After some years teaching the cajon, I have made a list of the 3 most important things that every beginner cajon player should know
The first on the list is TIMING!
Timing is one of the most important thing for us cajon players, this comes before trying to learn crazy fills and complex grooves. If you don’t have good timing they will not sound good. So, you have to work on your time. To improve your timing and be able to play consistently without a click/metronome you must first work with the metronome.
I suggest you to start working with metronome using an 8th note subdivision. So if you’re in quarter notes put the metronome in 8th notes (See example in the video). This will help you to get started and once you feel that you internalise the exercise you go back to the quarter note pulse.
Not long a go I’ve posted a Timing exercise to actually improve your internal clock and work with the metronome
Check it out – Best Timing Exercise for Cajon Players
Now the second on the list – GROOVE!
Groove is how the beat feels, is the space between the notes. This is why we have great grooves created by great drummers. Groove is something very personal, each one of us have a way of spacing the notes what make our groove! But it’s important to understand why a groove doesn’t sounds good, when its not grooving! (See video)
Groove is one of the most important things for me and is something that I teach a lot here on YouTube and intensify that on my courses.
Number 3 is FILLS!
Fills is one of the 3 most important points every player should focus on and It is actually a challenge for most of cajon players who are starting out.
Fills are short passages used as a transition between parts of a song. For example, between the verse and Chorus or from one groove to another. It is a connector that can be improvised or written. That have to be played as smooth as possible.
There are some ways to practice the Fills. You can check out my video Trading Cajon fills exercise where we can play together and make this transitions more smooth and natural and if you wanna go deeper, check out my Cajon Fills course at cajonmaster.com
Now you know the 3 most important things all beginners should focus on.
I hope you like this video and it was helpful for you.
Let me know in the comments below what are your challenges on the cajon and what would yo like to improve.
See you next time 😉