompaniment of salsa and son dance forms. Guiros are also played in orchestras. Not a part of melody, they are more played as festive noisemakers.