High Tone & Slap Tone

- Mar 21, 2019 -

The high tone provides contrast to the deep, bass tones of the box cajon. Once again there are a numberof different ways this can be played to create different types of high tone. The playing area for these tones is in the top 2- to 4-inches (4- to 16-square inches) of the tapa face.


The most widely used technique for the cajon high tonesis to let your hand drop & as the middle of your palm strikes the tope corner, your fingers (which are kept relaxed) will strike the cajon tapa face. The effect is that your fingers are almost catapulted onto the tapa face (like the conga slap stroke).

Your fingers should be relaxed & may be kept slightly apart or close together. Both methods should achieve a nice 'pop' when your fingers strike with plenty of snare buzz underneath. Where you strike the tapa face will influence the tone & amount of snare. Further down towards the middle of the tapa face & your tones will have more bass-component in them,; more towards the corners & your tones will be higher.


Rosewood Snare Wire Cajon Box

Key Advice:The slap stroke is notoriously difficult to master & takes patience. A good way to practice is on a hard level surface like a table or kitchen work surface. Let your hand drop onto the surface & feel your fingers catapult onto the hard surface.

You should feel the underside pads at the end of your fingers strike the surface & hear a distinctive popping or cracking sound, even at very low volumes. in fact, the best way to practice this stroke is at very low volumes: you will hear the tone very clearly, you won't damage the table top & on a personal level, you won't damage your fingers.


A variant on the high tone aboveis to strike the top corner of the cajon box drum tapa face with your fingers held straight & allow them to bounce off. This produces a different quality of high tone that can be interspersed with the ones mentioned above to give flavour to your playing.




Edit by Hodor

Height Musical Instrument Co.,ltd