For the uninitiated, the cajon is an odd instrument; after all, it’s just a box that you sit on and hit, right? Well, not exactly. The cajon, like most simple instruments, has a multiplicity of uses and applications, and a variety of ways in which you can play it.
From a versatility perspective, the cajon fits well into most styles of music where acoustic instruments are being used. If you, for example, are playing in a two-piece acoustic duo consisting of a djembe player and a violinist, the djembe player could easily use a cajon for a different tonal flavour.
If you’ve never played a percussion instrument before, the good news is that you can master the basics of the cajon with just a few hours of basic practice.
In the video below Heidi Joubert walks you through the basics of playing cajon, and will teach you some funk, R&B, and hip-hop cajon patterns.
Tips for the beginner cajon player
Always practice with a metronome: A metronome for any rhythm player is a non-negotiable option. If you cannot keep time as a player, you will be a hindrance to your band mates. Sure, every single musician should always practice with a metronome, but in reality, they don’t. If you are serious about your playing, you’ll never practice without a metronome.
Take it slow and easy: Learning a new instrument can be tough, so the trick is to take it slow and easy. Rather play slower and on time than fast and out of time.
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