New Cajon Lesson app for iPad

I am delighted to announce that my new Cajon Lesson app for iPad is now available and also FREE.

The app was conceived at the NAMM Show in Nashville in July 2013 when I met John Butler, founder of Atlas Apps. Atlas are an up and coming app development company based in Denver, CO. After having a conversation at our booth about how big the cajon is getting around the world, John told me that he wanted to create a good quality Cajon Lesson app that is free to download and has a good amount of free lesson content.  We decided that we should partner up to create the app.

So after a few months of development between Atlas Apps and Paul Jennings Music, Cajon Lessons for iPad is here. We are also currently working on the iPhone and Android versions right now. I will let you know when they are also available.

Here are some screen shots:

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3.1 Beginner Lessons

Download Cajon Lessons for iPad

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Snare Cajon Kit by Sela. Version 2.0

The New Snare Cajon Kit

It has a super punchy bass, it has a snare that cuts through, it will allow you to achieve dozens of additional tones, it has a removable snare, it is a fun project, it is a drum set in a box. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to the most advanced, affordable kit cajon on the market.

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The New Snare Cajon Kit by Sela is pushing boundaries and ticking all the boxes (pardon the pun).

New Features

The main new feature with the new model is that it features the Sela Snare System which is the same one that is used on the CaSela models. The Sela snare is totally removable and adjustable. You can also stack additional snares on top of the first snare to give you maximum snare sound.

The Sela logo has now been placed on the front instead of the side. This makes the Snare Cajon Kit much more ascetically pleasing.

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The Sound

This cajon would stand up against many top of the line cajons in the sound department. I can honestly say as a professional percussionist, I have never heard a cajon that sounds as good as this for the price. The bass has a powerful punch and the snare gives an excellent crack but the best part is all the additional tones that you can get when you run your foot up and down the front plate. I would seriously use this cajon at any gig.

It’s all in the box

Everything you need to build your snare cajon is in the box. Only a power drill is needed to complete construction. You don’t have to be a gifted craftsman to build the Snare Cajon Kit because all of the parts are prefabricated and make assembly very easy. Each step is well documented and easy to follow in the included manual.

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The spec:

– Body: 11 layers birch, 15mm

– Playing Surface: Poplar Veneer, 3mm

– Sela Snare System (Adjustable & Removable)

– Solid bass tone

– Excellent snare crack

– Many additional tones are achievable

– Weight: 13lbs

– Footing: Nonslip rubber feet

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The Snare Cajon Kit is $149.99 and is available from www.pauljenningsmusic.com

Rise of the Cajon

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.

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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.

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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.

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Singapore cajon player Arthur Choo taking the cajon to a new level in Asia. (Photo by Purple Lambs)