Online learning resources, be it courses, videos, written content, one-on-one coaching, apps, et cetera, provide fantastic opportunities to learn (and teach) how to play the cajon and understand music more generally. Though nothing truly beats dedicated in-person cajon lessons, there are plenty of excellent alternatives online.
Note that by “resources,” I'm not only referring to video tutoring and full-length courses (though these are arguably the best options). I'm also considering masterclasses, applications, videos, articles, and other online resources for learning how to play the cajon.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I've done my best to list out these resources based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Reputation of the cajon learning resource
- Quality of education in technique, theory, and learning real songs
- Organization and depth of learning
- Adaptability of teaching to individual students (one-on-one lessons are best here)
- The resource must be currently available
With all that being said, let's list out the learning resources.
The Top 11 Best Online Resources To Learn Cajon Are:
- Cajon Master
- Cajon Box
- DP Cajon Quick School
- Clap Box
- YouTube: Ross McCallum
In this article, we'll go through the above-mentioned resources to get a stronger idea of what makes them great for learning the cajon. Whether you're a complete beginner or a successful professional, there is always something to learn! I'll include links to check out each option for yourself to learn more about cajons.
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Patricia and David Butler founded ArtistWorks in 2008. Currently, the headquarters are in Napa, California.
ArtistWorks makes human resources and extremely talented handpicked teachers its competitive advantage. Moreover, most of the teachers on the page's roster are or have been professional musicians in their careers. This breaks all the moulds for music schools because they can bring the experience element to the teachings and engage students more profoundly.
But how does the platform work? Well, the videos created by the teachers, who are, in most cases, also virtuoso players, are filled with love for the instrument and important insider tips on how to get proficient with it. All concepts and teachings have a didactic, easy-to-understand motto that makes them easy to grasp and incorporate.
That being said, ArtistWorks takes video lessons to the next level by offering students a video exchange with teachers who can assess their students' progress while tailoring every lesson for the stage the student is at.
Finally, ArtistWorks can be thought of as a bridge between professional (and often virtuoso) players like Luis Conte and students. This way, the company encourages learners and teachers to forge a collaborative relationship that can pave the road to proficiency.
Paul Jennings founded PlayCajon in 2011. Currently, headquarters are in Scotland.
PlayCajon is the result of a lifetime dedicated to percussion instruments. After playing and touring around the world, Paul Jennings decided to open up a YouTube channel to pour all his knowledge and passion into helping others in their learning path.
As a result, he had immense success growing his audience to millions and subscribers to a hundred thousand in no time. This was in 2007, and by 2011, due to overwhelming demand, he decided to open PlayCajon as a resource that could help others in their quest to reach proficiency on the instrument.
From that moment on, he was not only able to help many more aspiring players but also went on to write the best-selling Hal Leonard Cajon Method and even recorded an episode for the utterly famous Ted Talks.
PlayCajon is a site full of resources divided into three simple tiers: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. All three tiers are priced the same to help all players on their journey.
This site is a must-check if you want self-paced lessons to learn cajon.
Alternatively, you can check out their free child site: Free Cajon Lessons
Cajon Master was founded by Felipe Fagundes in 2017. Currently, headquarters are in Nice, France.
Felipe is a cajon master based in France but with strong Latin roots since he was born in Southern Brazil. He started his musical journey at age 12. Soon after, joined by his brothers, he founded the band Chapa, which gave them 15 years of touring around South America and Europe.
By 2009, after moving to the UK, Felipe got his Diploma and Master's Degree in percussion from The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance and Kingston University in London, respectively.
Adding up the stage experience with the academic formation, Felipe can offer a comprehensive guide to the art of cajon playing through his platform. Moreover, he is still an active live music performer as well as an elite-level teacher.
Inside Cajon Master, you can find several general-knowledge courses such as “Cajon Foundations” and “Groove Course 1” or, more specifically, “Fills Course 1”. Therefore, regardless of where in your musical journey you are, Felipe can surely offer you a suitable lesson to take your playing to the next level.
Bmusician was founded in 2016. Currently, the headquarters are in Singapore.
Unlike many other modern learning platforms in which the material is pre-recorded to view and learn at your own pace, this company prefers to act as a real-time bridge between what they call gurus or teachers and avid students.
The company was founded in Chennai, India, and it is a great resource for players who want to get deeper into Indian Folklore and playing styles. Moreover, the cajon gurus are among the country's most talented and respected players.
But how does Bmusician work? Well, you need to sign in to the platform and then ask for the kind of class you need. Once you've settled on your guru and what you need to learn, you'll pay your class fee (refundable unless you're fully satisfied). The final step is receiving a time and date for your personal, one-on-one class with your guru.
This platform is a must-check for players looking for a specific Asian flavour to add to their playing and for players who prefer one-on-one lessons.
Heidi Joubert founded Cajon Box in 2016. Currently, the headquarters are in Germany.
An instrument virtuoso, South African-born Heidi Joubert is one of the most respected names in cajon around the world. She has not only performed in some of the most revered stages in the world but also has broken the 100 million views on some of her videos on her YouTube channel.
Moreover, she became the face of Roland's Elcajon percussion instrument worldwide. She was also hired by TedX, BBC London, BeInspired, and BT UK, among many others, to represent cajon around the world.
The website she runs is an attempt to give back to the people all the things she feels cajon has given to her life. Therefore, there are plenty of free resources on her website, as well as her own method, created after being around the world playing cajon in the most demanding scenarios.
Cajon Box is not a resource to overlook if you want a self-paced resource with lots of free material that can take your playing to the next level.
DP Cajon Quick School
The DP Cajon Quick School was founded by Dominik, Dusan, and Davorin Pavlenič. Currently, headquarters are in Slovenia.
The story of this company starts, as many others do, with a need. Dominik had his cajon stolen after a gig, and his dad decided to build one in replacement in his home's attic. Soon, they realized that the cajon that Dusan had made played and sounded much better than the one bought at the store. Thus, DP Cajon was born as a family company still run by the brothers and the dad to this day.
Yet, that's not the end of the story because besides building cajons for every player, from beginner to advanced, they also offer lessons to learn how to play through their DP Cajon Quick School. This resource is very simple, based on YouTube videos that can help you navigate the traditional strokes for music styles such as Bossa Nova, Country, Reggaeton, Pop, Rock, and others in less than a minute.
Being a free resource, it is a no-brainer to overlook it, head over to DP Cajon Quick School, and have some fun learning and playing. That said, if you are looking for a more in-depth, comprehensive approach, you'll likely have to look elsewhere.
Vaibhav Kanwar founded Clap Box in 2016. Currently, the headquarters are in New Delhi, India.
Clap Box is a cajon manufacturing company that has been making a name for itself in the past decade based in India. It is the creation of a young entrepreneur and percussionist committed to dedicating his life to making a positive impact on the world. As a result, Clap Box is today India's number 1 cajon distributing company and is still growing.
But since the mission Vaibhav is in is to help others, he created a course (dictated by himself and sponsored by Clap Box) to teach new students their path to being proficient cajon players. This course, divided into 19 lessons, involves teachings in the most common cajon playing styles, such as rock, pop, flamenco, and rumba.
But that's not all, since the course begins with the dissection and explanation of the cajon parts, basic slaps and movements, and some exercises with simple patterns.
If you want to learn the cajon from zero to mastery through the upbeat voice of a thriving young entrepreneur, this site is worth checking.
Benjamin Kwan and Edmund Chew founded TravelClef in 2011. Currently, headquarters are in Singapore.
TravelClef was born with a simple yet important mission: to bring people fun through music. This is the company's motto, main driving force, and foundational principle. Their idea is that everyone can and will have fun by performing a song within the first two hours of learning, even with no musical background.
Thus, besides offering an intensive cajon workshop divided into four levels that can be taken separately, they offer many courses aimed at corporate environments, which can serve as team-building exercises, corporate wellness programs, and lunch hour courses to entertain employees.
Finally, if you are looking for a completely online resource to learn by yourself or a fun activity to share, checking TravelClef's website is a must.
Claire Cunningham founded Lessonface in 2012. Currently, the headquarters are in New York City.
The revolutionary idea that Claire Cunningham brought to the world in 2012 is still keeping people in awe to this day. The roster of teachers, the number of disciplines, and the variety are mesmerizing, including not only arts but also languages and other academic subjects.
The idea, although revolutionary, is very simple: connecting the best teachers around the world in their discipline with the students looking for them. Moreover, the platform offers warranties for bad connections or dissatisfaction.
But, perhaps the most important part of the platform is that you can choose which your teacher should be. Plus, all you need is a viable internet connection, the instrument at hand, and a tablet, cellphone, or computer with a camera.
With the humongous roster, variety of teachers, and instruments, there are no excuses not to check their site.
YouTube: Ross McCallum
Ross McCallum created his channel in 2007, and since that moment, he has gathered over 11 million views and almost 95 thousand subscribers.
These credentials mean one thing: Ross McCallum is an outstanding cajon teacher who has touched the lives of millions worldwide. Moreover, he is not only an online instructor; he is a performer uploading duets with guitar players and other musicians who can also work as an inspiration.
Adding to that, the quick videos on fills and specific topics are great for advanced and professional players wanting to add more flavour to their playing. Finally, you'll get access to tutorials on music production, video editing, and recording, including microphone placement, mix, equalization, and more.
Ross McCallum has put together an astonishing set of resources to help anyone on their musical journey. There are no excuses not to check it out.
Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani, and Oktay Caglar founded Udemy in 2010. Currently, the headquarters are in San Francisco, California.
With over 50 million learners worldwide, Udemy is one of the world's biggest learning platforms. Furthermore, the platform also hosts 68 thousand professional teachers and instructors who generate over 190 thousand online classes.
As the company grew in students, it got some bigger clients, including top-notch companies the size of Volkswagen or TATA. The platform's compatibility with iOS, Android, Apple TV, tablets, and computers makes it easier to access for anyone trying to learn an instrument.
Therefore, one thing we can think of as a highlight of this platform is that it made a huge investment in its user interface, so it is one of the easiest-to-use resources on this list.
Finally, the teacher roster is also among the biggest and most varied in the world, so there's no doubt you can find your next cajon teacher in Udemy.