Introduction: Cajon: Shoe Mounted Shaker

About: Hello, my name is Ross and I make cajon tutorials. I hope I can help you with some basic rhythms, techniques or anything else you would like to learn. Playing a musical instrument like the cajon might become p…

Hello cajon drummers of!

In my first Instructable I want to show you a simple little add-on you can make to spice up your cajon grooves. I love the sound of a "shiick, shiick, shiick" (that's my shaker sound) laying down a pulse behind a cajon solo. You can let your foot keep time while your hands take the audience's ears for the ride of their lives!

The YouTube clip is an example of putting a shaker on your shoe while playing cajon. It's cooler than it sounds, I promise. I mean, it actually sounds cool! That one is a bigger shaker so I just wrapped it on with packing tape - This Instructable is a more elegant method I think.

Let's now go through the steps of putting it together, testing it out, and at the end there's a lesson to help you get the most out of using it!

Step 1: The You-Will-Need

Okay, let's gather some things!

  • A shoe. You could pick your left or your right depending on which foot you like to tap with.
  • Rubber bands. I decided on using 3 bands to minimise the chances of slippage.
  • Percussive shaker. The one I'm using is a metal one bought from a store but here's an Instructable that you could use if you'd like to make your own little shaker.

If you already own a shoe, some rubber bands and a shaker you can do this right now. And that's a good feeling!

Step 2: The Build

Time to rig it together!

  1. Put the rubber bands around the middle of your shaker.
  2. Sit the shaker on the top of your shoe.
  3. Stretch the rubber band down and under the tread of your shoe.

In the next step we'll give it a test run.

Step 3: The Test-It-Out

Okay, here's the moment of truth!

  • Check to see if it slips around (more rubber bands are always an option).
  • Does it make a good "shiick" sound?
  • Get on the cajon and play it with a beat.

Step 4: The Compact

The Shoe Mounted Shaker is super easy to pack up and keep compact.

  1. Stretch the rubber bands away from the shaker.
  2. Twist them once so that it makes a loop.
  3. Pull the loop back over the shaker.
  4. The bands should feel twice as tight and sit snuggly on the shaker.

Enjoy your new little cajon accessory!

In the next step I've got a lesson for you about building your skills for using a Shoe-Shaker with cajon.

Step 5: The Lesson

The aim of this game is "independence". It's how we get different parts of our body to play rhythms without tripping each other over. With a Shoe-Shaker the goal is allowing our foot to tap independently and make a pulse that sits "behind" what our hands are doing. When you watch this video, the exercises are very simple but will help your limbs not trip over each other! Please leave me a comment either here or on the video if you have any questions. Enjoy!

If you like playing cajon and want some fresh ideas, you can check out more of what I make on my YouTube Channel. There are playlists for your skill level or the type of skill you'd like to improve.

Thanks for checking out my first Instructable, I'll see you again soon.