Seldom do good things come from having one too many adult beverages, but in this case, I came up with a grand idea and executed it fairly well! And don’t worry – I remained in the comfort of my own home when I came up with the idea!
I had just gotten home from band rehearsal. We had spent time working acoustic versions of our songs, so I spent that session exclusively on my trusty Cajon and shaker. I didn’t really like the way the shaker sounded and the fact that I had to dedicate a hand to using it…cue adult beverage, the first! Upon finishing my first drink within an hour’s time, I came up with the idea to use a brush in my left hand, and to have the brush fully fanned out. The result is that when rubbed across the surface of the box, it sounds similar to the shaker! BONUS POINTS: I could also rhythmically tap it and it also simulates a hi-hat sound. I was on a roll…cue adult beverage, the second!
After the second beverage, I decided to use another brush for the right hand, also fanned out; however, it sounded too similar to my left hand. This meant that I lost my bass and snare sound. So I pondered, experimented and tinkered…cue adult beverage, the third! At the conclusion of this drink, I came up with the idea to only partially extend the brush in my right hand to make it more of an articulated sound..perfect for the snare and bass sound I was missing! So I gave it a whirl on some of our songs, and I loved the way it turned out. And even though I was three drinks in, I just knew it sounded great..cue adult beverage, the fourth! This one was a celebratory one.
In playing the cajon with brushes, I also found myself using a double traditional grip. This application has no use in drumming whatsoever; however, in this setting, it makes sense based on the way you sit atop the instrument!
Who knew that in my buzzed state of mind that I would stumble upon a method that brings new life into playing an instrument? Again, one of the few times in history that having a few drinks lead to a desirable outcome……cheers!