Cajon joy / drumming magic
Below is an 8 song practice playlist. When a new song is added it appears at the top, gets pushed down, and drops off the bottom as other new songs are added. The 8 song set keeps your daily practice session to between about 30-45 minutes.
My favorite songs tend to be those that have drum beats you can tap your toes to, but there is nothing particularly magical about my list. I’m almost 60 years old, so if you’re 15 years old, my “old man music” may not appeal to you. If you prefer to choose your own songs go right ahead. I’d recommend you create your own playlist to practice to. That way you get to practice songs multiple times, and work in new songs occassionally. But, anything that inspires you to play more is worth trying. If there is anything I can do to help you, feel free to contact me any time.
What is a cajon?
Yeah… it’s basically a box you sit on and hit… a drum.
Why am I talking about cajons?
Music is a powerful tool, and can help a great deal in your quest for happiness. Music is composed of rhythm, melody, and harmony. Rhythm is the part of music, as a drummer, that has always appealed to me. I believe rhythm is the “heart beat” of not just music, but life, and has great power. It’s also accessable to everyone at any time. Everyone has experienced the joy of clapping along to a song. When you’re doing that, you’re drumming. Let me be clear… you’re already a drummer. I hope to convince you that since you’re already a drummer, you can explore the power of drumming further, and use it’s power to make your life happier.
Drumming can be both a ritual (a special event) and a practice exercise (to build your skill). The ritual / practice can be done both alone or in groups.
It’s about joy, happiness & peace of mind
The goal of my approach is NOT to become the greatest drummer in the world. The goal is to learn to enjoy music to the point that you feel at one with the music, a kind of “dancing with your hands” that can bring you joy, and help in your journey for happiness & peace of mind.
Search around on the web and look into the concept of “16th notes”. Then begin to hear songs as sixteenth notes. Strike the cajon in this sixteenth note pattern. Move on to playing with varying your hand patterns, try RLRLRLRL, and RRLLRRLL, and RLRRLRLL, etc… Count along outload, and later in your head; “1 da and da 2 da and da 3 da and da 4 da end da”. After that, try striking certain counts harder / louder. Putting all these things together offers a lifetime of opportunities to both listen to music and the enjoyment playing along with it.
It is also helpful to notice as you practice or play songs that you become familiar with how your mind wanders and how thoughts having nothing to do with drumming come into your mind. Eventually your goal will be to let these thoughts come and go, and not grasp them. But, first, it’s helpful to notice this is happening. Go ahead, try and tell yourself not to have any non-drumming thoughts during your practice session. Yeah… good luck with that. Understanding that thoughts are like the wind, they come into your consiouness virtually against your will, is an important step on your path to peace of mind. If you’re interested in learning more about “peace of mind”, you may be intersted in dharma talks.
Looking to buy one?
If this idea apeals to you, consider getting yourself an inexpensive cajon (see a bunch on Amazon) to help discover the joy of music. When buying your cajon, make sure you pay attention to it’s height & get one about 20” tall. Some are “mini” / “hand” cajons, and are meant to be played in the lap, certainly not sat on. You don’t wanna order one you think you’re gonna sit on only to have it delivered and find you bought the wrong size. You don’t have to pay big bucks, I got mine for $40 and it came with a case that let’s me carry it like a backpack, which is useful if your gonna be carrying it outside your house. The cajon I have is the Sawtooth ST-CJ120B Cajon Birch Wood with Padded Seat Cushion and Carry Bag (on Amazon).