How to make a cajon sound better

If you have been drumming for some time, you have probably come across a cajon. This is a popular musical instrument that is easy to use. A cajon is designed to produce a unique sound.

Every drumming enthusiast has a preference when it comes to the sound that such musical instruments produce. If you have invested in a cajon but don’t like how it sounds, you can adjust it to sound better. Try adjusting the snare, equalizing the sound using a mixing desk, loosening the screws on the tapa, getting a cajon port, or using a pillow in the kick drum. Here is more!

Choose one made from quality materials

One of the components that determine how well a cajon sounds is the materials used in its construction. Choosing one made from high-quality materials can help you enjoy excellent sound. For instance, go for a cajon that is made using hardwoods such as birch, beech, and marine ply. Such materials are resistant to splitting and are quite strong. Beech, for instance, is well known to produce a broad range of tones.

Cajons made from softwoods such as rubber produce an indistinct and dull sound that does not interest many drummers. If you already have a cajon made from low-quality materials, you can make it sound better by equalizing the sound using a mixing desk.

Adjust the snare

You can make a cajon sound better by adjusting the snare. When you hit the surface of a cajon, it produces snare sounds. You need to work on the screws found on the faceplate or striking surface to adjust the snare. Try loosening the screws on the top of the snare. Do it carefully so that you don’t remove them since the faceplate should remain attached.

Once the top screws are all loose, you can gradually tighten each of them slightly. Once you have tightened the screws, sit on the cajon, and hit it to determine if it sounds better. If you still don’t like the sound, you can go back to adjusting the screws a bit further until you get the desired sound. Take your time to confirm that the snare wires and faceplate are not damaged. Do not over tighten the screws since this can cause the faceplate to dig into the casing and cause severe damage.

Ensure that the snare wires inside the cajon lie properly against the surface and do not bend over themselves. If you realize that they are bending over, consider loosening the cajon a bit more.

Work on the other sections

If you have a poor quality cajon, you can try making it sound better by working on the tom. For instance, try loosening the tension of its head so that you can lower the pitch. You can even try adding a pillow on the kick drum. Look for a sound control pillow that is explicitly made for a cajon.

Focus on the cajon tapa

The front face or tapa receives a lot of attention since this is what your audience is likely to see when playing the cajon. Most drummers focus more on the appearance and design and overlook the material used to make it. To enjoy an excellent sounding cajon, you should ensure that you choose one whose tapa is made from quality materials since this has a great impact on the overall sound it can produce.

Going for one that is made up of layers of thin plies can help you enjoy great sound. Tapas made using thicker plies do not create excellent sound. Most people with such instruments reveal that the wood sound they get from such instruments is less pronounced. If you have such a cajon, you can make a few adjustments that can help it sound better.

Start by checking whether the tapa uses screws to attach it. If yes, try loosening the screws on every side. Doing this creates a gap between the shell of your cajon and the tapa. When you strike the tapa, it will then clap against this shell leading to a pronounced tone. Some of the tapas are, however, attached using glue instead of screws. Though correcting the slap tone on such a cajon is not easy, you can use some accessories to make it sound better, such as box drum castanets.

Use a cajon port

This port is essential in changing the sound of a cajon since it can expand its sonic range and lead to a rich frequency spectrum. It works by compressing the flow of air through the tube. This makes the musical instrument more versatile and less boxy. Adding a cajon port can make a significant difference since it minimizes the resonance.

A summary of how to make a cajon sound better

Adjust the snare
  • Loosen and gradually tighten the top screws until you find the ideal sound
Focus on the cajon material
  • Choose one made from hardwoods.
  • If you go for one made from softwood, you can make it sound better by equalizing it through a mixing tape.
Correct the slap tone on the tapa
  • Loosening the screws on the tapa can make it sound better.
  • If the tapa is attached using glue, you can get suitable accessories to adjust the sound.
Adjust the tom
  • Try loosening the tension on the head. This will lower the pitch and enhance the sound.
Use a cajon port
  • This can minimize the resonance of a cajon and make it more versatile.

Conclusion

Both professionals and novice players like user-friendly musical instruments such as the cajon. Since such musical instruments are not equal, they don’t all sound the same. If you want to make a cajon sound better, you should try some of the methods we have highlighted above. Experimenting with different techniques is advisable since it makes it easy to find the perfect sound.

FAQs

How should I store a cajon?

Storing a cajon well is important since this can affect how it sounds. Ensure you store it at constant temperature and humidity. Do not subject it to UV radiation.

What kind of sound that a good cajon produce?

A good cajon should have a great separation between high, bass, and deep tones.

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