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Cuicas (Qweekas)

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The distinct sound of a cuica or qweeka percussion instrument easily adds a one-of-a-kind feel to your musical arrangement. Utilizing a wooden stick you play on the interior drum head, this instrument gives you a totally unique high-end and bass tone in your preferred rhythm. A cuica is sure to set you apart from a typical percussion group. The cuica, also known as ‘the laughing gourd' in Portuguese, offers a sound that easily gives you a reason to listen in. Originally crafted as a male lion call in Africa, the cuica eventually evolved into a highly sought after samba drum for both African and Brazillian music. Contemporary musicians have also taken to the drum, from Quincy Jones' ‘Soul Bossa Nova' to the Beastie Boys' ‘Lighten Up', the cuica suits a variety of genres. The interior wooden stick moves freely and can be manipulated by the musician to produce a variety of timbres. When the musician presses the head on the exterior of the drum with a wet cloth, the point of contact with the interior stick creates the traditional warbling sound with ease. Learning this instrument is possible for even introductory students of percussion. Original cuicas were made of gourds but today's models are created using of synthetic materials such as fibreglass like the Meinl Floatune model. The thin walls of the cuica allow the rhythm to reverberate easily, helping to create a full sounding high-end. Adding a unique vibe to your jam is a cuica's specialty. Learning to play this instrument is simple for novices or professionals, making it interesting to experiment with or incorporate into a larger arrangement. You're sure to pique the interest of fellow percussion enthusiasts when you're using a cuica.