Customer Review: Toca Cajon vs. LP Cajon

The following review was submitted by an X8 Drums customer. While we feel the information is helpful, it does not solely represent the views and opinions of all staff members.

Hi X8 Drums,

I thought I'd give you some unsolicited Cajon feedback. You guys are certainly the experts, so I likely will not be telling you anything you don't already know, but here's a novice's view in case it is of any value.

LP Soul CajonLP Soul Cajon

I'm pretty particular about my musical investments (as you already found out!), so I wanted to just be sure I had picked the right Cajon. I got a hold of an LP Soul Cajon, as I was really interested in that one as well and needed to do my due diligence. Bottom line, I stuck with the Toca for several reasons. Here's a brief comparison "review", in no particular order of importance.

Appearance: The finish on the Toca Bordeaux Cajon in my estimation is much nicer than the LP Soul Cajon. The LP was a bit "rougher" in feel, and the paint job just didn't do it for me. The edges where they had taped off the front for the black had a bit of paint bleed, and the LP sticker on the front cheapened the look. Considering the price, I expected a much better look and finish.

Toca Wood Cajon, BordeauxToca Wood Cajon, Bordeaux

Comfort/Seating: The Toca's padded top really helps. Also, the larger surface of the Toca is better for finding a good position to play, and is much better when tilting backward. The angled back of the LP makes that more difficult. Also, I found the Toca to be a bit "softer" on the hands/fingers. I felt like it was easier to get the sounds I wanted without punishing my knuckles. I full recognize that may be a novice user issue, however.

Bass: This is where the LP has the Toca beat. The bass on the LP is much closer (in my mind) to an actual kick drum sound, and is deep and resonant. Every one I showed them to heard that right away, with and without mics.

Snare: Each instrument has a different sound here. I feel like I can get a more of a conga sound from the Toca, while the LP was more of a snare. Just depends on what you want. The LP was definitely crisper, and I probably like the string sound a bit better than the snare sound on the Toca.

Flexibility: This is where the Toca took the lead. While I liked the string sound on the LP, I didn't like the fact that I could not disengage them. The ability to turn off the snares on the Toca was a big plus for me. I don't want every song to sound the same, and taking the snares out of the picture opens up a whole new set of sounds for the Toca, and will allow me to play it on more songs in a gig.

Summing it up, the Toca looks and flexibility made the difference. And frankly, no one will notice any sound differences since they will only hear the Toca! And as you well know, when you add a mic and some good reverbs, the differences diminish greatly.

Thanks again for all of your help.


Todd J

Unlocking the rhythm with Nina Rodriguez

"Rhythm is everywhere and in everything." These are the words that Nina Rodriguez lives by, and her goal of "Unlocking the Rhythm" in life has put her at the center stage of performances designed to assist people with connection to the musical being within.

How exactly does she unlock your inner rhythm? Nina has made a career of facilitating "Rhythm Power" events, as well as leading "Unlock the Rhythm" and "Drumming with Nina" functions for corporations, public events, schools, and youth groups. The percussion group that Nina founded seeks to "enhance energy, health, social harmony and cultural awareness through drumming." At the events, the crowd becomes involved in mass djembe drumming, in much the same way that they would at a community drum circle. The goal is to create a spiritual lift within the participants, and as one recent member of the crowd stated, "When I arrived the energy you had going was so intense that I saw an empty chair and drum beside it, taking no time for me to get into the flow of the session. You made it that easy. Not only was everyone else engaged and clinging to your every word, they were having a great time doing it."

Unlocking the rhythm is popular with large, social groups and corporate events, but Nina's real passion lay in working with youth and children. Nina and her group perform frequently at local schools. The children enjoy the music and get caught up in the beat. It's a great way to introduce those participating to the world of percussion, as well as to open the door to the school's music program for future interest in drumming.

A Toca Percussion Artist, Nina Rodriguez has had a life long love affair with drumming. She comes from a family steeped in musical tradition, as her grandfather Henry "Papa" Garcia was a well-known bandleader. Her musical influences range from The Beatles to Tito Puente, and she is quick to acknowledge that this range of music helped influence her percussion skills. An accomplished studio musician, Nina has also recorded with Randy Travis and toured with Yehuda Glantz.

Nina is fortunate in her career, because she has found her true passion and calling. The enjoyment she gains from sharing it with others is a bonus, "Everyone has rhythm, but is not sure how to let it out. Through the universal language of music we are able to connect ourselves to a purpose -to a passion and it's from that place the music begins to flow." If you are feeling as though your spirits are sagging, drop into a local session with Nina and Unlock the Rhythm. The experience just may surprise you.

Great Bougarabou Drumming Performance, Senegal

Great bougarabou drumming performance. Watch and pick up some new techniques.

In modern drum circle situations, the Bougarabou is often used to back up djembes in the percussion group. The Bougarabou can be played as a single drum or in a set of up to four and are normally played with only the hands in a standing position.

Percussionists seeking a rich bass melody will choose this drum over a djembe.


Tribal Mask Bougarabou