What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

There's been a great surge in desire in box drums recently. You may see and hear them all over the place in all types of songs from flamenco to globe to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even highlighted a percussionist in the house band who often provides it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged performance.

So what is a box drum?

Box drums, also commonly recognized by their Spanish identify, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are actually quite old. They ended up developed in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal locations of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from getting any musical devices, one particular concept is that these instruments were fashioned from the transport crates and containers that have been getting unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting down on packing containers beginning make beats and there wooden box drum have a new drum.

The phrase "cajón" practically translates as drawer in Spanish. So another principle is that some enterprising musician pulled out his picket drawer and started actively playing beats on the slender wooden bottom surface area. No matter what the correct story is, the box drum has been read in Peruvian folks audio for hundreds of years.

Integration into Flamenco music and past

In the 1980's, entire world famous flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was presented a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a gift. DeLucia was fascinated with the audio and experienced it integrated into his group. Someplace together the way, they began experimenting with introducing guitar strings working along the faceplate of the drum. This included a sizzle result which proved extremely beneficial. By placing distinct places on the drum you could get a excellent facsimile of a entire package audio with this 1 moveable box! I've listened to these drums getting utilized in jazz, folk, bluegrass and even in songs therapy classes and kindergartens.


The style of the box drum is pretty a lot unchanged from times of outdated. It truly is a box about 18 inches tall with a square footprint of about one particular foot by 1 foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the entrance floor is struck by the arms. By hitting with different elements of the hand and fingers and in distinct areas, you can get really different appears.

Present day Box Drums

Present day cajóns or box drums have started out to department out as contemporary instrument makers make refinements and innovations. There are some that use snare drum wires as an alternative of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass result by incorporating a entrance going through bass seem hole. There are even some that are performed with a bass drum pedal or with brushes.

Why the Surge in Acceptance?

The box drum is an attractive selection for percussionists for several motives: portability, versatility, and affordability. You don't have to plug it in and can be used even in a road-corner busking predicament. And they are affordable also. You can get a skillfully manufactured and beautiful wooden instrument for a small over $a hundred! And you can even purchase a package to make 1 for fifty percent of that. And along the way, the cajon tends to make a wonderful stop desk or extra seating in your dwelling space!

I believe we will hear and see several much more box drums in recordings, on phase and in colleges as much more and more musicians uncover this stunning instrument.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *