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  • Playing Both Kit Drums and Cajon

    Posted by Trevor on December 10, 2023 at 2:30 am


    My name is Trevor and I bought my first Cajon and just started Felipe’s courses. The instruction is first class and I am excited to start improving.

    I am also learning to play kit drums. I have a drum kit at home and practice there in the summer months. In the winter I stay in Tucson and I have started playing Cajon with friends – two acoustic guitars and one bass. Mostly rock/country/popular music.

    So here is my question,,,, Let’s take the example of the simple eighth note rock groove, bass on 1, 2+ and 3, snare on 2 and 4. On the drum kit my right foot is playing the double hit on 2+ and 3. But on the Cajon we are alternating between right and left hands continuously. My natural tendency is to play the 2, 2+ and 3, all with the right hand instead of alternating. This pattern more closely resembles my drum kit and I do this without thinking.

    Should I break this habit and alternate hands continuously? I plan on playing both kit drums and Cajon; drums in the summer and Cajon in the winter. I guess if I do not alternate it may become a limitation when I progress to more complicated grooves and fills. But by the same token, when I return to my drum kit I wish to pick up from where I left off without having to “unlearn”.

    Any guidance would be most appreciated.

    Trevor replied 5 months, 1 week ago 2 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Felipe

    December 14, 2023 at 10:49 am

    Hi Trevor,

    I think this video can help you and give you an idea in how to adapt your drum grooves to the cajon.

    Let me know what do you think 😉

  • Trevor

    December 15, 2023 at 5:04 am

    Hi Felipe,

    Thank you for your reply and great video. Nice to hear similar grooves played on both drums and Cajon, by someone skilled on both instruments.

    Obviously a different technique on the different instruments and I will need to practice on both so that I can switch between them. Something that will help me with the adaptation of a groove to the Cajon is to see the sheet music for the Cajon. Is that available somewhere?

    I suppose we are continuously alternating between left and right hands and this is important to develop – the issue and question I had on my original post.



    • Felipe

      January 11, 2024 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Trevor,

      I understand what you mean, but I think you should definitely separate the techniques for drums and for cajon. The way of playing the cajon is more linear, we need to apply the technique of alternating hands more often. You can use the kit to help with your cajon creative side but the techniques for both instruments should be different.

      The grooves of the video drums vs cajon are divided in some tutorials in my channel and also in free area. Just follow the tag cajon vs drums.



  • Trevor

    January 11, 2024 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you Felipe.

    I am working on continuously alternating hands and it is coming together,,,, slowly. I am presently converting grooves and fills for the band songs to the Cajon. Something that helps me is to keep time with my feet; it especially helps for smooth transitions between groove/fill/groove.

    I appreciate your help and first class instruction.


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