My Sit And Slap Cajon Drum

By Maggie B.

My instrument is called, “My Sit and Slap Cajon (pronounced ka hone) Drum.”  My mom and I were surfing the web and came across a Cajon Drum being played on YouTube. Then I goggled “cajon drum patterns” and found they were easy to make.  I printed out the pattern and showed it to my dad. While I was at school my dad and older brother gathered the materials from the barn.

Dad helped me measure the correct size pieces of plywood for the sides, top and bottom of the drum. For the front, where I hit the drum, I used a thinner sheet of plywood. Next dad cut the wood with the table saw because it was too dangerous for me to do. The drum needed a hole for sound to come out, so I used a can to trace a circle on one of the thicker pieces of wood for dad to use the jig saw to carefully cut out. When all the cutting was finished, dad and I used wood glue and screws to put together the wood pieces to form a box. The piece with the hole in it went on the side and the thin piece of wood went on the front. Dad showed me how to put clamps on the drum to hold it together tightly until the glue dried.
My brother Ben taught me how to stain the wood.  When the stain was dry, my mom taught me how to rub on polyurethane to protect the wood.  I put on one coat of polyurethane, let it dry, lightly sanded the drum and put on another coat.  My drum is now is now shinny!
The last thing my dad and I put on my cajon drum was rubber stopper feet on the bottom to keep the drum from sliding when I sit on it and play.
To produce sound on my cajon drum I sit on the top and pat or tap the front of the drum.  To make a loud dynamic sound, I hit the drum harder. For softer dynamics, I lightly tap the drum. For a high pitch sound I tap the drum near the top. To make a lower pitch sound, I pat the drum farther down towards the middle of the drums front.
The timbre of my drum is a thumping or pulsation that sets the beat or rhythm for other instruments.