The cajon is a hand percussion instrument which likely originated in Peru and students at all grade levels as a clinician and within his private lesson studio. Try our free cajon lessons to help you advance toward becoming a master player. Access our courses and over video lessons from beginner to advanced. The Cajon (Spanish for 'box' or 'drawer') is a wooden drum with one side made of thin the warm bass tone and contrasting snare tones of the modern Cajon.

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If there's just one groove that you have to master on the Cajon - '4-to-the- floor' would be a high a free video and PDF notation on '4-to-the-floor Grooves' at. The cajon has a deep history, with its Peruvian and Cuban roots We do two things differently when we play a slap on the cajon: 1) let our . Receive videos, stories, lessons, songs, and news like this straight to your inbox. Learn Cajon Masterclass Notes - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Basic Learn freddie the frog and the flying jazz kitten lesson plan.

This produces a different quality of high tone that can be interspersed with the ones mentioned above to give flavour to your playing.

If you are playing at very low volumes or want subtle high tones you can strike the top corner areas of your cajon tapa face with one, two or three fingers to give high tones that are still distinct, yet not dominant. Here's a short video demonstrating how to play different high snare tones on your cajon This gives a dead, staccato tone with a bit of pop, but tonally very different from the other high tones. Our Key Advice: Pressed tones are great as part of accents or other rudiments such as the flam or drag.

Each beat has a definite length. If we play leaving that space unfilled silence we can create a particular feel or edginess to our music.

Ghost notes or grace notes are our key on the cajon to achieving that flow. Most grace notes can be played as high tones using the fingers in the top corners but bass ghost notes can also be added to create thickening of the beat as with a flam on the drum kit.

They will also motivate dancers to engage with your music. Use them wisely, use them sparingly, use them tastefully but practice them so that you can use them when needed.

The sides of your cajon are readily accessible when playing the tapa face. Up at the top corners the tone is much brighter. When played lower down the tone are a bit deeper.

Beginners lesson

The top face of your cajon where you sit , providing you don't have a cushion or something in the way, also provides a great surface for extra tones. Slap tones will stand out beautifully, especially if played near to the edge. In the centre, your tones are a bit deeper, certainly enough to stand out. The back of your cajon is less accessible but nevertheless produces beautiful, deep popping tones, especially if you have your cajon miked-up from the rear.

Here's a short video demonstrating how to enhance your playing using different tones from around your cajon Our Key Advice: Remember that your cajon is an instrument with great potential, if you are prepared to explore it. Not only can you draw-out a multitude of beautiful tones, but by using different playing techniques on these surfaces you can multiply those tones even further, what about using your knuckles; how about your finger nails?

Don't just be restricted to what others may tell you is 'right' or 'wrong', experiment. Timing is the hub of the wheel.

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You as percussionist are critical to that timing. I meet many brilliantly technical musicians who are amazing on their own but are totally useless when you put them with other musicians. Because their technique or perhaps a need to impress others has eclipsed the reason they are a drummer or percussionist. Don't get me wrong, technique is an important part of our playing, but when it becomes our raison d'etre, we've lost the plot unless we just want to entertain people on a show circuit.

Why this long preamble? Because our timing is our passport to successful playing. Learn about it.

How To Get Started On The Cajon

Listen to music from all sorts of different musical genres especially those you would not normally listen to. See what works.


In the words of the great studio drummer, Steve Gadd, "What I leave out is as important as what I put in! Your cajon will, in most instances form the foundation for the other instruments in your band. Do you need grace notes or ghost notes? How much space does it need? Do you need to play at all?

These are all key questions that need to be considered, initially it may be a conscious thought process, but as you become more experienced it will become a habit. If you are playing for dancers, this is even more important as your playing will dictate how well they can dance.

Always make technique your slave; don't become a slave to technique.

One of the hardest parts of playing is maintaining a certain tempo throughout a song. The metronome or click-track helps us to understand how our playing changes with different styles or volumes of music.

If we use it when practicing our cajon, we can make the necessary changes to ensure that we don't speed up or slow down every time we play a particular style or come to a certain place in the song.

Listen for where you speed up or slow down. Listen where your beats fall relative to the click: are they late; on the beat or earl?

Cajon Grooves for Beginners (download)

Each of these will create a different feel for the music you play. Live situations are notorious for playing songs considerably quicker than you are used to at rehearsal, simply because there is more adrenaline flowing. Our Key Advice: Use click tracks or metronomes as a tool to understand your cajon playing better.

Learning new techniques, accuracy of technique, consistency of playing, new beats etc can be a real labour of love. Playing along to a click-track or metronome is important but sometimes we just need to enjoy playing along to music.

Pre-recorded music is a great source for practice as most has already been recorded relative to a click track so you are playing at a constant tempo if you keep in time. Be aware that you will also subconsciously pick-up various cues from instruments in that particular recording so if you are learning the song, learn the structure first. Are you unsure how to play this foreign-to-you instrument?

Not to worry.

Right and wrong are subjective here and you need to discover what works best for you and your musical situations. The process of applying the cajon to popular music styles and integrating various playing techniques is simply part of the instrument evolving. No one? I rest my case. Much like choosing a snare drum or cymbal, I recommend experimenting with any that you find and deciding for yourself which version s sound most pleasing to your ears.

A commonly asked question is whether one should get a cajon that has internal guitar strings or snare wires mounted against the playing surface Spanish flamenco style or a cajon that has neither traditional Afro-Peruvian style.

Again, this is percent your call. Sitting squarely on top of the cajon, begin by keeping your fingers gently held together, with the palm of the hand flat, relaxed, and held parallel to the front panel or face plate.

Just make sure that your entire hand is hovering over the front panel, rather than part of it extending above the upper edge of the panel. Strike the cajon and let the hand quickly pull away an inch or so, returning to your starting position. Practice this bass stroke slowly with each hand, one at a time.Rhythms in Three on the Cajon Once we understand the rhythmic concepts. I rest my case. Your email address will not be published.

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Hello, I have a question about lesson 3. We will be touring thu Europe next summer hopefully, keep an eye out!!

Don't just be restricted to what others may tell you is 'right' or 'wrong', experiment. Thank you for sharing your knoledge with us. Annette Kolb.

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