All About The Cajon. How To Play It?
What is the Cajon?
In Spanish, the literal meaning of the word Cajon is box or drawer. The Cajon instrument, on the other hand, is an instrument that looks like a box and can make wonderful sounds. It is played by hands, palms, and p-fingertips. The percussionist sits on the Cajon while he is playing. It can also be played with brushes, mallets, or sticks.
The 5 faces of the box are usually made from 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick wooden boards. The sixth surface of the box made of a thin sheet of plywood serves as the striking surface of the head. The name of this surface of the Cajon is the tapa.
Because of the size and weight of the Cajon, it is quite an easy tool to carry. You can hit each face of the Cajon and make unique sounds. Different scraping, plucking, and muted or open beats make a variety of amazing sounds.
History of the Cajon?
The Cajon has occupied a very important place in Afro-Peruvian music since the 19th century. In the 1850s, the Cajon was at the peak of its popularity. It was invented to replace the African drums in Peru. It was played by slaves in Colonial Peru, later banned by the masters. The first Cajons were fairly simple appliances consisting of empty fruit tables and upside-down drawers. After slavery, the Cajon spread to a large audience, including the Criollos. Today, however, the Cajon is an indispensable part of traditional Peruvian music. It is also a much-loved symbol of Peruvian national heritage.
There are two different origin theories for the Cajon. One of them is that the drum is a direct descendant of several box-like musical instruments from the west and central Africa, Angola, and the Antilles. These instruments were made by slaves from the Spanish shipping crates at their disposal. In port cities like Matanzas, Cuba, codfish shipping crates and small dresser drawers became similar instruments.
Another theory is that slaves used boxes as musical instruments to subvert Spanish colonial bans on music in predominantly African areas, essentially disguising their instruments.
How to play a Cajon?
The Cajon is most commonly played by sitting on it and hitting its faces with your hand. However, some percussionists sit behind the Cajon and play by leaning forward. You can play the Cajon in the position that is most comfortable for you.
The hole drilled on one side of the Cajon should be behind you to absorb the sound. One method of playing the Cajon is to hit its faces with your open palms. Depending on how you place your palms or fingers on your head, you will produce different sounds. Or you can sit on a chair and hold the drum box in front of you. This way you can hit heads and traps faster without having to reach over your legs.
There are many styles of playing the Cajon. You can freely choose from these styles. Just make sure you are comfortable with the position you play.
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