Do you love or hate a cajon?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by LBS-bass, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    Or is it something in-between? I have an opinion but I first would like to hear a few of yours.

    Editing to specify that I mean a cajon being used in lieu of a full drum kit. Not a cajon in the abstract.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
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  2. sean_on_bass

    sean_on_bass Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    I'll say love, if used in a tasteful way in the music. Got nothing against that particular type of percussion.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I hate them.... but only because I personally have never played with anyone who was any good at playing the thing. All drummers THINK they are good at it. Most aren't.
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Like any other instrument, it all depends upon how well it's played.
  5. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    The few times I've accompanied one were all good times.
    It's the player not the instrument that matters to me.
    I will say I've always found someone who makes music in as simple a fashion as possible tends to be a better musician.
  6. I love it, will never play on a regular drum set again based on past experience of never knowing a drummer that understood dynamics.

    When we started our trio 5 years ago we had a fantastic singer that didn't play an instrument. He bought and learned the cajon and we had some great times. When we knew he was leaving early this year we recruited his replacement and she is going through the same process, great singer that's new to the cajon. We've played 2 gigs with her already and even at a basic level where she might be playing wise we were well received.

    Again, my experience only but I love the fact that you don't have smashing/ringing cymbals to try and run sound over. The cajon is like electronic drums in that you can set it any volume as needed for the gig. From street dances in a tent to house party in a garage, we've had that flexibility. Makes playing/singing/running sound and lights at our gigs much easier for me.

    Of course, YMMV.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    anything = if the cat can play. it's the player. cajon is at least as good as a P-bass. :laugh:
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
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  8. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    Cajon is cool in moderation much like slap bass and harmonica. A little bit goes a long way.

    Some people overdo the cajon by making it too busy.
  9. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Not a fan.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    On this topic, has anyone tried the cajon kits available on line? I was thinking of getting one.
  11. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    I haven't had regular gigs with cajon players but I have to say the ones that are good at it sound really good. Maybe I've just been lucky but I can see that if you don't know how to use it the sound could be awful.

    I suspect that you would have to spend some time with it to get what you want, I have been in situations where because of space the cajon was used instead of the drum set and to be honest I didn't miss the drums.
  12. Flog

    Flog a Viking in Tejas Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2017
    Denton, Tx.
    Hate. And agree with previous poster that most drummers think they can play one...and can't.
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  13. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I’ve been a gigging percussionist off-and-on since 2007 and I have never taken an interest in the cajon. I’ve seen some cool things done with them, but I don’t seek out bands or material that feature cajon. Maybe I should try one out.
    Nephilymbass likes this.
  14. As someone who has been a drummer since before I started playing bass, I think a cajon can be a useful additional percussion sound, but can not replace a regular drumset.
    RattleSnack, CB3UK, DrMole and 3 others like this.
  15. I thought you were talking about those people in Louisiana for a minute.
  16. BAG


    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I love them!
    I have a Woodskin brand of cajon that has kick and snare pedals which allows me to be a one-man-rhythm-section. Lots of fun in an acoustic setting and using a good mic inside the cajon for the kick (Shure Beta 91a) and a 57 on the outside for the snare allows great separation of the kick and snare sounds for louder gigs.

    In my current project we have a drummer on cajon (for the kick) with a snare (mostly with brushes), bongos and some hand percussion. Tasteful playing without the volume wars that can come with a full kit.

    Here's a vid of the Woodskin in action although the sound aint great. This trio was just a weekly jam at their house for fun, drinks etc. This was the only time we played a gig. It was at my farewell party when we left Australia for NZ.
  17. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    We put together an acoustic version of our setlist, to hopefully get some outdoor gigs during the Rona, with a cajon and other percussion and I really like it.
    Paulabass likes this.
  18. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    In the proper context (Peruvian or pan-Latin music) sure. Tony Succar rocks the cajon like nobody's business.

    As a substitute for a trap kit in rock music "unplugged" or what have you... no. Same for playing a conga like a drum kit. No. Or, say accompanying a Unitarian choir going for that "ethnic" feel while wearing dashikis... again, hard no.:whistle:
  19. devnulljp


    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    Depends. I've heard a lot of people playing those things who really shouldn't. But we have a local guy who is an amazing musician first and foremost, who's more what I'd call a percussionist than just a drummer. I've seen him do fantastic things with a cajon on its own or as part of a larger kit.
  20. tito0515


    Aug 21, 2008
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