When you watch live performances of drummers playing the Cajon, the first thing that pops up in your mind could be, I can do that. But is it easy to play the Cajon in reality? Well, as with learning any form of art, it comes with practice. Most players think of the Cajon as a drum kit substitute. But it can do more than just being a substitute for drums. It is a percussion instrument and there are lots of different sounds you can produce from it.
What is A Cajon?
We talked about the Cajon and its history in one of our posts. We will cover what it is briefly here. Cajon’s are made of hardwood with an extra layer of plywood nailed to the front side of the instrument. This front side is where you strike the surface with your hand to determine the tone that is emitted. You can hit just about anywhere on the Cajon and it will produce a unique sound.
Cajon is Easy to Play when your posture is aligned
Most of us experience backaches and shoulder pains from sitting too long on a chair. This is due to poor posture. The same applies when you play the Cajon. To avoid any injury and make it easy for you to play the Cajon, you should sit on your Cajon with your spine straight but relaxed.
Rest both of your feet on the floor with your knees bent at right angles - it also depends on the length of your legs. An angle of between 90 to 120 degrees at the groin allows access to the tapa face and also the sides for click strokes.
Place your buttocks in line with the rear face of the Cajon. Avoid sitting too far forward as this will restrict the area in the front of the Cajon available to you. Sitting too far back on the other hand can extend the centre of gravity beyond the rear of the Cajon and make it unstable for you as you risk tipping backward.
Tones of the Cajon
Finding the tones of the Cajon is the first step to make it easy to play the instrument. The bass tone and slap tone are the two main tones produced. The mid-tone is achieved mostly with the tip of the fingers while the hand is in a long cupping form. A high slap tone is achieved with the tips of the fingers hitting the top edge of the Cajon.
Use a Metronome
Using a metronome for practice will help you greatly in improving your accuracy in timing and speed in playing the Cajon. The sound of the clicks from the metronome may annoy you initially. But as time passes you will grow to love it. You can find a free online metronome here. A metronome can help you develop your speed in playing.
Have a Practice Schedule
Another way to develop your ease with playing the Cajon is to practice regularly. To do that, create a schedule. Repeating the same exercise, again and again, will only help you improve your skills. When you have mastered a certain stroke and timing, you can move on to develop another technique with the Cajon.
Find a Teacher
One of the most important things to learning the Cajon is - you need to find a teacher! The easiest way to learn anything is to learn from the book or have hands-on experience and lastly by learning from someone else’s experience.
If you have kids and you are thinking of starting them on learning a musical instrument, why attend a music workshop to open your child’s mind to different musical instruments including the Cajon? There are proven benefits for child development in learning music.
Ritmo Music Studio will be kicking off a 3-day workshop for kids and teenagers from 12 to 14 April! Learn the ukulele or the guitar and percussion instruments such as the Cajon, Shaker, and Tambourine. On the final day, dress up for a video performance by jamming together with friends!
The details are as follow:
Date: 12-14 Apr 2021
Time: 1pm - 5pm
Venue: Ritmo Music Studio (Nearest MRT: Chinatown)
Early bird rate: Now $299 (Usual Price: $350)
Coming with a friend? Enjoy a special rate at $250 each!