What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

There is been a wonderful surge in desire in box drums lately. You'll see and listen to them almost everywhere in all kinds of songs from flamenco to planet to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even featured a percussionist in the home band who at times delivers it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged functionality.

So what is a box drum?

Box drums, also commonly recognized by their Spanish title, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are really very old. They ended up designed in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal areas of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from possessing any musical instruments, one particular principle is that these devices were fashioned from the delivery crates and bins that were getting unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting down on bins starting up make beats and there you have a new drum.

The word "cajón" literally translates as drawer in Spanish. So another concept is that some enterprising musician pulled out his wood drawer and started actively playing beats on the skinny picket base surface. Whatever the true tale is, the box drum has been read in Peruvian people songs for generations.

Integration into Flamenco songs and past

In the 1980's, globe popular flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was presented a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a present. DeLucia was fascinated with the audio and experienced it integrated into his group. Someplace along the way, they started out experimenting with introducing guitar strings working alongside the faceplate of the drum. This added a sizzle effect which proved quite valuable. By striking distinct areas on the drum you could get a good facsimile of a complete kit audio with this 1 portable box! I've listened to these drums becoming utilized in jazz, folk, bluegrass and even in songs treatment lessons and kindergartens.


The layout of the box drum is quite much unchanged from times of aged. It truly is a box about 18 inches tall with a sq. footprint of about one foot by a single foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the front surface is struck by the hands. By hitting with various components of the hand and fingers and in different areas, you can get quite different seems.

Present day Box Drums

Today's cajóns or box drums have started out to department out as modern instrument makers make refinements and improvements. There are some that use snare drum wires instead of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass result by including a entrance dealing with 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 appealing selection for percussionists for numerous causes: portability, versatility, and affordability. You do not have to plug it in and can be utilized even in a street-corner busking circumstance. And they are inexpensive way too. You can get a professionally made and stunning wooden instrument for a small more than $one hundred! And you can even purchase a kit to make cajon drum for 50 percent of that. And together the way, the cajon makes a wonderful finish table or additional seating in your living place!

I think we will hear and see many more box drums in recordings, on stage and in colleges as a lot more and a lot more musicians learn this gorgeous instrument.

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