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Other names caixa, tarol, malacacheta

Brazilian Percussion Instrument

A caixa is a unique Brazilian instrument that is played with two modern wooden drum sticks and has metal cables or strings on that run across one head to give it a "snare drum" sound. They come in different forms including different numbers of strings, different head sizes, and different heights.

Playing Positions

The caixa can be played in two positions: vertical and horizontal. The horizontal method is the most common and uses a a drum strap allowing both hands to be free. The vertical position is less popular and requires an upraised arm that cradles the caixa vertically, with the strap wrapped around the drum with one hand fixed and hitting while holding the drum in a very fixed way, while the other arm is free to hit the drum head, often above and below the strings.

It is important while playing not to hit the strings in order to keep from eventually breaking the strings. Replacing strings quickly during parades cannot happen and during samba parades that last well over an hour, it is imperative not to break the strings.