Cajon drum box is a six sided box used as a hand percussion musical instrument. Cajon is originated from Peru, South America. It is played by hitting its faceplate to create sounds. The percussion player can sit on top of the Cajon drum box and play the front plate using their bare hands to create tones. Cajon drum is slowly gaining its popularity throughout the world. Nowadays, Cajon technology has improved that some manufacturers have added electronic device to the Cajon drum box. Bali Treasures has innovated Cajons that could produce stronger bass tones.
Cajons are gaining a good popularity in 1970s when Peruvian composer and Cajon master Caitro Soto introduce Cajon drum to a Spanish guitarist. Since then Cajon has been incorporated into many style of music, namely modern rock, hip hop music and modern alternative music. The improvement use of Cajon can be combined with kick pedals, hi hat pedals and double bass pedal.
Now a days the Cajon drum has developed in shapes and sizes. The slightly slided faceplate Cajon is manufactured by many Cajon manufacturers. The bigger size Cajon is capable of making bigger bass tones, while the smaller Cajon is more liked by percussionists who prefer more mid bass tones.
How To Play A Cajon
Cajon drum box is made from Plywood and or hard woods that you can sit and play on it. You sit on a position so that your hand can play the faceplate front side and the other side that has a hole facing backward.
Your feet should be resting flat on the floor. The bass tone is generated when you hit the faceplate 4-6 inches down from the top of the front face in the middle. This area is far enough to allow the face to resonate & create a solid, focused and punchy bass tone. It should be easy to reach that part.
You should try and experience which part creates the best bass tone as if you move to the side the tone will be different. The mid tone is produced when your finger hit 3 inches down from the top of the faceplate. You can hear the mid tone clearly when you hit the area correctly.
Normally this side is creates more of snare like sound. The third tone is the high tone. The high tone is created when your fingers hit the top edge of the faceplate.
By hitting the top edge of the faceplate the faceplate will vibrate less hence creates the high tone. After knowing how to play the Cajon next is practicing to master the rhythms.
How We Make Our Cajons
The Cajon drum box is made from hardwood for its construction, plywood and thin plywood to be attached to the faceplate. It is very important to use a controlled water content wood as materials. First our R&D dept confirmed the design and sizes of the Cajons.
The box construction wood has to be cut in precise length & designs. Then the wood blocks are put together to make a box shaped structure. The structure has to be strong enough to be sat on by an adult.
It is important as our Cajons are also sold to overweight adults. After the construction, the next is to attach the plywood to the sides of the Cajons. The plywood attachments has to be done precisely so that there will be no air gap between the sides.
This is very important to maintain the sound production and the Cajon aesthetics. The inside of the front faceplate is attached with snare, strings or jingles.
The purpose is to add rattling sounds when the faceplate is hit by Cajon player. The opposite side of the faceplate has a hole on the plywood that allows the flow of the air. The Cajons can be finished with many patterns and colors to fulfill the market demand.
The History Of Cajons
The Cajon is a simple 6-sided drum box that has a front plate to be played and another opposite side that has a port hole. The Cajon is usually made from plywood and the faceplate that is made from a thin plywood. The Cajon drum box was originated from Peru, South America, in 16th century.
The African slaves were creating this music instrument from packing crates and use them to replace their old style drum. The word Cajon means box or drawer in Spanish and Cajon is found as major player in Spanish Flamenco music.
Over the years, Cajons have developed and people are making additions to this musical instrument. The addition of snares make added another dimension and experience in the Cajon playing. Since then many snare styles have been developed to add the fun of the Cajon drumming.
Modern Cajons have even more additions such as strings, bass port and pick ups to enhance the tones amplifications. The spirit of the Cajon is the spirit of the music. Such a simple musical instrument that is able to bring together simple beats to complex beats of a music .