What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

You will find been a fantastic surge in desire in box drums recently. You may see and hear them all over the place in all varieties of songs from flamenco to entire world to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even featured a percussionist in the residence band who often provides it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged functionality.

So what is a box drum?

Box drums, also commonly acknowledged by their Spanish identify, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are truly very previous. They had been designed in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal regions of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from possessing any musical devices, one idea is that these instruments ended up fashioned from the shipping and delivery crates and containers that had been getting unloaded off cajon drum . Slaves sitting on bins starting up make beats and there you have a new drum.

The word "cajón" actually interprets as drawer in Spanish. So another concept is that some enterprising musician pulled out his wooden drawer and started out taking part in beats on the thin wood base surface area. Whatsoever the real story is, the box drum has been heard in Peruvian people music for centuries.

Integration into Flamenco tunes and beyond

In the 1980's, planet popular flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was provided a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a present. DeLucia was fascinated with the audio and had it included into his team. Somewhere together the way, they started experimenting with introducing guitar strings running alongside the faceplate of the drum. This added a sizzle result which proved really helpful. By striking distinct regions on the drum you could get a very good facsimile of a complete kit audio with this one particular portable box! I've heard these drums getting utilised in jazz, folk, bluegrass and even in tunes treatment lessons and kindergartens.

Design and style

The layout of the box drum is pretty considerably unchanged from days of outdated. It's a box about 18 inches tall with a square footprint of about a single foot by one particular foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the entrance surface is struck by the palms. By hitting with distinct components of the hand and fingers and in distinct regions, you can get quite different sounds.

Contemporary Box Drums

Modern cajóns or box drums have began to department out as modern day instrument makers make refinements and improvements. There are some that use snare drum wires alternatively of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass influence by introducing a front facing bass sound hole. There are even some that are played with a bass drum pedal or with brushes.

Why the Surge in Recognition?

The box drum is an appealing alternative for percussionists for a number of factors: portability, flexibility, and affordability. You will not have to plug it in and can be used even in a road-corner busking circumstance. And they are cost-effective way too. You can get a skillfully produced and lovely wooden instrument for a minor above $100! And you can even acquire a kit to make one for half of that. And together the way, the cajon helps make a wonderful conclude table or additional seating in your residing area!

I think we will listen to and see numerous a lot more box drums in recordings, on phase and in schools as more and far more musicians learn this beautiful instrument.

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