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Free Lesson! Cajon Foot Percussion Techniques

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Add some foot percussion to your cajon performance! When you explore adding percussion to your cajon playing with foot percussion instruments, you will quickly find out that there are endless possibilities for tones and patterns.

One of the most important things about playing foot percussion on cajon is how you sit. It can be very difficult if you are playing cajon in the traditional way (see more about seating positions in our lesson Cajon 101). For foot percussion, if you are going to be using both feet, it is better to keep your legs close together so you have more range and comfort.

In this lesson, we've chosen shells for the left foot and a Rhythm Tech tambourine on the right. You can choose any myriad of possibilities Some options are ankle bells, cowbell with a foot pedal, foot pedal cabasa, etc. The only thing to consider is how well they match sonically and good contrast to the sound of the cajon.

When working your feet, you can tap with your toe or with your heel. Mike prefers the heel to get a little more controlled and pronounced sound compared to the toe.

Lesson Structure

  • Start with left foot technique using quarter notes
  • New hand patterns using same quarter note foot pattern
  • Upbeat on foot
  • Adding in right foot
  • Mix and match the down beats and upbeats with both feet
  • For those with foot coordination challenges, Mike will take you step by step to building up a rhythm.
  • Understand the value of mastering the beats with right leading left AND left leading right.
  • Tips to mix up the pattern for timed emphasis


This video is instructed by Mike Meadows of Swan Percussion. The cajon drum used is the new Artisan Series Limited Edition Walnut Cajon.

Mike Meadows is a professional freelance percussionist, drummer, and background vocalist based in Austin,TX. He is also co-inventor of The Black Swan Drum and co-founder of Swan Percussion.

28th Oct 2014

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