Best Cajons in India

Haven’t we all have tried tapping our fingers on tables, desks, books and suitcase while humming our favorite tunes at some point of time in our lives? Playing a cajon keeps our love for music alive.

Playing a cajon involves tapping and rolling your fingers on a drum box or thumping or slapping it with your hands.

Being an unconventional hand percussion instrument, the cajon is played while you remain seated on it. It is an awesome musical drum box that provides a wide range of sounds and foot-tapping beats.

It is immensely popular among the youth as it helps in creating a perfect party ambience with heart-thumping music.

Let’s tap our way into the exhilarating world of cajons and explore their types and benefitscomprehensive Buyer’s guidereviews of Top 8 Best cajons in India, and FAQs followed by conclusion regarding best cajons.

Benefits of cajon

Cajon scores over the typical drums as it idyllically compliments the acoustic sets to avoid dominating or overpowering the vibes, unlike a drum-kit.

Going through its benefits would only tempt you to prefer it over drum-kits.

Provides an extensive range of sounds

The cajon provides an wide range of sounds that allows the musicians to delve deeper into music creativity for producing complex rhythms.

It covers much less space than drum-kit while providing a similar set of functions.

A cheaper alternative to the drum-kit  

The cajon proves to be a cheaper alternative to drum-kit as it costs only a fraction of the asking price of drum-kits. They are affordable and deliver high-quality music.

Easier to play than drum-kit

The cajon makes it easy for music learners to learn playing it as using their hands is an extension of their self and comes naturally and easily in comparison to holding drumsticks properly.

Portability and Durable

A cajon is easy to carry around from venue to venue because of its smaller size. Its portability makes it easy to travel with.

It is also more durable than a hand-drum which requires costly maintenance.

Serve as seating space 

A cajon serves as seating space for the players and hence it requires much less space on a venue. Players keep it between their legs, simply sit on the top and play it with their hands or fingers.

Playing a cajon in this posture assists the players with their tone and amplification.

Tips for playing cajon

Playing a cajon like a professional requires you to practice hard and acquire mastery over certain skills. Let’s go through some tips that will assist you in becoming a better cajon player.

  • For convenient cajon playing, you must discover your comfortable posture by experimenting with various sitting positions.
  • Your legs and feet must get in your way and you should stay in a relaxed and comfortable position while playing cajon.
  • Learn to play cajon from a professional. Enroll yourself in a cajon coaching class or browse through online tutorials for learning the craft with perfection.
  • Pace your learning appropriately. Don’t try to practice everything at one go. Start with easy and small steps and then gradually increase it to more complex levels.
  • Begin slowly and as you develop confidence, try playing it with more speed.
  • Use an angled soundboard to maintain your balance while mastering the backward lean to tilt the front.

Types of Cajon

The cajons can be classified into four different categories.

Peruvian cajon 

These cajons are believed to have originated in Peru in the mid 17th century. They are the traditional cajons that feature six sides and a hole in the back for sound projection.

They are simplistic cajons that do not produce snare sound.

Flamenco cajon

The Flamenco guitar legend Paco Delucia brought these cajons from Peru to Spain. He made some innovations by adding guitar strings on the backside of the cajon and thereby gave rise to Flamenco cajon.

They are improved variants that possess guitar strings, wires, and rattles.

Snare cajon

They are  the modern variants of cajon that produce snare and kick sound effects which are commonly used in music genres. In these cajons, the guitar strings are replaced by snare wires.

They are hugely popular and commonly found cajon variants.

Cuban cajon

These cajons differ from other cajons as they resemble a congo drum and are played on the top. The player does not sit on top of these cajons and they do not feature snare strings.

Buyer’s Guide

Quality of Tapa

A tapa is the striking surface of the cajon and it is prepared from different materials.

You must ensure that it is prepared from good quality material like plywood. The tapa prepared from plywood is durable due to its strength and also serves as a soft surface to play conveniently.

Competence level

The different variants of cajons differ in the number of features they offer. Some features are designed for advanced and pro-level players like multiple striking surfaces for producing simultaneous sounds.

On the other hand, a simple cajon with a single striking surface is ideally suited for beginners.

You should buy a cajon Based on your competence level and experience.

Compatibility

Playing a cajon requires you to sit on the top of it and lean a little forward so that you can strike its playing surface with your hands and fingers.

You must ensure that a cajon is compatible with your body dimensions and you can comfortably sit over it and play it effortlessly without stretching your arms excessively.

Bass and Snare tone balance

You must try out playing a cajon before buying it, to check the balance between the bass and snare tones.

A cajon with excess bass would adversely affect the snare tones and vice-versa. Therefore, you must pick up a cajon that strikes the perfect balance between bass and snare.

Adjustable Soundboard

As music is a very subjective thing, you must look out for a cajon with an adjustable soundboard. It allows you to adjust its settings as per your preference.

Go for a cajon with an additional soundboard that can be separated from the box itself so that you can make the required adjustments.

Materials Used

A cajon prepared from good quality wood such as cedar, ash, walnut, oak, mahogany, etc; possess excellent tonal qualities for producing amazing sounds.

The cheaper model usually uses lightweight Birchwood. Moreover, a cajon with metallic snare strings produces excellent buzz than other cheap counterparts.

Prefer a cajon constructed from good quality wood and metallic snare strings for high-quality performance.

8 Best Cajons In India

1. Clapbox Cajon CB11 -Black 

Clapbox is a renowned Indian brand that deals in the manufacturing and marketing of high-quality cajons, accessories, bar chimes, shakers, and practice pads.

The CB11 cajon from Clapbox is the classic and stylish cajon that produces the finest sounds and awesome acoustics. It serves as an ideal percussion instrument for any band without a drum set.

Main Features
  • The cajon box has an oak wood tapa and solid MDF body.
  • Comes with 3 sets of internal fixed snare wires.
  • The snare wires are constructed from silk and steel for robust acoustic sound performance.
  • Produces rich and deep bass sound.
  • Features pleasing and eye-catching smooth black natural finish.
  • Presence of additional bushes at the cajon’s bottom ensures relaxed seating posture.
  • Weighs only 4 Kg.
  • The product dimensions are 30 x 30 x 52 cm.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Provides a complete musical experience that matches in scope with the full-fledged portable drum-kit.
  • It is a fine sounding cajon that features great built quality and perfect wood finishing.
  • Features large legs that provide stability for comfortable cajon playing.
  • The height of cajon is designed to avoid any back pain or back stress even after long hours of playing on stage.
  • Designed for serving both professionals and amateurs.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Does not allow you to tune the cajon.

2. Blueberry C-50 Cajon Box Drum 

Blueberry is a leading manufacturer of musical instruments. It offers premium cajons that deliver the best sound acoustics for the players. This is a jam string cajon that allows the musician to produce innovative sounds with lively and pulsating music.

Main Features
  • Constructed from high-density Birch Wood that produces higher highs and reduced mid tones.
  • Features classic percussion instrument design that comprises handcrafted wooden panel box frame.
  • Comes with internal adjustable guitar strings that are placed against the inside of the playing surface.
  • Allows the players to tune the strings from the bottom of cajon using an internal hex key.
  • Weighs only 3 kg.
  • Easy to fit anywhere with compact dimensions 19 x 15 x 12 cm.
  • Presence of rubber-capped feet diminishes vibration interference, thus resulting in crystal clear sound acoustics.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Impressive birch wood tapa delivers full resonant bass tones and crisp snare tones.
  • Internal guitar strings mimic the sounds of snare drum and produce a sizzling effect.
  • Allows the players to exercise optimal dynamic control with hand slaps and finger rolls on excellent responsive front birch wood surface.
  • The playing surface is accompanied with a resonating body with a solid natural finish that creates deep and hard-hitting sounds by expanding the bass notes.
  • The rubber feet not only provides stability while playing the cajon but also allows cajon body to resonate to its maximum capacity.
  • Serves as an ideal replacement of full drum-kit for acoustic gigs.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Snare strings are not easy to adjust.

3. Meinl Percussion Snare Cajon 

Meinl is a pioneering German musical instruments company that offers high-quality products across its impressive portfolio including Meinl Cymbals, Meinl Viva Rhythm, Meinl Percussion, Meinl Stick and Brush and Ortega Guitars.

Meinl Percussion cajon SCAJ1LB-NT is a miniature snare cajon constructed from Baltic birch wood. It is made from the highest quality materials and produces impressive sound acoustics.

Main Features
  • Features natural birch front surface or a tapa and almond birch cajon body.
  • Lightweight cajon drum box that weighs 862 gm.
  • Easy to fit anywhere as its dimensions measure 14 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm.
  • The front plate is super responsive to hand slaps and finger rolls for delivering deep and punchy bass sounds.
  • The back panel of the cajon features a sound port for convenient mic settings when needed.
  • Features a fixed internal snare that is placed against the inside of the responsive ultra-thin front plate.
  • With a height of 14 cm, it measures only 1/6th size of full-sized cajon.
PROS (What we liked)
  • This miniature snare cajon is portable and easy to carry around.
  • Ideal percussion instrument for jam sessions at home or outside venues like pubs, acoustic sets, mini-theatres, studio recording or jamming.
  • Serve as an awesome gift for music lovers.
  • Has stunning craftsmanship that provides great value for your money.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Does not provide a wide dynamic range as some of the full-sized variants.

4. LP Aspire Accents Wire Cajon

Latin percussion is a reputed American company that offers a range of superior crafted classic percussion instruments that effortlessly meet the challenging standards of professional musicians.

LP Aspire Accents wire cajon is a robust cajon that offers a wide dynamic range through its snare wires and para wood soundboard. It has a maple body produces deep bass tones.

Main Features
  • Features 3 sets of DW snare wires for a wide dynamic range.
  • The para wood soundboard and maple body produces awesome, deep and punchy bass tones.
  • Has a textured seating surface and rounded corners for comfortable posture while playing cajon.
  • Comes with a large rubber foot that provides stability and allows the cajon body to resonate fully.
  • 3 steps streak finishing procedure that imparts awesome looks to the cajon.
  • The product dimensions are 55.9 x 38.1 x 38.1 cm.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Features sun-burst streaks that look classy and attractive.
  • Awesome playing comfort with rounded corners that promise long hours of back-stress free musical performance.
  • Superior and rich bass tones with minimal vibration interference.
  • Internal snare wires that fatten up the vibrations and delivers exceptional rhythmic sounds where low perfectly offsets the punchy highs.
  • Durable and solid built along with good thick soundboard that produces excellent tones with far greater depth and audibility.
  • The compact, lightweight and portable model that is easy to move around.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The cajon cannot be tuned.

5. Kaxon Box Adjustable Snare Cajon

Kaxon is a widely popular cajon brand that provides high-quality cajons and various other accessories such as practice pads, drum pads, and cajon bags.

Kaxon Box snare cajon is an adjustable snare cajon that is constructed from high-quality wood to ensure exceptional sound quality. It promises an amazing jam session experience through its rich bass tones and super responsive front surface.

Main Features
  • A standard sizes cajon with birch wood tapa and solid MDF body.
  • Comes with 3 sets of internal fixed metallic snare wires.
  • Features a side adjustment knob for controlling the snare sizzle.
  • Delivers awesome and deep bass tones.
  • Pleasing, smooth and solid natural finish with superior craftsmanship.
  • Comes with relaxed seating texture for comfortable seating.
  • Lightweight cajon that weights 4 Kg.
  • The product dimensions measure 30 x 30 x 50 cm.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Provides awesome sound acoustics with rich bass and crisp snare tones.
  • The side adjustment knob delivers full spectrum from minimal snare to ultimate buzz sounds.
  • Constructed from high-quality birch woods with great solid finishing.
  • Super responsive tapa ensures the hand slaps and finger rolls produces complete musical experience with the full bass spectrum and  sizzle snares.
  • Affordable cajon that is ideally suited for the beginners to practice cajon playing.
  • Serve as an excellent gift item for music lovers.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Absence of seat pad makes it difficult to play comfortably for long durations.

6. Zabel Cajon Teak Top- with Bag 

Zabel is an established Indian brand in the music space that deals in the manufacturing and marketing of a wide array of high-quality cajons, guitars, and other musical instruments.

Zabel cajon teak top is a superiorly crafted cajon that promises the finest sound acoustics. It serves as an ideal percussion instrument for professionals and amateurs alike.

Main Features
  • Features a wood playing surface and teak top wood tapa.
  • Comes with 2 sets of internal fixed snare wires.
  • The snare wires are constructed from metallic material for crisp and sensitive snare effect.
  • Constructed from different woods for producing distinct tonal variations.
  • Features rubber legs that optimally support the weight of cajon player and assists in comfortable seating posture during long jam musical sessions.
  • Extremely lightweight as it weighs only 1.5 Kg.
  • The product dimensions measure 37 x 24 x 23 cm and easily fits into spaces on the stage and at home.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Features a solid, natural and smooth wood finish and robust built quality for an amazing sound experience
  • Enhanced portability with lightweight design makes its preferred choice during travel and outdoor shows.
  • Provides comfortable seating posture with large rubber feet that maintain your stability while playing cajon.
  • Delivers a wide range of tones that encompasses deep bass and sizzle snares.
  • Comes with a beautifully designed bag for carrying cajon around.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The cajon cannot be tuned.

7. Striker Cajon SB10 -Mahogany 

Striker is a famous cajon brand that offers superior quality cajons for state-of-the-art musical jam sessions. It employs high-quality woods such as mahogany and oak woods for constructing robust cajons with solid finishing.

Striker SB10 cajon is a classic cajon that features hand-crafted frames for producing superb acoustical percussion sounds and tones.

Main Features
  • The cajon uses an oak wood tapa and solid MDF body.
  • Comes with snare switch knob on one of its sides for easily adjusting the snare settings.
  • Features adjustable legs that can be used for adjusting the size/height of cajon.
  • Has 3 internal snare wires that produce pleasant and great rhythmic sounds.
  • Ideally suited for any music style for simulating the entire range and scope of a drum-kit.
  • Comes in attractive red color and displays superb finishing.
  • The dimensions of product measure 30 x 30 x 48 cms.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Lightweight, compact and portable design that can be easily carried around to jam sessions and music circles.
  • Allows the players to adjust the tones using snare switch knob for accessing a wide range of tones from sizzle snares to rich bass tones.
  • Adjustable feet provide the flexibility to tilt the cajon and diminishes any vibrational interference while playing it.
  • Ideally suited for any music setting such as live shows or studio recordings for replacing full-fledged drum-kit.
  • Provides awesome listening experience with rhythmic sound production.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Does not feature non-slip pad for comfortable seating.

8. KAXON BOX Hand Crafted Oak Wood Cajon 

The KAXON Cajon is a popular cajon brand that is renowned for supplying high-quality cajons. This cajon features stunning bass sounds. It is a full-fledged portable drum box that is handcrafted for ensuring it turns up to the finest sounding cajons.

It is an extremely useful addition to your drum kit as you can use it during unplugged gigs for imparting the rhythmic foundation for a complete band without using a full drum set.

Main Features
  • This cajon is prepared from 100% brand new, premium quality, heavy-duty oak wood tapa, and solid MDF shell.  It has a super responsive front surface.
  • It comes with 3 sets of internal fixed snare wires that are ideal for producing classic cajon sounds with perfect bass and crisp snare sounds.
  • It features excellent built quality and highlights smooth wood finishing.
  • It comes with large legs that provide enhanced stability.
  • This cajon is suitable for both professionals as well as amateur players.
  • It comes with a rear sound port that is inserted into the back of the resonating body. It helps in allowing air to escape from the cajon as you play it. This leads to improved tonal qualities and an awesome musical feel.
  • This cajon measures approximately 50 inches in height, 30 inches in width, and 30 inches in length.
PROS (What we liked)
  • It is a great hand percussion instrument for beginners as it is easy to learn.
  • It produces a mind-blowing sound that ensures awesome entertainment.
  • It is constructed from high-quality wood that produces sounds with exceptional tonal qualities.
  • It is a perfect gift idea for beginner players or kids who love playing musical instruments.
  • It provides great sound acoustics with rich and powerful bass tones.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It does not contain a seat pad that makes it tedious to play comfortably in a seating position for long musical sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to play cajon?

A cajon is a hardwood box that is played using the player’s hands and fingers. A cajon player sits on top of it with his legs and feet resting on sides of the cajon, he leans forward to tap on the cajon surface for producing sounds.

You can slap or thumb the surface with hands; rolls or tap your fingers over it for producing the music.

2. How to tune a cajon?

Unlike the guitar or piano, there is no determined way of tuning a cajon. When you tune the strings of a cajon, you only reduce or increase a snare effect.

Simply tune the strings tighter for getting cleaner and tighter sounds and loosen them for producing more snare and higher frequency sounds.

You should try tweaking with the strings until you get the desired sounds from your cajon.

3. Which wood is best for cajon?

The cajon is prepared mainly from four types of wood and each of them serves a specific function.

Beech Wood: It is good high-density hardwood that produces a wide range of tones including great lows, mids, and highs. It is a cheaper wood for constructing cajons.

Birch Wood: It is a high-density wood with higher highs and reduced mids than beech wood. It produces a well-polished sound, however, it is more expensive than beech wood.

Mahogany:  They are hardwoods that produce deep low-end sound with rich bass tones. The cajons with mahogany woods deliver good cracking high tones.

Oak: They are very hardwoods that produce superior volume and primarily used in cajons meant for live performances.

Conclusion

In addition to creating music with enhanced tonal qualities, playing a cajon also entails various health benefits. Like every other musical instrument, it relieves stress, boosts your immunity, increases self-confidence, and copes with the challenges of aging.

It is an ideal musical instrument to carry along if you want to spend some quality time with your loved ones on outdoor vacations or weekends. It effortlessly takes you on an immersive musical voyage and sets you free from within.

If you are still confused as to which product to go for, we recommend the cajons from Clapbox and Blueberry that offer a lot of features at a reasonable price. If you do not have a budget constraint, go for Meinl Percussion Baltic Birch Wood cajon which is a premium product.

Aniket More
 

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