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What are the best caxixi? 

The best caxixi are those which are as true to the original percussion model as possible. This impacts on what the instrument caxixi is made from, the type of sound it makes, and the decoration around the basketwork.

Most caxixi are used in pairs. The best examples are those that are bright, colorful, and fun to use. They should be the right size for the user, including children who love the different sounds they make.

Caxixi are often used alongside drums and singers. Many players are keen to source ethical products made with fair trade principles and there are plenty of these available online. 

What is the caxixi instrument made of? 

A caxixi is made of a woven basket in the shape of a bell with a flat bottom. Derived from the rattle family, the instrument is filled with seeds or other small, hard particles like stones, shells, or even wooden beads. 

The basket is made from wicker or braided straw and is almost always brightly colored and beautifully decorated.

This instrument comes in different sizes and is usually bell-shaped. The round bottom is cut from a dried gourd - a hard-skinned fruit - if you want to be faithful to the original.

The gourd provided a hard surface and a unique sound. Modern versions use coconut matting, which is sometimes reinforced with an extra layer.

The top of the instrument has a handle, a bit like a handbag, but you can also purchase versions without this. Changing the angle of the caxixi as it moves will alter the type of sound it makes. 

When the seeds hit the hard bottom, they produce a high-pitched and sharp tone, whereas when they move against the soft, woven sides, the sound is lighter and more muted.

What makes a good caxixi? 

A good caxixi is one faithful to its roots and which delivers the vibrancy and color of its traditional homeland, Brazil.

The sides should be softer than the base so that different sounds and effects are produced in varying positions.

The instrument should be the right size for the user and provide great projection.At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we offer a comprehensive selection of drums and percussive instruments with expert guidance and advice.

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