- Basic cajon playing techniques – bass, slap and ghost.
Contemporary cajon is a reflection of a percussion set, so we refer to the sound of drums, building rhythms on the cajon.
Bass is the lowest sound extracted from cajona, it is equivalent to the sound of the “bass drum” in drum set. Bass is obtained by striking softly with the whole hand, arranged in a slightly curved shape (photo). We hit loosely without clasping a hand, achieving a soft, low bass sound. NOTE: There is no need to hit lower, half the height of cajon – bass sound is extracted at a height of 15-20 cm from the upper surface of the front wall of cajon (front cajon’s wall is called “tapa”).
Slap is a hit with a higher sound, obtained by vigorously punching the upper part of the tapa. Slap emits the sound of the snare drum that is part of the drum kit. We can hit with whole fingers, or only with the lower part of the fingers, hitting a few inches from the top of the tapa (then we get the so-called high slap – more hard and stronger sound, like rimshot on snare drum). We strike vigorously, firmly but loosely without clasping a hand.
Ghosts are silent hits, obtained by hitting them with short fingers – performed at different heights of tapa, often between the place of hitting the bass and slap (in the middle).
- Basic musical notation using in my Cajon Course.
Musical notation of exercises is not complicated. Each of the above-described sound has its place on the staff and for simplicity we use a recording similar to a typical percussion recording.
The exercises included in the course are described according to the following key.
In some exercises of the course, the bottom notation is added – a cross and a dot, meaning one and the other leg (right or left, depending on the description).
If you need to learn the basic theory of music to read music notation seamlessly, find it on specialized websites, e.g. https://drummagazine.com/drum-notation-guide/