This Hang solo by Daniel Waples is very cool indeed:
Ever since the hang drum hit the scene back in 2000, people have been drawn in by its hypnotizing sound. Originally created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Bern, Switzerland, the instrument, that looks like a UFO, is constructed from two half-shells of deep drawn, nitrided steel sheet and fixed together leaving the inside hollow. The hang is then hammered to create the notes in a similar way that you would create a steelpan, but modified in such a way as to act as a Helmholtz resonator. The top side of the hang has a center ‘note’ called the “Ding” hammered into it and seven or eight ‘tone fields’ hammered out around the center. The bottom of the hang which is called the “Gu” is a plain surface that has a rolled hole in the center with a tuned note that is created when the rim is struck. The name Hang comes from the Bernese German word for hand.
Daniel’s website: http://www.hanginbalance.com
Daniel’s Facebook page: http://facebook.com/hanginbalance
Steve Ramsey has one of YouTube’s most popular woodworking channels: Woodworking for Mere Mortals. Steve now boasts over 100,000 subscribers to his channel and creates entertaining woodworking tutorials that are very nicely shot and edited.
Steve has created a great video about how to make a bongo cajón. He takes you step by step through the process making it easy for anyone to follow along and build their own drum. You can also view the plans for making a bongo cajon on Steve’s website.
The cajon is one of the most versatile hand drums on the planet. You can use it in a wide range of settings across many genres. The cajon stands alone very well but if you are looking to add more scope to your sounds here are a some options for you.
1. Hi Hat
Using a hi hat along with your cajon really is perfect. I would recommend using some kind of brush on the hi hat as it will compliment the sound of the cajon very well. You can use one hand for the cajon to punch out your bass and snare tones and one for the hats to play your quarter notes, eighths, sixteenths or what ever. You could also just use the foot on the hi hat to chip out the off beat or on beat. The possibilities are many.
2. Cajon Bass Pedal
The cajon bass pedal is a relatively new accessory. It uses a cable mechanism activated by the foot with the beater hitting the cajon to produce a bass tone. The beater is made extra soft so that a deeper tone can be produced from the wood surface. The addition of a cajon bass pedal can really open up a world of new groove possibilities.
3. Snare Drum
Using a snare drum along with the cajon will give it a nice drum kit feel. Again, like the hi hat, I would recommend using a brush to play the snare with. This will compliment the sound of the cajon very well. When using a snare, I usually play the cajon with my right hand (I am right handed) and the snare with my left. It’s just feels natural to do it that way for me. There is no standard way, whatever you feel comfortable with.
Having a cymbal or two to play with your cajon is something I could not recommend enough. Not only can you crash it with your hand but you can also use it as a ride to play your subdivisions like eighth notes. Again, a brush works well and the cymbal does not need to be a ride cymbal to ride on either. I find that a medium crash works just fine and that means its easier to crash too. Along with a crash, a splash cymbal works great with cajon.
5. A skinned hand drum
For many years I have experimented with using all kinds of hand drums with cajon. From congas to djembes, bongos to tabla and even all of the above at the same time. Using a drum like this with the cajon will really expand your sonic range. I like using high- pitched drums like tabla or a high tuned djembe as I think it sounds great with the sound of the cajon and really pops over the top of the wood sound. I have even turned the snare off on a snare drum and played it with my hand along with the cajon and it also sounds great.
There are all kinds of possibilities with percussion in general. These are just a couple of suggestions to help get you started. Remember, don’t let anyone tell you you are doing it the wrong way, the wrong way doesn’t exist.
Teaching cajon hybrid lesson on playcajon.org
Almost 6 months ago one of the most well known cajon makers: Sela approached our company Paul Jennings Music LLC to ask if we would like to bring Sela cajons to North America. After receiving our first sample cajon from them which was a CaSela Professional Snare cajon in the Satin Nut finnish, I was totally blown away by its sound and quality.
We are now pleased to announce that we will be showcasing Sela Cajons at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, TN on the 11th – 13th of July. We will be located at booth #225 in Hall A. If you will be in attendance come and see the incredible Selas for yourself.
Here is a bit more info about why Sela make one of the most revolutionary percussion products in the world.
The CaSela Professional Snare Cajon by Sela
The CaSela Professional Snare Cajon is a pro quality cajon which is screwed together quickly and easily. It combines Sela‘s many years of experience making cajons with highly modern production methods. This opens up entirely new visual and acoustic possibilities. The precisely finished components are “Made in Germany” and are of the highest quality.
What makes the CaSela Professional Snare Cajon such a marketable product is that with its low production costs the Professional Quality cajon can now be offered at a lower price to the consumer. This gives the retailer a huge opportunity to sell the Selas over other professional models.
The Snare Cajon Kit by Sela
With the Snare Cajon Kit from Sela you can build a great sounding cajon in very short time while having a lot of fun. You don‘t need to be a gifted craftsman because the precisely prefabricated parts make the assembly very easy. Each step is well documented in the included manual. After about three hours your cajon will be ready to be played on. Even if you have never built a cajon before you will have a professional instrument that sounds amazing with its deep bass and crisp snare sound and is fun to play.
This cajon is aimed at beginners but it gives you by no means a beginner sound. The Snare Cajon Kit by Sela is one of the best sounding cajons in its price range in the world.
For more than 10 years Sela has been successfully producing extraordinary cajons of the highest quality for both amateurs and professionals. Sela are now regarded as one of the best cajon makers in the world. After years of development, Sela have produced two truly unique products. The CaSela Professional Snare Cajon and the Snare Kit Cajon.
Come meet us and try Sela Cajons for yourself in Nashville this July.
In the mid 1970’s a Brazilian percussionist called Rubem Dantas was on tour in South America performing with flamenco guitarist Paco De Lucia. While in Peru Dantas was given a box drum by a local drummer. This instrument was a cajon and although he did not know it yet Dantas was about to spark a movement that would later see the cajon becoming one of the worlds most popular percussion instruments.
The CaSela Cajon by Sela is one of the worlds most popular modern cajons.
After returning from Peru Dantas began using the Cajon with De Lucia and word of this new instrument soon spread with flamenco musicians all across Spain wanting to get their hands on one. The sound of the cajon was a great accompaniment to the flamenco sound but it was not yet perfect. The traditional Peruvian cajon has no snare sound at all, it is simply a wooden box with a very open and resonant sound which is great for the traditional Afro-Peruvian music of coastal Peru but something was missing for the flamenco players. Soon after the cajon was introduced to flamenco, guitar strings were added to the inside and placed on the back side of the playing surface. The addition of the guitar strings resulted in a vibrant rattle effect which added a new dimension to the sound of the cajon. The flamenco players were now happy with the way the cajon complimented their music and the cajon went on to become one of the main instruments in flamenco music, in fact it would be hard to find a flamenco ensamble today that did not use the cajon in their performance.
Flamenco musicians use the cajon widely in their performances
The addition of the guitar strings on the cajon not only made it fit into flamenco music easier but had also turned it into a drum that sounded a lot like another instrument, the drum set. This revolution in sound made it possible to have one very portable drum that sounded like a bass drum & snare drum with many more tones in between. When people began realizing that in this one box, which also doubled as your drum stool, was an entire drum set, drummers around the world began using the cajon in all kinds of musical genres from rock to traditional Scottish music.
Many cajon makers have now added a multitude of snare systems to cajons and new inovations like cable bass pedals made spesificly for the cajon are coming out all the time. Sales for cajons have increased dramatically in the past 10 years and there is no sign of that slowing down anytime soon. The cajon is now hugely popular in asian countrys like Indonesia, Japan & Singapore and sales in Germany alone almost surpassed that of guitars last year. The cajon revolution is now growing in America too with tens-of-thousands sold each year and dosens of brands to choose from.
Today artists such as Maroon 5, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, & Zac Brown Band use the cajon in their live shows and the cajon can regularly be seen on TV shows such as American Idol, The X Factor, & The Voice. So how did this simple box drum which was invented by slave musicians in Peru in the early 1800’s become such a hit with musicians across the world in 2013? The answer to the question lies probably in its drum set like sound and portability, but maybe its just that people are simply awestruck by the scope of sound that is possible from a simple wooden box.
Singapore cajon player Arthur Choo taking the cajon to a new level in Asia. (Photo by Purple Lambs)