What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

You will find been a wonderful surge in curiosity in box drums lately. You may see and hear them everywhere in all sorts of music from flamenco to entire world to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even featured a percussionist in the home band who sometimes provides it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged efficiency.

So what is cajon drum kit ?

Box drums, also popularly recognized by their Spanish identify, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are really quite outdated. They had been designed in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal locations of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from possessing any musical devices, one theory is that these devices ended up fashioned from the delivery crates and boxes that were being unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting on containers starting make beats and there you have a new drum.

The word "cajón" actually interprets as drawer in Spanish. So an additional concept is that some enterprising musician pulled out his picket drawer and started out enjoying beats on the slim wooden bottom surface. Whatever the real story is, the box drum has been listened to in Peruvian folk tunes for centuries.

Integration into Flamenco songs and past

In the 1980's, planet famous flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was provided a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a present. DeLucia was fascinated with the seem and experienced it integrated into his group. Someplace along the way, they began experimenting with adding guitar strings managing alongside the faceplate of the drum. This extra a sizzle effect which proved quite valuable. By placing various places on the drum you could get a excellent facsimile of a complete package seem with this a single moveable box! I've heard these drums becoming employed in jazz, folks, bluegrass and even in music therapy courses and kindergartens.


The design of the box drum is quite significantly unchanged from days of old. It really is a box about eighteen inches tall with a sq. footprint of about one foot by one particular foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the front floor is struck by the arms. By hitting with diverse components of the hand and fingers and in various regions, you can get quite various sounds.

Modern Box Drums

Present-day cajóns or box drums have started to department out as modern instrument makers make refinements and innovations. There are some that use snare drum wires rather of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass influence by including a front dealing with bass audio gap. There are even some that are performed with a bass drum pedal or with brushes.

Why the Surge in Reputation?

The box drum is an appealing option for percussionists for numerous factors: portability, versatility, and affordability. You don't have to plug it in and can be used even in a avenue-corner busking circumstance. And they are cost-effective also. You can get a professionally manufactured and beautiful wood instrument for a small over $100! And you can even buy a package to make one particular for 50 percent of that. And alongside the way, the cajon can make a good finish desk or added seating in your living room!

I imagine we will hear and see numerous a lot more box drums in recordings, on stage and in schools as more and far more musicians discover this beautiful instrument.

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