Rhythm and Melodies of the Drum Box
The drum box is a hand percussion instrument that is sat upon and hit on the face (front side) to create different sounds. It can be used in almost any style of music & is very versatile.
To build your own Cajon you will need a lot of wood. Joe recommends birch multiplex, which you can find in most hardware stores.
Rhythm is the backbone of a drum groove. It is the element that most distinguishes professional sounding drum programming from the stale, static beats of an amateur producer.
A basic beat consists of a steady pulse on the beats 1-2-3-4, with a strong accent on the backbeat (the second and fourth beats in each bar). Changing the emphasis of these elements can give a track a different feel.
In addition to matching the tempo and accent of the beat, producers can use auxiliary drums to alter a track’s rhythm. For example, a producer can play around with hi-hat patterns to make the same beat sound faster or slower. This is done by adjusting the velocities of the hi-hats, crashes, snares, and toms. The velocities can be adjusted manually or with a velocity-sensitive pad controller. By playing with these variables, a producer can give a beat a unique feel that will distinguish it from other tracks of the same genre.
The melodies of drum box are what keep us tapping our feet and nodding our heads to the beat. They are successions of notes that sound particularly pleasing when played over a particular chord. Try using skipwise motion in your melodies to add more interest. Limiting yourself to a single octave will also make it easier to follow your melody.
A cajon (pronounced kah ONE) is a wooden drum that looks like a box. It is used by percussionists and is seen frequently in flamenco music. It is believed that they were developed in the 1700s by African slaves in Peru. The slave owners forbade them from drumming, so they repurposed packing crates to create these unique instruments.
The design of the drum allows for striking zones that produce different tones. For example, hitting closer to the edge of the drum produces a high pitch sharp tone that can be used like a snare drum in a traditional drum kit. Playing in the middle of the drum produces a bass tone that can be used like a tom drum.
In a live performance setting, the drummer needs to hear what his kit sounds like so that he can control its pitch. That means he needs to be able to tune each individual drum head to the same pitch. That can take a long time, especially since each adjustment may affect the other lugs on the drum.
The cajon is an incredibly versatile percussion instrument. In addition to its rattling slap tone, some models have holes for brushes and a bass sound hole that can be played with a pedal or other accessories. Some even come with a fixed snare inside.
The snare also requires tuning. Using a gate on a mic allows the snare to be played loudly without the high frequencies overwhelming the rest of the mix. It opens when the volume reaches a specific threshold, and closes once the drum is quiet. This keeps the snare from getting too loud during recording, and is essential to a balanced mix.
The symphony of rhythm isn’t confined to the ears; it also reverberates through the eyes. In a world where every beat is a brushstroke of expression, the aesthetics-focused viewpoint advocates that drums should embody this creative mastery through mesmerizing aesthetics.
Supporters of this viewpoint wield PVC as a canvas, embellishing it with modifications that fine-tune sound characteristics. This fusion of engineering finesse and artistic aspiration elevates the drum beyond a mere instrument into a musical identity extension.
Box drums, also known as cajon, are a modern day percussive instrument that is incredibly versatile and used in many styles of music. They are essentially a wooden box that is sat upon and played with the hands and fingers. By striking the front surface of the box in distinct places you can get a variety of different sounds, which is why it’s so popular for drummers. You can even get the sound of a full drum kit out of it!