Cajon Buying Guide
After many suggestions and questions about Cajon models. I’ve decided to make this video to help you to choose the best cajon! This guide will help you to choose a cajon according to your level and the music style you play. Jut to clarify here, I’m going to talk exclusively about full size cajons.
There are many different great inventions like travel cajons, laptop cajons, bongo cajon, conga cajon. Those are great but this video is made for you that are looking to buy your first cajon and also for those that are looking for new sounds.
Types of Cajon
There are 3 main types of Cajon: Peruvian, Flamenco and Snare Cajon.
It is considered the original Cajon, they are snare less cajons and they are mostly made out of solid wood. Actually, while a modern snare cajon have a considerable sound range to accompany a guitar or even a band, the sound of a Peruvian cajon is pure. They are great to play/jam together with other cajon players (See video).
If you are looking for the original instrument, this is it!
These are my recommendations:
- A Tempo Percussion Peruvian Classic – https://geni.us/jmAz3v
- Gon Bops Alex Acuna Special Edition – https://geni.us/BrLge
If you’re looking for a cajon that can produce that typical “slap” sound, you’ll probably want a cajon with some type of snare or sizzle.
Let’s talk now about the Flamenco Cajon.
Guitar strings were added to add more texture to the sound and that’s how the flamenco cajon was born. The main features of flamenco cajons: are the strings positioned in the back of the front plate or tapa, to produce a sizzle sound.
This type of Cajons are generally more sensitive and allows a more soft and technical playing than any other type of cajon in my opinion.
You can normally change the tension of the strings inside of the cajon (See video).
There are many brands that make this type of cajons.
Here are the models I recommend – Meinl Percussion Artisan Series Cajon made in Spain by Pepote Percussion.
– Meinl Artisan Cantina Line – https://geni.us/ylgxk
– Meinl Artisan Martinete Line – https://geni.us/lWsK
– Meinl Artisan Tango Line- https://geni.us/Modxo
Snare cajons typically produce a wider sound, they are suppose to emulate the bass and snare drum of a drum kit. Each manufacturer has its own number of snare, but you’ll normally see two sets of snare wires, like this (See video)
Nowadays, this type of cajon offers more flexibility because in several models you can adjust the snare response by simply loosening or tightening the snare wires.
You can also turn it off completely, which can result in a more Peruvian sounding cajon.
The models I recommend:
– Meinl Snare Craft – https://geni.us/L2epeW
– Meinl Snare Craft Pro – https://geni.us/kqzvv81
– Meinl Jumbo Subwoofer Bass cajon – https://geni.us/SH44oH
- Entry level from $50-150
- Intermediate from $150-250
- Pro cajon from $250-$1200
It all depends on what your are looking for. If you are just starting on the cajon, if you have it as a hobby or if you want to become a professional player or if are already playing gigs and want to change your cajon. It’s important to consider all of this before buying the cajon.
What is your music style
If you play more Pop, Rock, Funk – and you would like to have more a drum kit sound, I would suggest the snare cajon specially those that switches the snare wires on & off, then you can have also the sound of a traditional Peruvian cajon.
Latin & Brazilian music, flamenco – I would recommend the flamenco cajon with strings on the inside.
Watch the Video below
How to buy a Cajon
- How to buy online
If buy a cajon online you need to search for videos especially on YouTube where you can listening the different models. I advise you to choose the videos that are filmed and recorded with a microphone and I also suggest you to use headphones, to really hear the details.
- How to buy in a shop
If you have the chance to go to a local music shop and test different models, its great! Then you can spend the time and choose the one that you feel more comfortable playing.
Ask for advice
There are many forums on Facebook for example with people from all over the world that will be happy to share their experiences.
I also encourage you to contact the cajon makers, most of them are very accessible and I’m sure they will clarify any doubt you have about a particularly model you are thinking in purchase.
You can always contact me with any questions you have about cajon models, what you are looking for, I’m going to do my best to help you. You can send a message here in the comments section below or send me a message at CajonMaster Facebook page and also on Instagram.