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View Full Version : Cajon + Ukulele = Many Fun Nights



rpeters
02-05-2010, 03:39 AM
Fellow Ukers,

have you heard of the Cajon drum? Its basically a box with a "tapa" front. You sit on the box and hit the "tapa" in different areas to make different sounds. It has a snare at the top of the box, and a bass sound in the middle of the box. Its really popular in Spain and Mexico I think, and people are actually using it as a substitute to drums. I think it is a wonderful percussion instrument to pair with the ukulele.


Soo, I'm going to build myself one. I found plans using plywood and guitar strings for the snare and am going to experiment with the sounds I can make with the pairing of the Ukulele and Cajon.

Does anyone at ukulele underground own a cajon?

Captain_Lovehandles
02-05-2010, 04:42 AM
I have a friend with one and it's easy and fun to play. I found that in addition to the tom and snare sounds on the front, the sides gave me a pretty convincing conga sound. Would you be better served using solid wood?

Swampy Steve
02-05-2010, 04:47 AM
Yes, they sound great ! Ive got a couple of drums, only problem is getting someone to play them , while I play along.
good luck on your build , post pics.
Im working on a drum made from a 14" section of a palm tree I found cut., hollowing out the pithy middle & then Ill stretch a hide.

ukecantdothat
02-05-2010, 06:15 AM
I recently played a gig with a percussionist who sat on the cajon with congas, bongos, various hand helds, and a wood block foot pedal. The uke plays off that cajon "snare" sound perfectly. It was also my first experience playing with an upright bass - quite cool...

gheepn
02-05-2010, 08:29 AM
I play the cajon and Uke, and I agree they sound great together. However I would suggest just going out to buy one rather than building one, unless you are just looking for a project. You can find a pretty good one around 100 bucks.

On the other hand if you are looking for a project you can use laminate wood on the back and sides but for the face don't go cheap cause you will loose sound quality. Also good luck putting the snares in. It's alot of work for something you can go buy for 100 dollars.

cMejilla
02-05-2010, 11:27 AM
I definitely second gheepn's post. The cajon is incredibly fun to play. I eyed the specs to build one but since I lack any skills in building things, I just opted to buy it for around $90.

Kite
02-05-2010, 11:30 AM
Ooooh so thats what those are called! cajon haha, that literally means box in spanish. that's neat but I have been seeing a lot of musicians on youtube lately using those in videos :)

captbaritone
02-05-2010, 12:03 PM
I just gotta stick a plug in here. My girlfriend's dad owns Fat Congas which make really amazing and innovative cajons http://www.fatcongas.com/.

Here is a video of her playing one of her dad's instruments while I play the ukulele. It really completes the sound of the song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdLnQ5T0VaU

rpeters
02-05-2010, 12:23 PM
I have a friend with one and it's easy and fun to play. I found that in addition to the tom and snare sounds on the front, the sides gave me a pretty convincing conga sound. Would you be better served using solid wood?

Yeah solid wood would definitely sound better. I think though for my first attempt it will be plywood just so I don't spend a lot of money on something that is put together poorly. Then I'll fix my mistakes and use solid wood in a later build.

rpeters
02-05-2010, 12:24 PM
I just gotta stick a plug in here. My girlfriend's dad owns Fat Congas which make really amazing and innovative cajons http://www.fatcongas.com/.

Here is a video of her playing one of her dad's instruments while I play the ukulele. It really completes the sound of the song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdLnQ5T0VaU

I was doing some research on Fat Congo Cajons, and they definitely get the best reviews. They are like 300 dollars though.

Mim
02-05-2010, 01:01 PM
I saw my friend from high school (awesome drummer) playing one on a youtube video. I did not know what they are called but they looked awesome and it sounded great. He was playing it with some flamico guitarists. I am glad to put a name with what it is.

Aunt Betty
02-06-2010, 05:56 AM
So this is what a Cajon is! I thought he was just sitting on a box!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuWgx0EnZnY
cool.
Thanks.
:o)

Ukuleleblues
02-06-2010, 09:15 AM
I made one last year. Four guitar strings and tuners make up the Snare. The hardest part was finding the 1/8 inch birch and had to buy a 4x8 sheet. I play it sitting down with my uke or guitar and tap on the front with my heel of my boot. Good luck on your build.

rpeters
02-06-2010, 09:46 AM
yeah the birch plywood will be difficult to find. The plans that I have look to be very similar to yours. Once it's built I post up some sound samples and pictures.

WhenDogsSing
02-06-2010, 11:42 AM
Meinl makes cajons. This one was $140. I love it...!!!

rpeters
02-07-2010, 08:28 AM
I made one last year. Four guitar strings and tuners make up the Snare. The hardest part was finding the 1/8 inch birch and had to buy a 4x8 sheet. I play it sitting down with my uke or guitar and tap on the front with my heel of my boot. Good luck on your build.

I actually found a 20'' by 30'' of 1/8 baltic birch that I think I'm going to purchase for it. Looks like pretty good quality and is pretty much what Fat Congas uses on their Cajons - well theirs is aircraft quality though.

rpeters
02-07-2010, 08:30 AM
I have a friend with one and it's easy and fun to play. I found that in addition to the tom and snare sounds on the front, the sides gave me a pretty convincing conga sound. Would you be better served using solid wood?

Actually Captain I've been doing some research and Fat Congas has been using aircraft quality birch plywood for their cajons. I'm thinking pounding on a solid wood will eventually crack at the grain.