Beginner question about learning cajon and percussion technique.


Junior Member
Hey guys... I am a professional pianist, starting to learn cajon as the band I played with occasionally need some percussionist.To be honest, I didn't want to get "virtuoso" on the instrument because I know I would take many many years! What I want to do is to be able to do some basic beats and provide a nice simple groove to the band.

I checked out some cajon lessons online. There are many of them... (way too many that I didn't know which one i should watch) As I watch these VDOs, I realize people have different techniques in playing cajon. It could be very opposite... For example, one would say we should play the bass tone using flat hand, and once we hit the box, we re-bounce off our hand ; while the other say that we should form a little cup on our hand and stayed surface of the box once we hit it. One would say, hit it 90 degree and one would say " try to use a bit of a slide motion"...

My question is what should I do? Whom should I believe? Or are these just guide line, and I could do what my body feels comfortable?

Sometime for a novice like me, it is very confusing... How can it be so different but yet make good sound?

I would love to hear advice from you guys thanks. (BTW,, this is my first post here!)


Platinum Member
The best advice I can give you is to try the different techniques out. Spend some time with the instrument. Find the points on the cajon that produce the sounds you want and work it out. Familiarity is everything.

Just like some will say that with the piano, you should always used slightly curved fingers - it doesn't work for everyone.


Senior Member
I wouldn't really bother concerning yourself if you're playing it "right" or "wrong". As the previous comment said, just play around with various techniques. Watch a bunch of those videos you saw, and find what works for you. As long as you're comfortable, and the music sounds good, who cares if you're playing some textbook cajon technique?


Junior Member
I've been a working "drum set" drummer for 30 years, but just recently got in the cajon. I kind of just started hitting it different ways to see what sounded best. Seems to me, in my very limited experience, that different cajons react differently to these techniques. So I can hit my Schlagwerk one way to get a fat bass tone, but have to play the Kopf differently.

So yeah, exactly what the others said, just experiment.