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Types of cajon

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Types of Cajon

The world of the cajon can be a confusing place these days. New types of cajon and new instrument builders are coming out of the woodwork everyday (pardon the pun).

In this post I will highlight some of the different cajon drums that are out there, the sound, and an what type of music they are typically used for.

1. Peruvian Cajon

The traditional Peruvian cajon is perhaps the first ever cajon and was first inspired by shipping crates that were adapted by African slave musicians to use as drums 200-300 years ago. 

The Peruvian cajon has no snare system and traditionally the corners of the playing surface are sealed. 

The Peruvian cajon player must develop a special technique to achieve the proper Afro-Peruvian sound and it can take years of practice to get the right sound.

For more information about the Peruvian cajon go to

2. Flamenco Cajon

After Paco De Lucia and Rubem Dantas retuned from Peru in the 1970's with a gifted Peruvian cajon, the instrument soon became a main sound of flamenco music. At some point the decision was made that more of a rattle sound was needed from the cajon so guitar strings were added to the back side of the playing surface to give it a sound that became the typical flamenco cajon sound. 

The flamenco cajon is now used all around the world in many types of music but is most popular in Latin styles as well as flamenco its self of course.

3. Snare Cajon

The snare cajon is the modern version of the cajon and has been created to accentuate the kick and snare sound that the cajon gives you. 

Instead of using a string system to give the snare sound, a snare system is added to the cajon using actual snare wires like that on a snare drum.

Many variations of the cajon snare system have been developed in recent years as well as snare on and off mechanisms allowing the player to turn the snare off and on while playing. 

Kick ports are also now used with cajons to bring out even more bass tone. 

4. Cuban Cajon

The Cuban Cajon is a five sided cajon that is placed between the players legs and played on the top much like a conga drum. 

It has an open sound and there are no snares. The Cuban cajon is typically used in Afro-Cuban music.

There are many more types of cajon being developed today and we will add them to the post as they become popular.