The Cajon Drum

Posted in Cajons

cajon drum

The Cajon Drum is an Afro-Peruvian musical instrument that was developed in the early 1800′s. It was developed by slaves of West and Central African origin, though are now widely used across all of North and Central America. There have been many changes to these drums since their early days. Originally they were constructed from shipping crates or dresser drawers. This style of drum is made as a wooden box, generally with five of the sides made from half to 3/4 inch thick wood and the sixth side constructed of a thin sheet of wood used as a striking surface.

A sound hole is then cut into the back side that is opposite the striking surface. The top edges of the striking surface are generally left unattached and can be slapped against the box. A player sits astride the box and will tilt it at an angle while hitting the striking surface between his knees. A modern style of this drum will feature several screws at the top for adjusting the timbre. Guitar strings, drum snares or rattles may be added to give a buzz effect to the sound produced by the instrument. You can find more about it history here.

Cajon drum types

There are many companies today that manufacture, you read our in depth guide on the best cajon. There are various types of wood used to construct the drums from white ash to mahogany and they are available in a wide variety of sizes to fit any players needs. There are styes that come with a bass pedal to give a different quality to the sound. Another option that has become available is a hybrids between the Cajon and the Congas. These produce a sound quality that is very different from a more standard type of drum.

This adaptation uses a more triangular shape instead of the more traditionally seen box shape. The Cajon is widely used as percussion in Rumba and Flamenco music as well as traditional African music and more modern rock. This is a very versatile instrument that creates a powerful sound. The Cajon drum continue to make its mark on music, finding it's way into new genres and continuously gaining in popularity and usability.

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