So what is a Cajon?
Cajon drum is simply described as a box drum. It is played with fingers, hands and brushes or you can use an object or feet to play and still get a great sound. The box is 18 inches long and 12 inches wide. It is not as sophisticated and classy like drum sets, but it brings out remarkable tones forthose who've mastered the art of playing it.
Its small size and lightweight makes it easy to travel with anywhere you go and perform efficiently.
It's easy to learn and come up with great sounds in and out The more you get comfortable playing it. the easier it becomes to bring out your drumming styles and produce incredible tones.
This instrument is made up of high-quality woods with hardwood and plywood on the front The front is known as the face or taps where you hit with your hand to produce different notes and tones. It is sometimes referred to as a box drum kit due to the different sounds and timbres it produces.
Cajon is a Spanish name for a box or a drawer.
The instrument originated from Peru back in the 18th Century, where it was being used to play folk music styles, including Festejo. According to its music, this kind of music was started by African slaves in Peru when their owners barred them from paying their African drums. The police and slave owners saw these African drums as a way of staging riot hence barred them from using them.
Thanks to the love of music, the ban did not stop them but rather gave them the opportunity to become more innovative. They started using their fishing and packing boxes to play instead of drums.
That was the birth of the Peruvian Cajon which later found its way on the hands of Paco De Lucia's percussionists. He made it more sophisticated by developing the guitar string system and made it sound more snary and airy. This was now named the Flamenco Cajon.
The Flamenco Cajon is the popular one these days and used to play a variety of genres such as jazz, pop. folk, and rock. The sound resembles that of a drum kit including a bass, a slap. and a snare. Others also choose to add accessories to it to create an even fuller sound called a Cajon kit. The original Peruvian Cajon is not as popular and not as classy as it lucks the guitar strings.
Design and technique
From just a quick glance, you'll notice that a Cajon drum features a very simple but elegant design. Because it's made of a box, Cajon has so many striking zones, and you get different tones depending on where you choose to strike and what you're using.
One face of the Cajon has a hole created in it. This whole faces away from the drummer because it is where the sound escapes from.
You must learn to hit your Cajon accurately to produce different types of sound. For instance, you're going to get a higher pitch and sharper tone if you decide to hit close to the edge. This is fun for creating a backbeat similar to that of a traditional drum kit or a snare drum. Moving your strike closer to the center of the front produces a lower tone with a woody thump. This will sound more like Toms or Bass drum.
It allows you to create various interesting sounds with either open, scrape, mute and pluck hits. Creating different notes and pitches not only depends on which part of the drum you hit but also on which part of your hand you use to hit the instrument You can come up with amazing notes and pitches by applying some pressure to bend the wood using one hand or foot and using the other hand to hit the head.
How to play?
When it comes to Cajon, there is no one size fits all as these instruments come in different sizes and shapes with each producing their unique sound. Every player has their own preferred Cajon depending on the type of music they are playing. the sound they intend to produce and what makes them feel comfortable.
Sitting on top of the Cajon with the side with the hole placed behind is the original playing style. This is the most common and comfortable way of playing Cajon, and the instrument was meant to be played this way right from the style. Thanks to various talents and skills that artists come up with, you no longer have to sit on it to play. Other percussionists prefer playing while sitting on a chair behind it and straddle with the upper body when performing.
Every player has their own playing styles, and Cajon gives them the flexibility of playing on different styles as long as they feel comfortable. Once you find a perfect position, you can use your open palms to smack the face of the drum. Others will tilt it inwards while performing. You will get different sounds and pitches depending on the part of the box that you place your fingers and palm.
If you're new in playing Cajon, you can experiment with all these styles until you find one that you feel comfortable with. You only get to discover your talent and expertise if you choose to experiment widely. You can also maximize your comfort and performance by minding your posture. Ensure you keep your back straight rather than hunching over. Also, ensure you're relaxed since you won't play well when tensed.
Don't be afraid to try new things as this gives you the opportunity to explore your talents and learn faster.
Using sticks and brushes
What you use for hitting your Cajon also determines which tones and sounds you are going to get You already know that you can either hit it with your palm or use sticks and brushes. When playing with brushes, you can get a snare, kick or hi-hat sound. The stick part of the brush gives you a fuller sound suitable forthose who don't have a mic.
You can also choose to play with sticks made from lightweight wood and create amazing sounds. Just make sure your stick doesn't crack or dent as this will interfere with the sound quality.
Playing with your foot
Your foot also creates amazing sound and creativity when you choose to play with it To do this, you need to place the foot against the front of the box and push against it. You can then release pressure. and you will produce an amazing pitch.
You can experiment playing Cajon with your hand, feet, stick or brushes and find out how it feels and sounds. You can then adapt your own playing style based on your preferences. Being able to play with anything and still get the amazing sounds, tones and pitches is the beauty behind having a Cajon as one of your music instruments.
How the laptop drum works?
You don't need to carry an entire drum set when moving from one place to another to play for a small crowd. The laptop Cajon gives you the flexibility, convenience and portability so that you can move with your entire sound system and not feel overwhelmed. Laptop Cajon is also classy, modern and doesn't occupy too much space.
Conja is the name of the new laptop Cajon and is a new instrument in town. This is the latest and useful addition to the variety of Cajon innovations available out here. The beautiful instrument was invented forthose artists that face different playing circumstances, different music, and different types of audience and therefore need a lot of flexibility either when moving or performing on stage.
The laptop Cajon comes equipped with different strings touching the playing surface from the inside panel. The strings deliver the sizzle effect that offers a substantial sound with various musical apps. This Cajon offers high and low pitched surface areas playing bongo patterns. Thanks to the lightweight and the compact size of the laptop, it is perfect for artists that are always on the road. It is also perfect for modern players that need more technological improvements in their musical performance.
What wood is the Cajon made of?
Wood Cajons are made of quality wood such as hardwood and come with an extra layer of plywood nailed to the front side. The designated front side is the face or tapa and is where the striking takes place. This is where you'll be hitting either with your hand or stick to get that amazing tone. It. therefore, needs high-quality wood that can withstand all the pressure and the hitting that Cajons have to endure.
Marine plywood is commonly used because they are strong, resistant to splitting. cracking and produce great quality sound. Hardwoods like birch and beech are also common because they are durable and produce excellent sound properties. Birch is a higher density wood that produces beautiful cracking high tones and is incredibly punchy. Beech does not march its counterpart in terms of quality, but they also produce great quality sounds.
Other Cajon drum manufacturers use other types of hardwood like mahogany to produce strong bass tones and also high cracking tones. Oak produces hard and rich in volume hence also used to make some types of Cajon. However, oak Cajons are of low quality because the wood is prone to cracking when exposed to high impact because of its brittle nature.
Cajons made with high-quality wood produces higher quality sound and are likely to last longer and serve you better. Poor quality materials can impact the sound quality and are more prone to cracking and splitting. Cajons made from lower quality wood are cheaper because they are not as rich in sound and don't last long. It is important to choose those Cajons made from hardwood for professional quality sounds and durability.
Why does the Cajon interest so many people?
Cajon has grown to become so popular among drummers thanks to its convenience, size, and portability. Even the audience loves this music instrument because it can produce same great sounds and tones. It is used for stage performance； music festivals, seminars, and music education, music production and all kinds of entertainment.
Playing a Cajon drum is very easy, hence beginners in the music industry can easily learn and get used to it. You can play it as a single artist or in a group of drummers and enjoy the music even more. You can start by playing seated and then grow to other styles as you get used to the basic snare, bass sounds and other rhythms. You can also choose to play with your hands, feet, sticks and brushes and enjoy the various tones each one of them produces.
Another interesting thing about Cajons that have added to the favoritism among many people is that they are used by everybody regardless of age or gender. They adapt to so many music styles, including jazz, rock, pop, etc. hence used by any age group. including children, youths, and older adults. There are Cajons for kids with smaller dimensions. You can also make your own DIY Cajon drum at home and get those interesting sounds and tones. However, a DIY is not suitable for professional use because of the poor sound quality.