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The Cajón | Get your Drum on for Learn to Play Day

Published: Thu March 15, 2012  News Feed
L E A R N  T O  P L A Y  D A Y  |  3 1 s t  M A R C H  2 0 1 2


The Cajón Uprising | Get Your Drum on for Learn to Play Day

This traditional Peruvian drum has been making an appearance in a lot of contemporary acoustic music lately.

So, with learn to play day coming up on 31st March, we thought we would get you properly introduced to another awesome percussion instrument...

So you can be on your way to multi-instrumentalism in no time.


 Check out this cover of Maroon 5's She Will be Loved, with a simple cajón and acoustic guitar accompaniment


It's Been Around A While!

The cajón is the most widely used Afro-Peruvian instrument since the late 1700s and is believed to have came from slave musicians in the Spanish Colonial Americas.

Some say that “slaves simply used boxes as musical instruments to combat contemporary Spanish colonial bans on music in predominantly African areas. In this way, cajónes could easily be disguised as seats or stools, thus avoiding identification as musical instruments.”

The cajón is a wooden box with a single soundhole on one side (opposite the head or tapa), similar to that of an acoustic guitar. The player sits astride the box, tilting it at an angle while striking the head between his knees.

The drum is played with the palms of the hands and fingertips. The sides of the box are usually constructed from half to three quarter inch (1.3 to 2 cm) thick wood with a thin sheet of plywood is nailed on as the sixth side and acts as the striking surface or head.

The cajón produces two main sounds, a bass tone and a sharp, which is played with the finger tips. The bass tone is achieved from attacking the upper centre of the tapa with cupped hands. Players cup their hands as to not harm their finger joints with prolonged playing. The top corners of the cajón are left unfastened, so the sharp tone can snap against the drums casing.


 Experience A Cajón Ensemble...


Many modern musicians have been utilising the simplicity of the cajón. Some have begun inserting various materials into the drums cabinet in order to achieve a wider range of sounds. For example, some drummers include rattles, snares and even guitar strings into their instruments, producing a buzz like effect or tone which adds a nice texture to a stripped acoustic set. Other playing techniques include the use of plastic or metal brushes to strike the drum, just like a snare drum.


Dolphin’s collection of cajónes includes some mainstreaming drums and a couple of cajón bongos which are not seen out and about so often. We have some incredibly affordable cajónes for you to get started, like the Black Rat Cajón in natural that comes together with a black gig bag... and it's only £53.00!

See Dolphin’s great value cajónes here

Take a look at some more playing videos

History of the cajón

Don’t think the cajón is the one for you, then why not check the djembe here and see if that beats your drum!

Related Products

Black Rat Cajon (Natural) with Black Bag

Large basswood Cajon w/ padded gig bag (ref CAJB10-50)

"- Dim (HxWxD). 19"" x 11,5"" x 12"" / 48 x 29 x 30.5 cm - Colour: natural."

Web Price:



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