Before deciding on your “Slap Box Drum“, it is important that you get one that is made of quality material. Good quality material will also correspond to the production of a “better sound.” Make sure that the slap box drum is constructed using quality wood of high density and thickness.
The panel that is at the front, which is also known as the “tapa”, should also be of good quality in order to produce a better sound when struck. This will also ensure that the bass sound produced by the slap box drum is toned and controlled.
Best Slap Box Drums!
What To Look For When Getting A Good Slap Box Drum!
Consider The Make
A good brand name is important when looking to purchase a good slap box drum. However, a known brand logo might not be able to guarantee that the particular slap box drum you want to purchase will suit your needs. Take your time to shop around and test the different models and brands. Always check the reviews of previous consumers before you actually make your purchase. You might come across a not so popular brand but the box drum is actually made of good quality materials. Exercise patience and do not be in a rush to buy until you actually find the “ONE.”
What Is The Sole Purpose?
Always keep in mind the sole purpose of wanting a cajon drum. There are some cajons that are built to mainly produce heavy bass tones, while others are made to just give that rattle. There are cajons that have snares and will sound quite different from those without snares. Simply put, consider the purpose for which you are getting the slap box drum and get one to suit your needs.
Consider The Tones It Produces
This might sound very subjective, but it is equally relevant. Choose a slap box drum based on the sounds that it produces. There are Cajon drums that produce high tones that sound crisp. There are also drums that produce bass tones that are pretty deep. There are some that have snares and can be tuned. It is good to note and be aware of all these differences before buying the slap box drum.
Tips On How To Properly Play A Slap Box Drum!
You can get a good teacher who will guide and mentor you on the basics you need to know about playing a slap box drum. You can find one online or in person. There are several tutorials on YouTube and other sites on the internet where you can easily find a good teacher to follow.
Mind Your Playing Posture
It is very important to make sure that your posture when playing the Cajon is right to avoid straining yourself. Ensure that your back is up straight and not hunched. This will consequently help you to improve in your playing skill and speed. It is also a sure way to avoid unnecessary back pain.
Make sure that you stretch yourself often to avoid serious injury that could hinder you from playing your Cajon slap box drum. This will be more beneficial to you when you master from the beginning.
Focus On The Tones
As a beginner, you need to pay more attention to finding the correct tones as you play. The Cajon has two major tones, the slap and the bass tone. Always practice and seek to improve on your drumming skill.
You should time yourself to improve on your drumming accuracy and speed. You can use a metronome to help you on this one. It might be annoying in the beginning but be persistent and learn.
Come Up With A Timetable
Create time in your schedule for practice. You need to come up with a practice schedule that can help you be consistent in your drumming exercises. You can repeat the same tones daily until you master them, then you move to other types of drumming exercises.
Practice With Your Friends
You need to get yourself out there and practice alongside others. This will definitely help you to get more ideas and be able to learn more drumming skills. Identify a group in your locality and join them every time they meet up to play. There are plenty of groups in almost every town, if not, you can spearhead and form one. You might be surprised at how many Cajon players there are in your locality. This is a sure way of getting together, bonding and having fun while learning to play. Enjoy playing your Cajon and make more music. Keep in mind all the tips we have shared and you will soon become a pro in playing the Cajon!
A Brief History Of The Slap Box Drum!
Box drums, also popularly known by their Spanish name, cajón (pronounced ka – hone) are actually quite old. They were created in the 1700’s by African slaves in coastal areas of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from having any musical instruments, one theory is that these instruments were fashioned from the shipping crates and boxes that were being unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting on boxes starting make beats and there you have a new drum.
The word “cajón” literally translates as “drawer” in Spanish. So another theory is that some enterprising musician pulled out his wooden drawer and started playing beats on the thin wooden bottom surface. Whatever the true story is, the box drum has been heard in Peruvian folk music for centuries.
Later on, world famous flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was given a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a gift. DeLucia was fascinated with the sound and had it incorporated into his group. Somewhere along the way, they started experimenting with adding guitar strings running along the faceplate of the drum. This added a sizzle effect which proved very useful. By striking different areas on the drum you could get a good facsimile of a full kit sound with this one portable box! I’ve heard these drums being used in jazz, folk, bluegrass and even in music therapy classes
The design of the cajon drum is pretty much unchanged from days of old. It’s a box about 18 inches tall with a square footprint of about one foot by one foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the front surface is struck by the hands. By hitting with different parts of the hand and fingers and in different areas, you can get very different sounds. The Traditional String Cajóns use a guitar string running along the faceplate. These too can be adjusted with the allen key and a screwdriver. On the side of the box is a knob to dial in the exact sound you want.
Today’s cajóns or slap box drums have started to branch out as modern instrument makers make refinements and innovations. There are some that use snare drum wires instead of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass effect by adding a front facing bass sound hole. There are even some that are played with a bass drum pedal or with brushes.The highest end cajóns are the Artisan Cajóns. These do look beautiful and are like sitting and playing on a high end piece of furniture
The cajon drum is an attractive option for percussionists for several reasons: portability, versatility, and affordability. You don’t have to plug it in and can be used even in a street-corner busking situation. And they are affordable too. You can buy a professionally made and beautiful wood instrument for a little over $100! And you can even buy a kit to make one for half of that. And along the way, the cajon makes a nice end table or extra seating in your living room!
I believe we will hear and see many more box drums in recordings, on stage and in schools as more and more musicians discover this beautiful instrument!