Choosing a cajon can seem like a daunting task. There are so many varieties to choose from and many new types are being manufactured constantly. Some of the factors to consider include size, purpose, materials, and design. While the varieties may seem overwhelming, they are also a good omen. With so many cajons available, you are sure find one that fits your needs and desires.
One of the main considerations when choosing a cajon should be the material of the drum. A cajon made using quality hardwood, such as birch, will last longer and resonate better. Be wary of thinking higher price automatically equals higher quality; that is not always the case. Closely inspect the construction and finish. Also keep in mind how easy or difficult it is to tune the cajon, should you choose one with snares.
With drums, it is important to try them out prior to purchasing. Only you know what kind of sound you are looking to produce with your instrument, so take the time to play a few cajons. Make sure you can play it comfortably. Cajons vary in size and accessories; find one that suits both your physique and your budget. Keep in mind how often you will need to transport your drum. In addition to sitting on the cajon and banging out a tune or two, pick it up and walk around a bit. While carrying your drum will not be as easy as carrying a sack of potatoes, it is good to consider any awkwardness and heft when choosing a cajon.
Cajons today offer a wealth of sensory delights beyond sound and feel. There are all sorts of accessories and accouterments to add to your playing experience. These considerations may be where one’s budget takes precedence. How and where will you play your cajon? You may not need all the bells and whistles that can turn a cajon into a one-man band. Sure, two or three playing surfaces are nice to have, but consider how often you will use them.
Try out cajons from different manufacturers when choosing a cajon. Not only do different companies offer different looks, but variation in construction methods impact sound. Cajon manufacturers include Meinl, Gon Bops, Latin Percussion, and X8 Drums. Once you know what sound you are going for or what type of cajon you prefer, experience those qualities from a spectrum of brands. You may notice something small and seemingly insignificant that makes a big difference for you as far as playing satisfaction is concerned.
Cajons are popular for good reason. They produce a nice sound, are easy to play, and are a fun, social instrument to have. Make sure that when you are choosing a cajon, you take your time and get a good feel for what you want. Quality need not be sacrificed simply because of budgetary concerns. In the world of cajon drums, anything is possible.