HISTORY OF CAJON
A Cajon drum box is a drum made from a simple box with thin plywood in front as hittable area to create tones. Back in early time, cajon is made from crate box or a box that is unusable anymore. Cajon drum box is thought to be originated from Peru (Latin America).
The African slaves back in the 16th century were using old crate boxes as music instruments and continue to use it to replace the African drums. It was also told that cajon drums in Cuba were made from old drawers and boxy wooden structure to accompany the Latino and Cuban style music. In Spanish, the word cajon is described as a box or a drawer. Nowadays many Spanish cajon players were noticed in the Spanish flamenco music.
Photo Cajon History
Therefore a cajon is perceived as a drum box music instrument. These days, cajon drum box is equipped with so many improvements inside and we will discuss about some of the improvements below. It is a simple drum box music instruments that could be played with complex method by hitting the faceplate (cajon faceplate) to create unique and lively musical beat or rhythm.
METHODS OF CAJON IMPROVEMENTS.
There are many cajon improvements in the world and hence it would affect the cajon price. Bali Treasures cajon pricing is very competitive compare to other cajon prices, yet the bass and slap tones are boldly comparable to other pro and more expensive cajons. Bali treasures cajon factory is capable of producing thousands of cajons monthly. Bali Treasures is running OEM, wholesale and retail of cajon, djembe and many hand percussion in our 2 shops, 2 factories, a warehouse and an office in Ubud, Bali.
Cajon had steadily developed its popularity throughout the world due to its unique sound that matches with various types of music. This six-sided-box hand percussion musical instrument is played by hitting its faceplate with bare hands to create tones while the player sits on the top of it. Currently, Cajons are made in different shapes and sizes, depending on clients’ preference. It is possible as well to combine Cajon with an electronic device such as pick up and cable plug in order to connect to amplifier and speakers. There are numerous cajon improvements in the world, yet in this improvement section we will only discuss about utilizing snares, strings, bass port and various sizes of cajons by Bali Treasures.
The use of snares inside Cajon can be divided into 2 segments. One is fix snare and the other one is removable snare.
The fix snare photo below describes that the fix snare is installed inside the cajon and the snare are pressing the faceplate, hence creating a crackling tone when cajon player hit the faceplate.
Another type of snares below is removable snare inside cajon. The snare is installed inside the cajon and pressing the faceplate so that when the faceplate is hit, it can create a crackling tone. Yet, this snare is removable like described in the photo below. When the snare is removed and faceplate is played, the faceplate can generate the bongo-like tones. It is very unique.
Another method is to use specific guitar strings inside the cajons. It can be divided into 3 configurations. They are Flamenco configuration, V-shape Strings and multi stings.
The photo below describes the flamenco configuration. The guitar strings are at the sides of the faceplate and forming 2 lines of guitar string from top to bottom part of faceplate. Hence there are areas that are very definitive in creating crackling tones when player hit the faceplate surface.
Another system using guitar string is the V-string configuration by Bali Treasures team. The guitar strings are formed like a V-shape at the back side of the faceplate and pressing to the backside of the faceplate. This system offers more crackling tone area when hit as most of the faceplate surface is covered with guitar strings. It is described in the photo below.
Another configuration used by Bali Treasures is the multi string configuration. This multi string configuration uses more guitar strings as there are five strings formed aligned at each of both sides from top to bottom of the faceplate. This multi string system covers a lot of crackling tone area thus offering more area and complex method to hit.
This method is like installing a kick port on the drum port sound hole. Bali Treasures preinstalled a bass port that is stick to the hole and it’s very good in generating low bass tone. When you got the feel of hitting the faceplate you could even control how loud the bass would be. Sounds fun…?
The bass port is basically a tube attach to the sound hole and has a wider open part at the other end of the tube. The function is to pressurize the air when player hit the mid section of the faceplate so low bass tone is much louder.
Illustration bass port
There are many sizes and shapes of cajons nowadays. But we will only describe cajon sizes that are produced by Bali Treasures. Basically there are four sizes of cajons by Bali Treasures. There are PVC cajon, regular size cajon, small size cajon and kid cajon.
PVC cajon is the barrel shape cajon that is made from PVC materials. The unique wooden faceplate color & shape will surely catches surrounding eyes. Not to mention the great slap and bass tones. The PVC cajon has a dimension of 32x34x48 cm.
PVC Cajon Front
PVC Cajon Back
Regular size cajon
The regular size cajon has a dimension of 30x30x48 cm. it comes in various faceplates namely Teak, Ebony, Sungkai or red mahogany wood. This regular cajon is also installed with bass port for the best bass tone produced. The slap tone is also great and amusing for both player and audience.
Small size cajon
The small size cajon has the same specification with the regular size cajon. Only the size is a little bit smaller. It also has 4 wooden faceplates of choices and preinstalled with bass port tube to enhance the low bass tone. It comes in a dimension of 29x29x45 cm.
Kid cajon is a mini cajon made for kids to learn about cajon music instrument. It is equipped with fixed snare inside and capable of generating rattling slap tone. It comes in many color options to attract kids attention. We have green, blue, yellow, violet. The dimension of kid cajon is 24x24x37 cm.
CONCLUSION & VIDEO
As described above, cajon drum box is drum box that player sits on it and play the rhythm by hitting the faceplate. The slap tone is created by hitting the top corner part of the faceplate, while bass tone is created by hitting the middle part of the faceplate. Below are some videos of Bali Treasures cajon played by Arnok Swensteiger.