If there’s just one groove that you have to master on the Cajon – ‘4-to-the- floor’ would be a high contender! Whether you’re playing soul, RnB, shuffle, reggae, funk or electronic dance music, this foundational beat is common through all styles…and of course hit the mainstream in the early 1970’s in Disco music, with huge thanks to Earl Young’s drumming in The Trammps.
I have adapted this groove specifically for the Cajon, however, unlike most Cajon playing which is linear (making only one sound at a time),
4-to-the-floor on the Cajon requires layered drumming (making two different tones simultaneously).
As the name suggests, the defining feature of this 4-to-the-floor rhythm is a strong constant bass – falling on beats 1, 2, 3 and 4. You’ll get the strength in the bass by allowing the energy to come from your shoulders, travelling down through your arm and then onto the middle top third area on the Cajon.