About the Cajon

The cajon is believed to have originated from African slaves in Peru.  The word stands for "box" or "crate" and is simply a wodden box used as a percussion instrument.  Thick sheets of wood are usually used for five sides of the box, while a thinner sheet is used as the front side, the playing surface.  Originally the instrument was just this box, but newer versions often have guitar strings or drum snares on the inside that rattle to create a snare like "buzz"

 

The cajon was mostly used in Latin America untill the Spanish flamenco guitar player Paco de Lucia brought a cajon to Spain in 1977, and used it in Spanish flamenco music.  Today the instrument is used in Peruvian music styles, some styles of Cuban Rumba, the Spanish Flamenco and various popular music styles such as blues, jazz, funk, world music and even rock.  The cajon is often used as a drum-set replacement in acoustic settings, and where space is limited and/or volume needs to be kept low.

 

The cajon player usually sits on the instrument and playes it with his hand, but it can also be played with brushes or mallets.  In recent years percussion companies have developed all kinds of accessories for the cajon, including bass drum pedals, stands, jungles and wood blocks to be attached to the cajon.

 

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