Shipping rates are constantly changing, please contact us for a real-time quote.

en English

What is a Handpan and Why Does it Sound So Unique?

Table of Content

Introduction: What is a Handpan?

Handpans are guitars that are played on the lap with one hand. They are often seen as a less expensive alternative to traditional guitars. They can be played with a variety of techniques, including fingerpicking, strumming and tapping.

However, The handpan is a relatively new type of instrument that combines the best features of both a steel drum and a bell. It has a deep, resonant sound that is reminiscent of a bell, and its versatile shape allows for a variety of playing techniques. Handpans are made from steel, and their distinctive sound comes from their unique construction.


Origins of the Handpan

While the exact origins of the handpan are unknown, it is thought to have been inspired by traditional instruments from Africa and South America. Pan drums are common in many African cultures, and are played by striking the drumhead with the hands. This may have been the inspiration for the handpan.

The first handpans were made by a German musician named Peter Selig. He was looking for an instrument that would be easy to play and carry around, and he eventually created his own design for the handpan.He eventually sold his patent for the handpan to a man named Frank Clark, who went on to manufacture them. He called them Selig-Bach and registered the name.

Also there are different origin of handpan written on Wiki: The term handpan first appeared online in the autumn of 2007 on the website of an American steelpan producer Pantheon Steel. It was used to describe its own development of a new instrument that was launched as an alternative to the Hang.[2]

Consequently, the term found its way into discussions in the now-defunct Hang-Music Forum on the Internet.[3] The successor of this forum was founded in 2009 and was called[4] In this way, the expression handpan found wide circulation as a new generic term for this group of instruments.

Handpan had become a necessary and universally understood term since PANArt had registered the name Hang as trademark for its musical instruments.[5] It even started filing legal cases against other makers. However, on almost all counts these cases were unsuccessful, since the instrument’s physical form was not protected under international patent law.

The first five instruments that are generally included by the term handpan, were Caisa by Kaisos Steel Drums (Germany, 2007), BElls by BEllart (Spain, 2009), Halo by Pantheon Steel (USA, 2009) and Spacedrum by Metal Sounds (France, 2009).

Today, significantly more than 300 handpan builders have entered the market and offer instruments that vary widely in material, manufacturing techniques, shape, sound and quality.

The Design of a Handpan

The design of a handpan is something that is still being refined, but there are a few things that are essential for any good handpan. The first consideration is the size and shape of the bowl. The bowl should be large enough to create a good sound, but not so large that it is difficult to hold. It should also be well-rounded and have no sharp edges. The next consideration is the tuning of the handpan. This is done by hammering dimples into the surface of the steel at precise intervals. Finally, the handpan must be well-sealed to prevent moisture from seeping in and ruining the tuning.

How are handpans made?

To start, handpans are generally made out of metal. They’re hammered into their shape and then tuned by hand. This makes each one a little bit different, adding to the unique sound of each individual instrument. The process is lengthy and requires a lot of skill, but the end result is definitely worth it.

· Begin with a flat piece of steel iron.

· Roll the shell.

· Cut and gas nitride the steel plate

· Define the scales and notes on the instrument and mark them on the metal.

· Prepare the handpan shell for tuning.

· Tune the handpan

·  Attaching the upper and lower shells

· Re-tune and fine-tune the handpiece several times.

· Clean and package

Sound and resonance: what makes the sound of a handpan unique?

The sound of a handpan is unique because of the way that it resonates. When you strike a handpan, the metal vibrates and creates sound waves. These sound waves bounce off of the inside of the handpan and resonate, creating the unique sound that we hear. The shape and design of the handpan also play a role in its resonance. The curves and indentations on the surface of the pan help to amplify the sound waves and create a richer, more complex tone.


How to choose the right handpan material?

There are a few things you need to consider when choosing the material for your handpan. The first is what type of sound you want. Do you want a bright sound or a more mellow sound? The material you choose will also affect the sustain of the handpan. Some materials will give you a longer sustain than others.

Another thing to consider is how easy the material is to work with. Some materials are easier to form into the shape of a handpan, while others are more difficult. You also need to think about the weight of the handpan. Some materials are heavier than others.

The final thing to consider is the cost of the material. Some materials are more expensive than others. You need to decide what is most important to you: sound, ease of use, weight or cost.

How to choose the size of my handpan?

The size of a handpan is an important decision. You want to make sure you get the right size for your body and hands. There are a few things you can do to help choose the size of your handpan.

The first thing you need to consider is your height. You want to make sure the handpan isn’t too big or small for you. You also need to consider the size of your hands. Some handpans are bigger than others, so you’ll want to make sure you pick one that’s comfortable for you to play.

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of music you want to play. If you’re into folk music, then a smaller handpan might be a better fit for you. If you’re into jazz or blues, then a larger handpan might be a better option.


How to choose the number of notes of my handpan?

When you first get your handpan, it’s important to understand the number of notes that it has. This will help you to better understand how to use the instrument and what songs you can play. There are a few things you need to take into consideration when choosing the number of notes on your handpan.

The size of the handpan is one thing to consider. Larger instruments typically have more notes than smaller ones. The number of notes also depends on the style of music you want to play. Some styles require more notes than others. It’s also important to think about how comfortable you feel playing certain notes. If a note is too difficult for you to play, you may not want it on your instrument.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you.

How to paly handpan

Handpan is actually quite different. The handpan is played by striking the notes around the outside of the instrument with your fingers. To get started, you’ll need some basic handpan skills and a handpan that’s properly tuned to your playing style. You can also buy online lessons or attend workshops to help you learn how to play this unique instrument.

1. Finger playing (monophonic)

The most basic way to play the Hang is to alternate the fingers of each hand. At first, you may not be able to produce a sound, or the sound may not be as rounded as it should be. And how does the elastic sound come out? It’s like hitting a snare drum and leaving the drum immediately after the mallet touches the skin, not letting the mallet stick to the drum surface. Don’t let the drumstick stick to the surface of the drum. The same goes for hand discs.

2. Palm playing

The central note of Hang, “ding,” can be played with different techniques, not only with the fingertips, but also with the palm of the hand or with the bottom of the palm. The sound of a tinkling with the palm of the hand will be thicker than the sound of a fingertip strike, and the sound of a fingertip strike will be more crisp.

3. Two-fingered playing (diatonic)

Another way to play the H an g is to use a method similar to the way percussionists use drumsticks. This can be accomplished by placing the middle finger in the upper position of the index finger and controlling the distance between the two fingers and the speed of the strike, i.e., flicking the fingers. This method of playing gives a wide range of tones and a more lush effect.

The ring finger, middle finger, and index finger can also be tapped one after the other on the hand disc to obtain the sound of the finger rotation. One of the most important aspects of playing a hand disc is the amount of time that the fingers are in contact with the instrument while playing. Many people who are just learning to play this instrument do not have good control over it, and it is difficult to achieve the sound of a hand disc by pulling away too quickly. The sound of the instrument itself can be difficult to achieve.


Handpan Price: Why is the Handpan So Expensive?

The handpan is a unique and beautiful instrument, but it’s also expensive. Why is the handpan so expensive? There are a few reasons.

First, the handpan is made by a small number of craftsmen, and each one takes a lot of time and skill to make. Second, the materials used in the construction of a handpan are costly. Finally, there is a high demand for handpans and not many are made each year, so the price reflects that scarcity.

But even with all those factors taken into account, some people feel that the handpan is still overpriced. So why do people buy them anyway?

There are many reasons. Some people appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the instrument, while others find its haunting sound appealing.

How do I find a manufacturer?

There are a few key things you should keep in mind when looking for a manufacturer for your boards. The first is to make sure the manufacturer has a good history and reputation. You want to make sure they can produce a quality instrument that meets your expectations.

The second thing to consider is the location of the manufacturer. It is important to find a handpan industrial base, such as Jinzhou, China, to oversee the production process. This will also help with delivery times and shipping costs.

Finally, you should ask the manufacturer about their experience with handcrafted boards. They should have specific knowledge about the instrument and be able to provide you with guidance on construction and design.

Translated with (free version)


In conclusion, the handpan is a unique and interesting instrument that has a sound all its own. Although it may be unfamiliar to some, it is worth giving a try if you have the opportunity. Who knows, you might just find yourself becoming a fan!

Article Recommend

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four × 3 =

Send us a message

Ask For A Quick Quote

We will contact you within 1 working day, please pay attention to the email with the suffix “”. 

A free singing bowl

frosted (1)