Cajons have become extremely popular recently. You can find them in lots of popular music and are becoming increasingly popular in the classroom. Cajons are a great substitute or addition to any drummer’s collection. You can use them in small club settings as a sub for a drum set, or integrate it into your current set up.
With starter cajons at very affordable prices, it is a perfect instrument for any percussionist to get into!
What’s a Cajon?
Cajons originate from Peru, the first ones being old boxes they used to ship tea in. The boxes were made of thin pieces of wood that easily split. When these boxes were played, the split wood gave the distinct buzz sound we are familiar with on today’s cajons. While most of today’s cajons have actual snare wires in them, traditional Peruvian cajons do not. By eliminating the wires, you get a much drier sound.
Cajons are constructed as a 6 sided box. The front (playing surface) is made of a thin sheet of wood. The back panel features a sound hole. Inside you will usually see a snare wire unit.
Higher end cajons typically feature better quality build materials. These will have thicker sides, top and base which will help create a better quality sound.
Most cajons are made of wood, birch being the most popular or fiberglass. Fiberglass tends to be a little brighter. Some cajons feature a hybrid combinations of a fiberglass body but wood faceplate.
There are many accessories for your cajon these days. Many players will use brushed on the front plate to replicate a snare drum sound. Some companies offer shakers and claves that you can mount to the side of your cajon for extra sounds.
Pedals have been very popular as well. By mounting a pedal you have the traditional bass drum feel to your setup. You can use the pedal while also playing the cajon, or use it in a multi set up.
Several manufactures also make stands for your cajon. Depending on your playing situation, you can mount the cajon to be played in a standing position.
Like any other of your investments, protect it! Even if you don’t plan on playing lot of gigs with your cajon, it is a good idea to pick up a case for it for when you do need to transport it. This is ensure your instrument is protected and will last.
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