Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vitico y Su Güiro - El Güiro Cubano

'Vitico' y Su Güiro

This is 'Vitico', he is from La Habana and he came back last month after visiting his family and being away from Cuba for 30 years.  
Vitico brought back a Güiro, a set of Maraca's and a set of killer Clave's made out of dark solid hard "Caoba" wood... not like those shitty "hollow" tourist Claves's that everyone brings back from Cuba.
Viticos Güiro is a great looking gourd and sounds like "it means business"!
About 16' to 17' inches tall, with the "bell" or "mouth"(boca) very slightly curved backward,
with some type of "white wash" inside as well as inside the grooves of the designs, It has great geometric designs "subtly" burned onto the outside shell of the instrument.
Vitico often shows up at gigs, though he's not in the band... he likes to stand off to the side and play his Güiro. 
A real nice guy, very humble without any kind of bullshit ego trip.  
I took these photos at a gig I played that he came to.

The Güiro below is mine.
Originally, it was not a musical instrument, it was given to me by my Aunt (un regalo a mi de mi tia) who brought it back as a "tourist thing" from either Ecuador or Costa Rica, I don't remember which.
It had a design burned into the shell to look like an 'Armadillo'.
I cut of the face and nose of the Armadillo, took out the seeds (semillas) cleaned out the inside, then cut the grooves along the playing surface.
It's 10½ inches long, a very hard gourd, a perfect size for me and the sound cuts through any band.
Most Cuban Güiro's generally have a rectangular hole cut out in the back, which the musician puts his four fingers inside with the thumb outside (pistol grip). 

I use the "football grip" as opposed to the
"fingers in the hole" grip with no hole cut in the back.

Cuban Güiro player La Habana, 1947
A classic Cuban Güiro with a hole cut in the back.
Musician using the football grip.
N.Y.C. Cuban musician Ernesto "Chico" Alvarez
using the pistol grip.
Enrique Lazaga musical director of La Ritmo Oriental.
Playing a long slim Güiro, football grip.

The Güiro player from the Cuban group 'El Monarca Del Son' with his Güiro showing very interesting cuts at the top, I've never seen cuts like these before.

1 comment:

Fidels Eyeglasses said...

Attention Lucas Vázquez: If you copy anything from my blog, have the courtesy to say where you took the photo/s from as well as where you "cut and past" any text from.