If you go ahead and watch this video, the guy with the drums has a percussion instrument with his right hand that produces the shaky sound, kind of like the maracas.

What is it called?

enter image description here

Is it possible for me to produce the same sound with my maracas? I'm not sure if I'm just not skilled enough with the maracas or I need to buy a separate instrument for that.

  • That looks like a rainstick, which is one type of shaker. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Nov 3 '14 at 11:53
  • 2
    @BenMiller I disagree - at least where I'm from, 'rainstick' refers to a much longer instrument, where the beans aren't 'shook' but allowed to fall through the gaps inside the tube - playing in a different way, and creating a totally different sound. Youtube Example – Chris Nov 3 '14 at 15:25
  • @Chris I've seen short rainsticks played this way, but you are probably right that it is a simpler shaker that does not have the rainstick pegs inside. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Nov 3 '14 at 15:43
  • I've asked a meta question about whether or not this question is on-topic. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Nov 3 '14 at 16:43
  • @ben: it is on topic. – wazz Mar 22 '15 at 6:09

This instrument is specifically a ganzá [gahn-ZAH], a kind of shaker of African origins and very common in Brazil. It is fairly inexpensive and can be easily found at music instrument stores around the world.

You can ghetto-replicate its sound by putting some small pebbles or large-grained sand into any Aluminium canister (cocktail shakers make for a very nice visual and sounding effect!).


This is generally just called a 'shaker'.

In terms of creating the same sound with maracas: the sounds are pretty close anyway! Try holding the maracas the wrong way up (with your hand around the bulb), which will dampen the sound a little, and sound closer to the shaker in this video. Doing this will create basically the same thing as an egg shaker, which are often used interchangably with the cylindrical ones, such as in this video.

Failing that, they're not expensive, you can pick them up for a few quid - or make you're own if you're feeling adventurous!

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