1. zigswagoon asked: I apologize if this has been asked before, but what is the best microphone positioning for the cajon? Inside the cajon? Pointing at the hole? On the front? Thanks!

    Hello Juan! No problem man.

    There are a couple of different ways you can do it. It all depends on personal preference and the equipment you have available to you.

    1. A Sure beta 91 or similar microphone inside the cajon, placed on a soft surface like a towel or such like.

    2. An SM57 or similar microphone placed 6 inches from the sound hole with the diaphragm of the microphone pointed slightly away from the hole.

    3. If you have the capability you can combined both techniques and have the sound engineer blend both mics to achieve a balanced sound.

    In the studio I would also mic the front of the cajon just to give you that option too.

    I hope this helps you. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    All the best,

    Paul :)

    www.playcajon.org

     

  2. New videos added to the site!

    Hello folks!

    Just a quick note to say that I have added 6 new lessons to the site.

    4 lessons in Rumba as well as an Indian groove and a Rumba solo.

    The new lessons also feature a new camera angle so all future lessons will now feature 2 camera angles.

    You can find the new lessons here:

    http://www.playcajon.org/grooves-genres/

    and here:

    http://www.playcajon.org/solos/

    Lots more lessons coming soon.

    Take care.

    Paul :)

     
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  4. New videos coming in Febuary…

    There will be 10 new videos added to playcajon.org on 29th Feb.

    Some highlights will include flamenco rumba lessons, new hybrid grooves as well as cajon test drives.

    Hope you enjoy.

    Take care.

    Paul.

    www.playcajon.org

    FOH engineer Tom Cassetta with my hybrid set-up for TAPEIRE in 2007

    My other hybrid set-up for the show

     

  5. Finding the right cymbals

    Finding the right cymbals can sometimes be a tricky business. To do it right you need to find a set that not only matches your drums but cymbals that match each other. Generally speaking, first you should find a make of cymbal you like. One way you can do this is go to your local drum store and try out different makes. For those who don’t know, popular makes include Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste, Meinl, Istanbul, and Bosphorus. With the first 3 being the most popular.

                    

                     Sabians wall of cymbals at the NAMM show 2012

    Most of these makers have many different types of cymbal, which can get very confusing sometimes. To take zildjian as an example, low end cymbals in there range are their ZBT, ZXT, & ZHT with their high end range being their Z3, K Zildjian, K Custom, A Zildjian, & A custom range.

    The ZBT, ZXT, & ZHT are all make from sheet bronze and there Z3, K Zildjian, K Custom, A Zildjian, & A custom’s being made from cast bronze. How high you go depends on your budget. If you can afford to kit your self out with the higher end, go for it. Some of the lower end stuff can sound good for the price too and you can buy pre-matched sets in the lower range at a very affordable price. 

    Once you have figured out what make of cymbals you like, you now need to find a set that sonically matches. This is not as hard as it might seem. Start with your hi hats then get a crash, ride, maybe another crash, splash, fx, gong. The sky really is the limit these days but if you are looking to get the basics, start out with just some hats, a crash, a ride and maybe a faster crash or splash.

    You may like a particular artists sound and you could have a look at what cymbals they use and go try some out at the music store.

    Ask your self these questions: Are you looking for a dark or bright sound? What kind of music do I play or want to play? Listen to the songs you like and try to hear the sound of the drummers cymbals. You could even take your Walkman or ipod down to the music store and try to match the sound you hear. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and if you find the guy at the music store is a know it all and just confusing you, don’t be afraid to walk out the door and go somewhere else.

    If you are trying to match to the sound of your drums, take your snare down to the store and see how it sounds with a particular type of hats or a ride. If you are trying to match a cymbal to your cajon definitely take that down too and see what works.

    Some folks looking at cymbals

    As I said the sky is the limit and cymbals are expensive so do your research and find a set that will last you a lifetime.  

    Good luck.

    Paul.

    www.playcajon.org

     

  6. Improved navigation for Beginner Course

    Users of playcajon.org can now enjoy smoother navigation through the sites Beginner Course with the addition of “next video” & “previous video” buttons.

    It is our intention to be constantly improving the site with new features and improvements.

    If there is anything you would like to see improved or added to playcajon.org just let me know.

    Paul :)

                                                     Have a look at some screenshots below.

    www.playcajon.org

     

  7. Snare & Bass seperation

    In the past few days I have had a few questions about how to achieve a cajon bass tone with no snare effect. This is hard to get from most cajons as it is common for the snare wires to go all the way up the surface of the cajon. This is typical on a flamenco cajon as the heavy snare like rattle is what is generally required for the music. In this instance the snare on bass tone would be very strong.

    If you are looking for a more kick snare sort of sound, you should try looking for a cajon that has actual snare wires fixed on the upper part of the cajon. This will give you a lot more separation from bass to snare. 

    I have a Kopf Birch Series DeUno cajon that has the fixed snare on the upper part of the drum and achieves the separation very well. You need to work a bit harder for your snare sound but that is what helps get you that separation. The birch DeUno is also fantastic for using your foot to get other tones. 

                                                            

                                                                The Kopf Birtch DeUno Cajon

    I also found a company call Newl Cajons who have developed a cajon with separate bass and snare chambers. The tone of the cajon is very good but the bass chamber seems very low down on the instrument which I feel may cause you to play with a poor technique and possibly strain your back.

    We also have to remember that a kick drum and snare drum are separate drums and the cajon is one unit so hitting the bass tone will always resonate the snare a little bit.

    Good luck in finding your perfect cajon. Let me know if you have any questions by clicking the “Ask me anything” button on the right.

    Paul :)

    www.playcajon.org

     
  8. Video blog 01

    Paul :)