Why You Should Consider Playing a Cajon in Drum Circles.

Posted by Steve Head on 3rd Apr 2023

Why You Should Consider Playing a Cajon in Drum Circles.

Drum circles have become a popular way for people to connect with each other through rhythm and music. In these gatherings, participants bring their percussion instruments and play together in a communal setting. The cajon is a versatile instrument that is often used in drum circles, as it can provide a rhythmic foundation and add a unique sound to the ensemble.

If you're interested in playing the cajon in drum circles, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Listen and watch

Before jumping into the drum circle, take some time to listen and watch the other participants. Pay attention to the rhythms and patterns they're playing, and try to find a groove that fits with the overall sound. Watching how other percussionists hold and play their instruments can also be helpful in learning new techniques and styles.

  1. Start with a simple beat

When you're ready to join in, start with a simple beat that is easy to maintain. This can be as simple as playing a basic "bass and snare" pattern or a four-beat rhythm. This will give you a solid foundation to build upon and allow you to listen and respond to what others are playing.

  1. Experiment with different sounds

The cajon has a variety of sounds that can be produced depending on where and how you strike the playing surface. Experiment with different techniques, such as playing the edge of the cajon or slapping the front panel with your hand. This can add texture and complexity to your playing, and make your contributions to the drum circle more interesting.

  1. Keep a steady rhythm

In a drum circle, it's important to maintain a steady rhythm to keep everyone together. As you play, focus on keeping a consistent beat and locking in with the other percussionists. If you're not sure what rhythm to play, follow the lead of the more experienced players or ask for guidance.

Cuban Tumba Cajon

  1. Listen and respond

Playing in a drum circle is not just about playing your own rhythm, but also about listening and responding to what others are playing. Pay attention to the dynamics of the group, and adjust your playing accordingly. If someone is playing a complex rhythm, you may want to simplify your own playing to provide a steady foundation. Alternatively, if someone is playing a simple pattern, you may want to add some complexity to keep things interesting.

  1. Have fun

Above all, playing in a drum circle should be fun and enjoyable. Don't be afraid to experiment, try new things, and make mistakes. The beauty of a drum circle is in the collective energy and creativity of the group, and everyone's contributions are valued.

In conclusion, playing the cajon in a drum circle can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By listening and watching, starting with a simple beat, experimenting with different sounds, keeping a steady rhythm, listening and responding, and having fun, you can contribute to the collective energy and create a unique musical experience. So grab your cajon, join a drum circle, and let the rhythm take you on a journey.

Check out my Blog Post Fat Congas: The Legacy of a Great Percussion Company