The Cajon Drum and Your Hip Hop Arsenal

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Add the Cajon Drum in Your Hip Hop Arsenal

The cajon drum is a traditional instrument that has its roots as far back as one can but remember. It originated in the city of Peru and had been played locally by the traditional folk since then. It is believed to have originated first from using empty wooden crates as a form of drums in the local gatherings and has been played with hands ever since. The skill of the person playing the cajon drums today is strongly based on the ability of the person to rehearse and get exposed to a lot of styles and patterns of play of the professionals playing the instrument. If you do not have knowledge of percussions, or you are not a beat making kind of person, then you should not be surprised if instrument prove a bit difficult and painful to learn.
Like all drums, the cajon requires your commitment first. The reason for commitment is that you would need a consistent rehearsal even to understand the basic rudiments of the drum before you can master the different styles required by different genres of music. The cajon is quite versatile for different genres of music, and that is why you would need to learn the basics first. After learning the basics, you would realize how easy the rest is to learn. However, no learning process is ever smooth, even school! There are points where frustration might want to set in because it is taking too long for you to learn a particular pattern or groove. At times your fingers and hands would hurt and hurt bad. The only thing that should keep you going is your desire to be a master of the instrument and your commitment to attain that status.

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Stick for Playing the Drum

It is similar to most percussion drums, there are many variations of it as you can see at CGuide, the good thing is that there are plenty of brand and models on the market, so you can get the best cajon for your needs. Alright, let’s get back to theory. A number of drums are played by hands only; this is the traditional method of playing drums, while others are played with sticks. Today, there are different types of sticks used to play different types of drums. There are mallets, brushes, rutes, and the conventional drumsticks in different variants. Each stick is to produce a specific type of tone that also varies in depth, intensity, and tone. Mallets are great for producing heavy tones, and the tones also vary in terms of sustains and padding. Some mallets a made with foam heads for softer sounds, while some are carved with the stick to produce a stronger batter sound. They are used more in orchestras, brigade and other places where the kettle drums and bass drums are used.
Brushes, as the name implies, are for extremely soft or close to silent sounds. They are used for soft kinds of music such as jazz and soul. Although their application is very vast, and they can be used in other genres of music, their main purpose is to create soft percussive sounds that would not be intensely noticed. The conventional drumsticks are quite unique and can be regarded as the standard for generally playing drums. This is because they can serve multiple purposes at a time. A conventional drumstick can serve as mallet if turned to its underside.
Although the head can serve as a mallet if it is slightly larger in size and more effort is applied. It can also serve as a brush if very little intensity is applied. In cases like this, the drumsticks are placed very close to the surface of the drums to ensure that there is more of ghost notes than accented stroke notes. For the cajon drum, you play it with your hands and fingers. You hit the surfaces of the drum with your hands and add accents with your fingers to give a sensation of notes and tones. The thing is that you need to ensure that your hands and fingers can be controlled independently.

How to play the Cajon Drum for Hip Hop?

The drum is played with the hands and fingers as mentioned earlier. It involves moving your hands rhythmically to create beats while using your fingers to add effects to the beats. Fingers are to augment the grooves by ensuring there is a continuous flow or ambient percussive groove in the background. Most drummers try to add a bit, if not more, of finger work in the background of their grooves to ensure it has a dynamic feel and sounds fuller to hearing. In cases where there are other percussion instruments in the background, the cajon drummer would not need to add any form of ambient grooves ghosted with the fingers.
All there is to be done is playing solid grooves that every other instrument would groove to, and that is if the cajon is playing the lead or doing a solo. In cases where the cajon is a backup or auxiliary instrument, it is advised that more of finger works should be done to ensure that the lead instrument or lead vocal is not disturbed. Hip-hop musicians do not want a particular instrument to cover every other instrument up with volume. In a lot of cases, other instruments have to tune down to ensure that the lead singer can focus on singing his lyrics properly.
The cajon drums is a very simple instrument to learn and requires a lot of dedication. It requires a lot of commitment and rehearsal to ensure that there is consistency in improvement.


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