What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

You will find been a excellent surge in fascination in box drums lately. You are going to see and listen to them almost everywhere in all varieties of music from flamenco to globe to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even highlighted a percussionist in the property band who often provides it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged efficiency.

So what is a box drum?

Box drums, also commonly recognized by their Spanish name, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are truly fairly old. They have been developed in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal regions of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from having any musical devices, 1 theory is that these instruments were fashioned from the delivery crates and boxes that ended up getting unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting on bins starting up make beats and there you have a new drum.

The phrase "cajón" virtually translates as drawer in Spanish. So another idea is that some enterprising musician pulled out his wood drawer and started out enjoying beats on the slender wooden base area. What ever the real tale is, the box drum has been listened to in Peruvian folk music for generations.

Integration into Flamenco audio and past

In the 1980's, globe renowned flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was provided a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a present. DeLucia was fascinated with the audio and experienced it incorporated into his group. Someplace alongside the way, they commenced experimenting with introducing guitar strings operating together the faceplate of the drum. This added a sizzle impact which proved quite valuable. By placing various locations on the drum you could get a excellent facsimile of a total package audio with this one particular moveable box! I have read these drums being used in jazz, folk, bluegrass and even in tunes treatment lessons and kindergartens.


The style of the box drum is pretty significantly unchanged from days of outdated. It truly is a box about 18 inches tall with a square footprint of about one foot by one foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the entrance surface area is struck by the palms. By hitting with various elements of the hand and fingers and in distinct regions, you can get very different sounds.

Present day Box Drums

Present-day cajóns or box drums have started out to department out as modern day 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 effect by adding 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 Recognition?

The box drum is an attractive selection for percussionists for a number of causes: portability, flexibility, and affordability. You do not have to plug it in and can be utilised even in a avenue-corner busking predicament. And they are cost-effective way too. You can get a skillfully manufactured and lovely wooden instrument for a minor in excess of $a hundred! And you can even acquire a package to make one for fifty percent of that. And alongside the way, the cajon tends to make a great conclude desk or further seating in your living space!

I imagine we will hear and see numerous much more box drums in recordings, on phase and in colleges as far more and more musicians learn this lovely instrument.

Leave a Reply

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