What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

There is been a excellent surge in interest in box drums these days. You may see and hear them all over the place in all varieties of tunes from flamenco to planet to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even highlighted a percussionist in the property band who occasionally brings it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged overall performance.

So what is a box drum?

Box drums, also popularly recognized by their Spanish name, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are truly really previous. They have been developed in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal places of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from possessing any musical devices, 1 concept is that these devices were fashioned from the shipping crates and containers that were becoming unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting down on boxes starting up make beats and there you have a new drum.

The term "cajón" virtually interprets as drawer in Spanish. So yet another theory is that some enterprising musician pulled out his wood drawer and commenced taking part in beats on the skinny wood bottom area. Whatsoever the accurate tale is, the box drum has been read in Peruvian people tunes for centuries.

Integration into Flamenco tunes and outside of

In the 1980's, globe renowned flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was given a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a present. DeLucia was fascinated with the seem and had it incorporated into his group. Somewhere along the way, they began experimenting with adding guitar strings operating along the faceplate of the drum. This extra a sizzle effect which proved really beneficial. By placing various areas on the drum you could get a great facsimile of a total kit audio with this one particular portable box! I've listened to these drums getting employed in jazz, folks, bluegrass and even in tunes remedy classes and kindergartens.


The design and style of the box drum is rather much unchanged from times of outdated. It's a box about 18 inches tall with cajon drum kit of about a single foot by one foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the entrance surface area is struck by the arms. By hitting with diverse components of the hand and fingers and in distinct regions, you can get really different seems.

Modern Box Drums

Present-day cajóns or box drums have began to branch out as contemporary instrument makers make refinements and innovations. There are some that use snare drum wires as an alternative of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass effect by incorporating a entrance going through bass audio hole. There are even some that are played with a bass drum pedal or with brushes.

Why the Surge in Reputation?

The box drum is an eye-catching choice for percussionists for many motives: portability, versatility, and affordability. You do not have to plug it in and can be employed even in a avenue-corner busking predicament. And they are affordable also. You can acquire a skillfully manufactured and gorgeous wooden instrument for a little in excess of $100! And you can even buy a package to make a single for fifty percent of that. And together the way, the cajon helps make a good end desk or added seating in your residing place!

I feel we will listen to and see many far more box drums in recordings, on stage and in colleges as far more and a lot more musicians learn this beautiful instrument.

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