What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

You will find been a excellent surge in interest in box drums lately. You are going to see and listen to them all over the place in all varieties of music from flamenco to planet to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even showcased a percussionist in the house band who at times brings it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged overall performance.

So what is a box drum?

Box drums, also popularly identified by their Spanish identify, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are really quite old. They were produced in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal locations of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from possessing any musical devices, a single idea is that these instruments were fashioned from the delivery crates and packing containers that were getting unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting down on containers starting up make beats and there you have a new drum.

The word "cajón" virtually translates as drawer in Spanish. So another idea is that some enterprising musician pulled out his picket drawer and started out enjoying beats on the slim picket base area. Whatsoever the real tale is, the box drum has been heard in Peruvian folks music for centuries.

Integration into Flamenco songs and over and above

In the 1980's, planet well-known flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was given a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a gift. DeLucia was fascinated with the audio and had it incorporated into his group. Somewhere together the way, they started out experimenting with including guitar strings managing along the faceplate of the drum. This additional a sizzle effect which proved really valuable. By hanging various regions on the drum you could get a great facsimile of a complete package sound with this one particular portable box! I have read these drums becoming utilized in jazz, folk, bluegrass and even in songs treatment courses and kindergartens.


The layout of the box drum is pretty significantly unchanged from days of aged. It really is a box about 18 inches tall with a square footprint of about one particular 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 areas of the hand and fingers and in various places, you can get extremely various seems.

Modern day Box Drums

Present-day cajóns or box drums have commenced to branch out as present day instrument makers make refinements and innovations. There are some that use snare drum wires alternatively of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass impact by introducing a front experiencing bass seem gap. There are even some that are played with a bass drum pedal or with brushes.

Why the Surge in Acceptance?

The box drum is an desirable option for percussionists for a number of motives: portability, versatility, and affordability. You will not have to plug it in and can be used even in a road-corner busking scenario. And they are inexpensive way too. You can acquire a skillfully produced and gorgeous wooden instrument for a minor more than $a hundred! And you can even purchase a kit to make one particular for half of that. And together meinl cajon , the cajon makes a great conclude desk or further seating in your living room!

I feel we will listen to and see numerous much more box drums in recordings, on phase and in educational institutions as far more and far more musicians discover this beautiful instrument.

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