Brush Up On Cajon

By Glen Caruba Originally Published in DRUM! Magazine's May 2008 Issue

When you’re tight on space or time and need to approximate the sound of kick, snare, and hi-hat, pull out a cajon and a pair of brushes and use the following strokes to add some different colors to your musical canvas. Keep in mind that these techniques can be used on either the cube-shaped box cajon or the wedge-shaped version (pictured).

1) Try substituting light sixteenth-notes instead of a shaker or a hi-hat.

2) For some swing or Bossa Nova groves try “stirring the soup” like you would on a snare (the cool thing about this is that your accents have a nice bass tone).

3) Go with just one brush, and do combinations with your bare hand of bass, slap, and open tones. With a little practice you can make this sound like a complete drum kit.