Why should i buy a Tukituki Instruments Cajón?
Because you can be sure to own a top quality instrument, built with dedication to the crafting and prototyping of the Cajón since 2009, and other instruments as far back as 1999. I’ve built hundreds of drums and have very high level of customer satisfaction. Locally made in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay region of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
I’m a musician and woodworker who knows his stuff and follows his dreams. Buying from me means you get direct support from the manufacturer, i’m down the road or directly contactable online. No shortcuts, seriously, it costs me a lot to source the best materials i can get hold of. Birch plywood, some of the best and strongest stuff out there. For years i’ve worked alongside timber veneerers to make my own plywood for the Tapa (front playing surface), most other makers will use a cheap sheets of plywood which don’t have the right strength/flexibility/thickness combo to give the best dynamic bass and snare response.
My design has developed through consultation with Flamenco Cajón players and performing musicians, i myself am a musician first and foremost. Purchasing an instrument from someone who doesn’t know how to play it, and whom approaches instrument making from a furniture or construction perspective is not recommended. Instrument making is a fine art, and a good instrument is a thing of beauty and intricate design.
Here are some Testimonials:
Where can I buy one of your instruments?
Through my website! Or in one of these shops across Australasia:
- Alistairs Music – Cuba Street, Wellington, NZ
- Gandharva Loka – St Asaph Street, Christchurch, NZ
- Department of Curiosities and Fine Things – Hastings Street, Napier, NZ
Will you teach me how to make a Cajón?! I tried to build one and it was really really hard 🙂
Yes of course! This is something i really enjoy doing. I am always looking for places to hold workshops on building and playing your own Cajón, and i prefer doing this in a group setting. Please be in touch if you are interested. Schools, community groups, all welcome if we can find a space.
What about that crazy word ‘Cajón’?
Cajón – Pronounced “kah-Hon” means box or draw in Spanish. Since the instrument comes from Peru originally, that is the work we use for it. A ‘J’ in spanish is pronounced like an ‘H’ in english. It has a ´ above the ‘ó’ because that is where the emphasis goes.
Cajones – Pronounced “kah-Hon-es” Is the plural of Cajón.
Cojones – means testicles in spanish and sounds unfortunately a lot like Cajones
Cajun – is the name given to the French-American culture in the southern state of Louisiana USA, it has nothing to do with the Cajón
Cahoon – sounds dumb and is not a word 🙂
Jones – is my last name so i often write my name as Phill caJones!
What about that crazy word ‘Tukituki’?
Tukituki – Pronounced “Took-ee-Took-ee”, is the name of a river in New Zealand near my family’s house. Read more on the ‘about’ page.
The nitty gritty of Cajón building:
Why don’t you put pedals on them like some other brands?
I like building Cajón drums to a high quality so that they are dynamic and sensitive. That way there are no gizmos or fiddley parts that could go wrong, or become out-of-fashion. I love seeing what people can do with their hands on the Cajón. If you want a drum-kit-in-a-box which you can play guitar on top of and become a one-man-band, perhaps look at another brand of box-drum, or purchase a pedal system like the Schlagwerk or Gibraltar Cajón Pedal. For me, hands-on is where it’s at and there are so many subtleties and original techniques possible that way. When I do need to play with a pedal I hook up a system where I use a regular drum kick pedal, attach it to a square of carpet and put the Cajon on the carpet. You can sit on it this way and use your heal to kick, or just have it sitting in front of you like a regular kit bass drum.
What about a switch to turn the snare on and off?
I used to do this, but once i moved from using drum snare wires to using guitar strings it became impossible to make a switch for on/off. The tradeoff is that you get a far better snare sound, more sensitivity, more customisable sound, and no flimsy switches! The stringed snare is adjustable and you can tighten the strings right up so that the snare basically goes away.
How is a ‘Drum Wire Snare” different from a “Guitar String Snare” in a Cajón?
Drum snare wires are those coiled wire strands you see under a drum-kit snare. They are used in most cheap modern Cajón drums. They are relatively sensitive to play and good sounding if the Cajón is well made, but they are flimsy and fragile, and can be pretty simple sounding. The player can’t get a lot of variation in sound.
Guitar strings have been used as the snare sound inside a Cajón since Spanish Flamenco musicians incorporated the Cajón into their music around the 1970’s. The String-Snare sound is crisp and dynamic, the snare sounds different with different hand techniques. Each of the strings can be tensioned tighter and looser to provide a ‘wet’ buzz, or ‘dry’ snap sound.
How much money does it cost you, and how much time does it take to make a Cajón?
It takes about 16 hours per drum over several days. It is hard to calculate because there is a lot of running around sourcing the best materials and stocking up the workshop. I usually make a batch of 20 drums from scratch and it takes about 3 -4 weeks.
It costs about $120-$140 for materials for each full-sized Cajón.
400 Bucks for a plywood box??
Try a cheap Cajón, then try mine. ‘Nuff said.
Any more questions? give me a bell 🙂