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  #1  
Old 09-11-2016, 05:04 PM
jdrummys jdrummys is offline
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Default Spoiled by Cajon

I may catch a lot of flack on here for saying this, but I recently have gone from a kit drummer of many years to a cajon player. Been doing a lot of acoustic gigs around town and loving carrying around one box and a hand cymbal. I am way more of a commodity now, people always coming up and asking me what this box is that gets such drumsset-like sounds (usually miced up), and its just fun to play. I don't really see myself lugging a kit around anymore unless its a rare occasion. Anyone else have this experience? If not, I urge you to give it a try
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

I've played a lot of pick-up gigs as a backing percussionist for singer-songwriter types in town using a cajon and a pair of travel-size congas. I would definitely agree on the utility and ease of packup with a cajon. Having said that, I would not throw out my baby with the bathwater. I play a lot of larger venues with my band, and a cajon (even miked up) won't cut it for that sort of gig. The cajon is like a hammer: a great tool, but not the only one I need.
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:45 PM
Likestodrum334 Likestodrum334 is offline
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

You know i have been thinking about doing this lately. My band is kind of new to the gigging scene and we have been trying our best to get some paid gigs but it is just not easy. What seems to come a little easier is opportunities to play low volume "acoustic" shows where the venues expect an acoustic guitarist who sings to be performing. Its was quite upsetting when my band played an open mic at this venue and we tore it up with the crowd loving us and the bar OWNER walking up to us saying we were amazing. We figured we for sure would score a gig from that, but what we ended up getting offered was a low volume acoustic performance for which our set list was not well suited for. I mean we dont want to play Manic depression by the Jimi Hendrix experience with me using brushes.

Anyhow we have had a few opportunities to do this sort of thing and ive been thinking we should add songs that are suited to this. my guitarist on acoustic, the bass player on an acoustic bass or maybe he uses the electric with the bass amp turned real low, and then me on a cajon with perhaps one of my splash cymbals on a boom stand next to me. If it helps us fill up our schedule and get more paid gigs then im all for it. If you could give me more information on how this has been going for you that would be appreciated so i can understand the scene a bit more
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

You shouldn't get any flak here. I mean it is a form of drumming. My bandleader does a lot of solo gigs. He's asked me to get a cajon. I kinda refuse to play anything where I have to slap my bare hands on something. Besides if I can't play a bass drum, I'm not interested. But for guys who like to do it, it beats hearing music without drums. Drums bring the excitement to music.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

LOVE cajon. For such a simple little thing, it's extremely versatile, but that said, it can't be something it's not. Sometimes (often!) less is more, but sometimes you need the works. And in all honesty, if you have a REALLY good guitarist, you probably don't need a cajon because s/he will tap the body of the guitar whilst playing the strings.
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  #6  
Old 09-11-2016, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

This is my rig that I use with a couple of groups, including my primary band that books acoustic shows throughout the summer to fill in gaps.

Let's just put it this way. For me, it's 15% of the work, for 100% of the fun (and pay). Do I prefer it? You betcha I do

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Old 09-11-2016, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

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Originally Posted by Blisco View Post
This is my rig that I use with a couple of groups, including my primary band that books acoustic shows throughout the summer to fill in gaps.

Let's just put it this way. For me, it's 15% of the work, for 100% of the fun (and pay). Do I prefer it? You betcha I do

Do you have any videos of that in action?
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

As long as the music you play calls for it, I don't see any problems with it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:59 AM
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2016, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

Three or four songs on a cajon and my back is killing me. If I played a whole gig bent over like that, I wouldn't be able to stand the next day.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:49 AM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

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Originally Posted by DrumDoug View Post
Three or four songs on a cajon and my back is killing me. If I played a whole gig bent over like that, I wouldn't be able to stand the next day.
I have had the same issue at times, and my answer was to suspend the cajon in a snare stand in front of me while seated in my Roc-n-Soc throne. Far more comfy.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2016, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

It hurts my hands to play cajon for any length of time. I know you don't have to hit it hard. But my bony fingers just don't like it. So from now on, when I do play it, I'll be using the cajon brushes. Problem solved! I think.
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2016, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

I always feel like a bit of a pariah when I say this, but I don't really like the cajon. I understand the appeal, I guess - convenience, portability, etc - but I don't like the sound and I don't enjoy playing them. Ah well.
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  #13  
Old 09-13-2016, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
You shouldn't get any flak here. I mean it is a form of drumming. My bandleader does a lot of solo gigs. He's asked me to get a cajon. I kinda refuse to play anything where I have to slap my bare hands on something. Besides if I can't play a bass drum, I'm not interested. But for guys who like to do it, it beats hearing music without drums. Drums bring the excitement to music.
The hand pain can become an issue, but you really should pick up a decent cajon and mess about with it. Having a convincing bass drum and snare sound is really really huge for the same reasons you're talking about. Snare by itself lacks some oomph. Throw that bass note in there, though, it's really fun once you get the hang.
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2016, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

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Originally Posted by DrumDoug View Post
Three or four songs on a cajon and my back is killing me. If I played a whole gig bent over like that, I wouldn't be able to stand the next day.
I feel you. Actually though it depends on the cajon. Certain cajons have the bass located up higher. I have a De Gregorio and I sit up comfortably while I play it. Never need to bend over to reach the bass area at all. I have played a few cajons though where I needed to reach down low on the face plate to get that low end bass. Next day my back was always sore.
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  #15  
Old 09-13-2016, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

Warning: contrary opinion ahead:

I don't like them. Now if You enjoy them, your bandmates enjoy them, and your patrons enjoy them, that's great. But for me:

There's no way I'd get the same satisfaction with a cajon as I do at the kit.

I see them all the time now, and I think they are actually doing damage to live drumming opportunities in my area.

If someone is going for percussion because the gigs have to be quieter, maybe - it's time to learn lower volume technique at the kit.

If someone's percussion set up is now essentially the same footprint as a small kit, only the bass drum is now a dead wood box, maybe - it's time to get comfortable with a small, real kit.

They absolutely have their place - no doubt. But in my area, I'm seeing too much of it for the wrong reasons.

We need a drumming world where 80% can play quietly on a small kit, with 20% remaining bashers, not the other way around.
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  #16  
Old 09-13-2016, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

They're fun. I actually dig playing a cajon. It's such a complete contrast to the kit. IMO, it's a very intimate way to rhythmically interact with music. All the sound comes from essentially the way you touch the face plate. Even the gentle touch from your fingers creates sound. I like how it causes me to think, "outside of the box"......ya that's right, I went there ;-)
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  #17  
Old 09-15-2016, 03:23 AM
wilsonbangy wilsonbangy is offline
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

I'm still waiting to see someone blow me away on the cajon like the Cuban kids do. It's more than a box when played right.
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  #18  
Old 09-15-2016, 06:42 AM
vxla vxla is offline
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

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Originally Posted by wilsonbangy View Post
I'm still waiting to see someone blow me away on the cajon like the Cuban kids do. It's more than a box when played right.
Love the Cuban cajons. The sit-on-me type are so much less interesting.
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  #19  
Old 09-15-2016, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

I have a djembe and a set of bongos. While I do find occasion to play them, they aren't nearly as versitile as a Cajon. No flak here. I won't consider it a replacement for my kit and personally would get tired of playing it exclusively, but to get together and put down ideas, or switch to cajon for a song or two, heck yeah. If it fits, I'll play that.
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  #20  
Old 09-15-2016, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

Horses for courses. Personally I find cajon extremely dull, don't like playing them and don't like the sound.
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  #21  
Old 09-15-2016, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

I am a drummer who is also a woodworker and wanted a better cajon that would make more sounds so I built my own. The notion is that the lower you can comfortably sit, the easier it is to reach lower without bending over so I make them in different sizes. I built them to make a lot more sounds without slapping, whacking and hurting your hands. You can use doumbek, pandeiro, frame drum and even tabla technique that speaks with a clarity and definition most other cajons just can't match and cover a wider frequency range with multiple pitches and tones. There's a huge potential for a box you sit on to sound so much better.
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  #22  
Old 08-31-2017, 08:44 PM
Radioguy Radioguy is offline
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

An old thread I know but to those of you who aren't playing cajon because you back hurts...you're not playing correctly.

Don't bend or hunch over your cajon, keep your back straight and only bend down a few inches to reach the bass note that should be situated in the middle and down just a few inches from the top...IF it's a quality cajon.

Also try tilting the cajon back a couple of inches as you sit on it. Obviously you don't want to fall over backwards, so use an open cell piece of rubber to sit on if you cajon doesn't have a pad.

Hitting hard is easy to do as the music gets louder, especially if there are any other amplified instruments. Like many conga players...consider finding a way to mic your drum so you can hear yourself and don't have to play so hard. Even if it's just a small speaker behind you for you alone to hear. Either a mic and a small amp or Roland now has a small interface now that makes it easy to plug in.

Last, consider gloves. Weight lifting gloves or cycling gloves can be found with very little padding and leave the fingers uncovered. I'm not going to say it doesn't have any adverse effect on the sound...but not nearly as much as you'd think and they can really provide some protection. I'm older and my hands don't respond the way they did when I was younger...if you want to keep playing you need to look for some reasonable options. Just my .02. Play on!
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  #23  
Old 09-01-2017, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
You shouldn't get any flak here. I mean it is a form of drumming. My bandleader does a lot of solo gigs. He's asked me to get a cajon. I kinda refuse to play anything where I have to slap my bare hands on something. Besides if I can't play a bass drum, I'm not interested. But for guys who like to do it, it beats hearing music without drums. Drums bring the excitement to music.
That's been my biggest issue playing hand drums since about two years ago. Once my joints started to become arthritic, it's been sticks or nothing. Thanks to your "magic dust" recommendations, my hands haven't bothered me for about three months, but still not risking it. There are Cajon pedals, so you could at least have something to kick, but there's still that sore joint risk. Kinda sad. I used to really dig beating on hand drums.
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  #24  
Old 09-01-2017, 05:27 AM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

I got a cajon thinking I would play it, but ended up not. Some was back pain, some was hand pain, but most of it was boredom. I get no thrill from hand drumming and I don't think it sounds that great. There are exceptions, like when you run across a Peruvian band and they have five average-size guys playing ten tiny drums. But most of the time it's just a guy looking way too happy as he thumps out boom ... thwack ... boom boom thwack.
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  #25  
Old 09-01-2017, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

I'm not a fan of the Cajon. I liked the idea of a box that can replicate a full kit but the reality is that it can't. I was in on the ground floor of an acoustic Rock Band but after one rehearsal session I discovered that the Cajon left me cold so my involvement with the band ended there. There's a guy on my local scene who puts himself out as a Cajon Player and people gush about him (well at least the ones who comment online do) but I've watched his videos and a mate of mines appraisal was that he gets paid for fidgeting
In the right hands I'm sure they are more versatile than I'm seeing, but in the hands of a kit drummer who is using one for convenience I've yet to hear them sway my opinion.
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  #26  
Old 09-01-2017, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

What about a cajon snare drum? I bought the LP brand one, and with LP cajon brushes, you get the sound of a cajon with the feel of a drum.
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  #27  
Old 09-01-2017, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

This is a cajon snare I built and gave to a friend who uses it 2 or 3 times weekly in an acoustic gig.
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  #28  
Old 09-02-2017, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

My band just finished up a regular once-a-week gig at a restaurant over the summer. we provided "acoustic" music for the diners for tips. I had a cajon, a tambourine, maracas, and claves. I got about $350 over the course of the summer. Not a heck of a lot of money, but hey, $350 is $350. Add in free food and drinks and it was a fun gig.

When I say "acoustic" the guitars were running through small line arry speakers and I was running my cajon and vocals through an amplified PA speaker. For a change I was the first one packed and out at the end of the night.
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  #29  
Old 09-02-2017, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

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Originally Posted by lsits View Post
When I say "acoustic" the guitars were running through small line arry speakers and I was running my cajon and vocals through an amplified PA speaker. For a change I was the first one packed and out at the end of the night.
You were doing cajon and vocals simultaneously? Any advice on how to do that posture-wise, mic placement, etc?
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  #30  
Old 09-02-2017, 05:59 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

Just another percussion option. It's not like there are only two percussion instruments in this world, cajon and regular drumkit.

Who says you have to choose? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBgS5mscNaA
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  #31  
Old 09-02-2017, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

An interesting alternative to the cajon. Made me chuckle:

https://youtu.be/8KonoCLO4L0
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  #32  
Old 09-02-2017, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Spoiled by Cajon

Quote:
Originally Posted by fac View Post
You were doing cajon and vocals simultaneously? Any advice on how to do that posture-wise, mic placement, etc?
Well, the powered speaker has two mic inputs. Chanel 1 gets my SM-58 and channel 2 gets my Carvin bass drum mic that I place near the bottom of the front of the cajon. I tried micing the port, but there was way too much bass and almost no high-end slap. Not the ideal solution, but you do what you can with what you've got. As mentioned earlier, I don't reach all the way down for the bass note. Just about four inches from the top. Also a boom stand for my vocal mic.
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