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Cajon Drums: the Essence of the Ninja... in a Box.

Published by Kristin Stancato on 9th Jan 2015

Everyone loves a good cajon drum. They’re like the ninjas of the drum world, really. Sneaky little boxes that are full of rhythmic surprises for all. Cajon drums have a long-standing history in Afro-Peruvian music and are especially present in Flamenco… but, they are also pretty great in all other types of music, too. That’s how they keep up their ninja skills, they just sneak up on the beat in all their boxy glory, and as soon as you try to get a better look, they pretend to be ordinary (and glorious) boxes.

There are a ton of reasons why people are drawn to the cajon drum. Maybe it’s the “drumset in a box” that attracts you, or, that you’ve always got a place to sit at the drum circle. Some drummers love the drum just because it’s so portable, and others are really excited about how these drums have evolved over the years into true powerhouses of rhythm.

So, when you’re ready to take on the cajon drum, you may want to do some research to find out exactly what kind of cajon you need. Just like ninjas come in different forms (from the turtle variety to those from folklore and legends); cajons are unique, despite their relatively common appearance. We have a great cajon drum buying guide that makes this all a lot easier for you. However, we realize that sometimes, the challenge of researching a new drum can be just as enticing as… well, getting a new drum. If you’re that kind of nerdy drum person, then, by all means, do your own research (and tell us your thoughts!)

We love cajon drums because they can go “toe to toe” with a regular drum set in many situations, particularly in acoustic settings. They can jump from the recording studio to a drum circle, and then demand full attention on a stage (until they slip away into the shadows). Plus, the sound of the cajon drum is indescribable… almost what a ninja would sound like if a ninja made noises to blend in with the other people being replaced.

The dynamic sound of these drums comes not only from the construction of the “box” but the additions to the drum that make it a stauch competitor in the drum arena.

You’ll find cajon drums that have the following features:

  • Snares (adjustable or fixed).
  • Different varieties of wood (or acrylics) for different resonances and tones, or just a different look. They’re different. Different is good.
  • Size selections for deeper bass tones or a tighter sound (or, your comfort).
  • Built-in pickups for amps.
  • A whole generation of cajon hybrids (cajon bongos, cajon snares… octo cajons !)

There’s just a lot that can be done with a wooden box that exists solely to create some crazy beats. We can’t even list all of the variations (but, we really love getting to play them!), you need to trust that there are plenty of cajon drums to satisfy your inner groove. Plus, let’s not forget all of the accessories for cajon drums. There are foot pedals with mallets, castanets or jingles. Wrist and knee jingles and bells… and brushes… oh the cajon brushes !

We just got away with ourselves. That is the power of the cajon drum. Just ask a cajon drummer about their drum… you may never look at a box the same way again.