The unique and popular Cajon Drum is basically a wooden drum. It has a thin layer of plywood on one side and thick wood to the sides and top. Normally there is a sound hole at the back of the Cajon. Most cajons measure about one foot square and 18 inches tall.
The Cajon uses a hole and mostly, it is located at the rear of the drum to allow air to escape. At the same time it produces a bass sound. Another advantage of this hole is that you can put a microphone to amplify the sound out. One does not need to be a professional drummer to play a Cajon Drum.
Want easy and effective tips that will get you to play the Cajon Drum in a short period of time? This article will discuss the issues to do to tune up your skills.
PROPER BODY POSITIONING
A sitting position is very important. It is necessary to play within 8? down the front of the Cajon as all tones including the bass tone can be achieved right there. Playing far away from it will only complicate the tones and you may not get the required good quality bass nor high tones.
Sit with a straight back and only bend when reaching other parts of the Cajon. You may choose to sit in a chair and position the Cajon with your legs bending over it on the sides.
The feet should be firmly planted on the ground with legs bent at right angles. From this position, an angle of between 90 degree and 120 degree to the groin should be enough to permit you reach the face and sides. Depending on your body structure, the buttocks should be in line with the rear face of the Cajon and as close to it as possible.
It is important to relax to prevent fatigue and back pain. Tension will bring a lot of fatigue and also you lose timing.
TWO MAIN TONES
The Cajon has two main tones which are the bass tone and the high tone. The main objective is to get that sound which you are seeking and are comfortable with. The most crucial part in Cajon drum playing is to get the desired sound. You basically use the open palm and hit the drum faces and different sounds will be determined by where you hit the drum faces.
While drumming you can also tip the box or tilt it inward while playing. To play the Cajon, you use your open palm and smack the drum faces. How and where you place your palms or fingers on the head will give off different sound effects from the box.
The other playing method is to sit on a chair and have the drum box out in front of you. This allows you to straddle the Cajon with your upper body and arms.Whatever position you take, make sure that you are comfortable and relaxed as much as you can.
HOW TO FIND THE “BASS TONE” AREA OF THE CAJON
If you know what you are looking for, then it is easy to find a bass drum sound by hitting the middle of the playing surface. Hitting the Cajon with a flat palm of your hand, cupped and/or fingertips at almost about half-way across side-to-side & about 6-inches (15cm) down from the top, you should hear a definite deep thud which is the bass tone.
Therefore, to produce the bass tone, hit the Cajon surface near the upper edge. Make sure that much of the action is in your wrists.
Please note that the tones may differ depending on the type of Cajon but the result will be the same and do not hit the Cajon too hard as this will not produce the required bass tone. You may also get bruised by hitting it too hard.
Sometimes the quality of the bass tone may be negatively impacted by other tones especially the lower and higher tones. This type of Cajon is of less quality and is to blame for this.
HOW TO FIND THE “HIGH TONE” AREA OF THE CAJON
Do you want to get the high tone? You can achieve the high tones by playing the top 3-inch x 3-inch (7.5cm x 7.5cm) corner areas of the top plate. If you hit this area with part of your fingers or ends of your fingers, you are bound to hear a high tone sound. Hitting the Cajon with the whole fingers will give you some lower tones mixed with the high tones. This gives a bad high tone quality.
Therefore, use the palm of your hand and hit the Cajon close to the center of the playing surface, about one-quarter of the way down. Avoid hitting with the whole length of your fingers for optimum high tone output.
HOW TO USE THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE HAND TO STRIKE THE CAJON
Flat Hand and Fingers Together
If you are ready to play the Cajon, hitting the front plate with the whole length of your fingers at the top of the drum will ensure that you get the high tone. During this hitting process, ensure that the thumb is loose and basically you are completely relaxed to avoid getting the wrong tone.
Now let’s see how we can get a bass tone. Ensure your hand is flat but this time around make sure that your fingers are spread and the palm of your hand is open. Then hit the front plate with the whole hand targeting the middle or the upper area of your Cajon. When you hear that bass tone, then it means that you have perfectly executed it.
The Cajon drum is one of those drums which has been used for ages and continue to make an impact in these modern days. The instrument has become very popular in recent years with acoustic bands and it’s very unique and its sound fits perfectly with other acoustic instruments. This article has shown that it’s one of the instruments which is easy to use and it is a perfect instrument for everyone. Now it’s time to hit the Cajon drum.