How To Play a Cajon Drum. It's easy!

Posted in Learn | Last Updated on December 7, 2018

How to play cajon

Have you ever wanted to be a drummer? Cant afford a new drum set in today’s economy? Well let me introduce you to the Cajon (a lot of people write it ''cahone drum'' which is not correct by the way) . The is an ancient box like drum that is making a reappearance in the mainstream music world today. This instrument is quite affordable as well as easy and fun to play. Another benefit of this baby is, that it is so portable you can take it with you where ever you go. You never know when you just might run into a band that is in need of a drummer. This unique looking instrument is a six sided, handcrafted from plywood materials creating a quite sturdy and durable drum box.

All right, so “how to play a cajon“ ?

They can come in many different shapes and sizes with each one having its own unique sound. Most of the drums have a hole cut in one of the four sides to emit the sound you will be making. This area with the hole is always to be placed behind you while sitting on the drum. The front area of the drums surface that is played is called the tapa or drum head. When playing the there are several different playing positions you can choose from.

The main thing is to find one that is comfortable for you. This musical instrument was originally meant to be sat upon while tapping. Sitting on top of the drum box will give you the full playing advantage you need to make music. You can choose to either straddle the box or sit upon it. Either way will depend on what is comfortable for you while playing.

While drumming you can then 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 affects 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.

One of the benefits of playing this way is it allows you to slap the heads and snares quicker without having to reach over your legs. You may also sit in a chair and straddle the instrument with your legs bending over the it on the sides. Just make sure whatever way you choose to play you are comfortable, this will maximize your output while drumming. The beauty of this gem is there are so many different playing style to choose from that your are free to express talents the way you want!

Which tones or sounds can be made with

It's known that the sound of the snare can be obtained by hitting the upper left and right corners of the instrument using the fingers and moving the wrist only.The sound of the bass is found by hitting about the middle of the box with the palms and moving the entire arm.

Playing with Brushes

For example if you play with brushes, this way you could get a hi-hat, kick and snare sound. When hitting the snare and kick sounds while holding brushes you have to hit with the stick part of the brush to get a fuller sound especially when playing without mic. And the hi-hat sound comes natural from the brushes hitting the box.

or may be you wanna:


Play it with Sticks!

The faceplates are usually made out of delicate or light weight wood that could dent or even crack. So be gentle while playing with those. Take a look here to find out more about accessories.

Another thing you can do with the sound is place a foot against the front and push against the box and gradually release pressure, this pitches the sound of the entire drum, you should experiment with this to realize how it feels / works best for you personally. Read more on how to adjust your Cajon.