History of the Cajon.
The Cajon originated in South America. There are several stories about how the Cajon really came to be. It comes down to pretty much the same in all stories. And that is that the Cajon originated from poverty or the lack of decent materials. One of the stories has to do with slavery and long boat trips that could not be used by instruments. And another story focuses more on poverty. The lack of financial means to purchase instruments. As a result, boxes / cabinets / drawers were used for drumming. And so the negative charge gave a lot of pleasure in the early existence of the Cajon.
What is a Cajon exactly?
The literal translation from Spanish is “drawer”. Translated more freely, you can look at “chest” or possibly “closet”. Where the term chest fits best. The base is not far from a chest. It is a wooden box-shaped drum. With a sound hole at the back. The front panel is also made of wood and is somewhat thinner than the side walls. There is a string mechanism behind the front blade. This gives the opportunity to make a clearly audible difference between your bass and your snare sounds. You can even simulate a kind of hi-hat sound. This way you have 1 instrument but still your entire drum kit at hand. You play the clubface with your hands and sometimes with the heel of your foot.
Difference in Cajons.
There are many different Cajons on the market. Each brand has its own qualities and perhaps its own downsides. There is already a difference in the general construction of a Cajon. We then look at height, width and depth measurements. This partly determines the sound. But the string mechanics also differ. For example, you have Cajons where a single string is strung on the back of the front blade. We often see this more in the Latin styles. They reproduce a bit more of the string in the overall sound. You also have the models with 1 or 2 string mats on the back of the front blade. You can compare these mats with half-string mats of a snare drum. They give a slightly cleaner sound. We see this more in pop culture. In addition to these two, there are a number of other ways. However, these are the most commonly used.
Add on for Cajon
For Cajons you have many accessories. We call these Add-ons. Because you add them to your Cajon. In many cases also literally. You stick them to your cajon with Velcro. So you have cabasas. tambourines and other percussion instruments. You also have the options to use your Cajon more as part of a percussion set. Think of a foot pedal for your cajon and a kickport. So all these options give much more dimension to your game.
- Acoustic setting: The band plays without amplification. No guitar amps or other electronic amplification.
- Latin music: umbrella name for all Latin American music styles
- Kickport: Accessory to deepen your sound hole so that the bass tones come out better.
- Cover: The wooden plate on the front of your Cajon. Here you hit the cajon.