Cajons are striking instruments due to their deep bass sounds and well-balanced high tones. That said, the list below gives some guidelines on what to look for when searching for the best cajon.
Size - traditional cajons have a box height of about 1.5-times their width and depth. (~12 inches wide x 18 inches high x 12 2inches deep)
Thickness - thinner, pliable materials resonate more, enabling them to produce a prolonged sound valued by drum players.
Joints - stable joint construction on the sides of the cajon determines the durability and sound quality. Internally reinforced or handmade dovetail joints are better than a simple lap or rebated joint.
Material - harder woods, such as birch, are more sonic, meaning they reverberate the sound waves at a fuller, more pleasing level.
Which cajon is best for beginners?
When first learning to play the cajon, you should probably look for a drum that will introduce you to all the features and possibilities of the instrument without overwhelming you with an overabundance of playing options. A tough balance to strike, indeed.
To give yourself the best learning platform, go for a cajon that’s easily adjustable and sturdy enough to hold your weight, so you won’t have to worry about slipping around while trying to play.
A cajon with a quiet snare mechanism is also an ideal option, as it will introduce you to the possibilities of this drum attachment while also giving you the ability to explore the instrument’s sound without it fully.
Does a cajon need a snare?
Whether or not you want your cajon to include a snare is entirely up to your musical preference.
Many cajons have snares because they produce a certain buzz or rattle tone to the sound that many musicians enjoy. The buzz from the snares pairs well with the bass tones of the cajon, and helps with projection and amplification.
That said, some types of cajons are very purposefully built without snares included. If you are looking for a softer, more subdued tone, then opting for a cajon without a snare is probably the way to go.
Choosing the right cajon can be tricky due to the many construction varieties, customizable options, and brands. Check out the Drum Center of Portsmouth to guide you to the right cajon purchase!
Buying high end drums should be fun. At Drum Center of Portsmouth, our goal is to have the most unique and vast selection of boutique snare drums, drum sets, and cymbals, but to also cultivate long term relationships with our customers and clients.