One of my (sadly now former) co-workers is an amazing drummer. As in professional-studio-musician-in-another-life amazing. I would spend quite a bit of time chatting with him about music and his experience as a working musician.
Shortly before his departure he mentioned to me at the Chicago Drum Show was coming to town in my neck of the woods. It seemed like a great way to spend an afternoon with the kids, so I figured I’d pack ’em up and check it out. One of the first booths we happened upon was that of Aaron of Empowered Percussion. After a brief chat he gave the kids an impromptu lesson on the cajón.
At this point I’d never heard of a cajón, but they sounded cool, the kids really enjoyed banging on them, and they were made of wood. Seemed like something we should be able to put together in the workshop!
So, first, what’s a “cajón”?
A cajón (Spanish pronunciation: [ka?xon] (Ka-hon), “box”, “crate” or “drawer”) is nominally a six sided, box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru, played by slapping the front or rear faces (generally thin plywood) with the hands, fingers, or sometimes various implements…Cajón – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In woodworking terms this equates roughly to a simple wooden box, frequently made of plywood from what I see online, with a thin (~1/8″) ‘tapas’ (cover or lid) on the front. Seemed like a fun, easy woodworking project that I could do with the kids on a cold (or and/or rainy) weekend, which unfortunately we’d had far too many of this spring.
We designed these in the shop together, sizing them appropriately for each child. Naturally I needed to do all the cutting, but the kids were able to glue them up, assemble their boxes, and sand the rough bits.
The kids were great and we all had a wonderful fun – and full – day in the shop!
Next up, finishing our cajónes.