Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New sound - the ruler rules

This instrument is muy chévere. I keep discovering cool new things you can do with it. As you probably know, there is not a whole lot out there on the Internet about the cajón, which is a big part of the reason I started this blog. But, I found this site from Kotz, who makes an instrument with a very cool logo and which I'm sure sounds great. Anyway, I saw how Kotzen attaches those "slap pads" to the corners. I don't imagine he'd sell me slap pads by themselves, but I started thinking about how I could do the same thing. Obviously I could put similar little plywood plates on the corner. (He says these "slap pads" are patent pending, though I can't find it on a patent search. I wouldn't sell them though.) But I decided to see what else I could try.

I found a wooden ruler that my kids have. One nice thing about this ruler is that it's not quite straight when you look at it from above: it's a little wavy. That may not be great if you're using it as a rule, but it is if you want to use it like I am. I can hold it against the front with one hand and hit it with the other. This is nice because it is removable when you don't want the sound, but you have to hold Publish Postit in place with your other hand. From my limited experience with it so far, this may be "not a problem" or it may be a problem, depending on the kind of rhythm you're playing. If you're playing with rapid alternating low-high tones with both hands, it's kind of hard to hold the ruler because no hand really stays in one place very long.

Research continues. I think it's promising, and it reinforces what has to be one of the coolest things about playing the cajón - the reactions you get. You're going to play a what - a wooden box? I pulled it out the other weekend (I still have to get around to putting up an entry about that) and people were looking at it like, what is that? One guy said "is that a speaker?" So, now I get to play a speaker plus a ruler.

No comments: