Beginner’s Guide to Handpan - Experience Creative Freedom (2023)

Morehandpans questions? Read theFAQs.

Where can I buy a handpan?

The main ways to buy a handpan are: either signing up on a maker's wait list, purchasing a handpan through a flash sale or buying an instrument on-site at a handpan event. For more info, read my blog post on the topic:Are You Ready to Buy A Handpan?

I'm also proud to partner with reputable handpan makers to offer handpans for sale on this website. Click here to view the instruments available right now.

Where to buy a handpan in North America?

Did you know the word "handpan" was coined in the US? My friend Kyle Cox of Pantheon Steel first came up with the term as an alternative to the trademarked name "Hang". There are nowalmost as many handpan makers in North America as there arein Europe. Click here to search handpan makers by country or sate.

North American handpan makers include: Arcana, Atlas, Aura, Axiom, Dave's Island Instruments, Dome Pans, Dragon Drum, Hamsa, HAPI Drum, Harper's Handpan, Isthmus, Makai, Nirvana Handpan, Nebula Handpan, Nogero Handpan, Panacea Sonora (Boreal), Pansnap, Pantheon Steel (Halo), Saraz, Sierra Sound Sculpture, Solos Handpan, Spirit, Symphonic Steel (Iskra), Terratonz, Tzevaot, Vimana Handpans, Zen Handpans

Where to buy a handpan in Europe?

(Video) 5 Tips to Improve your Handpan game

Did you know handpans were invented in Europe? In Switzerland to be exact. PANArt created the Hang in 2000. The Hang (drum)was the only handpan on the marketfor nearly 10 years—even before the word "handpan" was coined.

If you live in Europe, you have plenty of options when it comes to handpans!Click here to search European handpanmakers below by country or sate.

European handpan makers include: Aciel, Alma Handpans, Angel Handpans (Pans), Apsara + Akasa (Samadhi), Arra Handpan, Arran, Asaya, Ayasa, BackEye Pan, BalkanPan Handpan, Baopan, Battiloro Handpan, Baur & Brown, BellArt, Blesspan, Caisapan, db Handpan, Deepan Handpans, Disco Armonico (MDR), Djangar Pans, Djillhi Instruments, Echo Sound Sculpture (AsaChan), Ederod, EON Handpan, Esapan, Gadung, Gio's Handpan, Godan Handpan, Haddock Instruments, Harmonic Sculpture, Heliton Handpan, Hudeel, Infinity Handpan, Instruments de l'EIF, Jan's Pannen, Karumi Steel, Kauaine Sound Sculpture, Koan, Leaf Sound Sculpture, Luna, Mag Instruments, Manik, Mayura, Meraki, Mercury, Meridian, Meu Instruments, MeyerPan Tam, Mishte Instruments, Myst, Namipan, Nature Pan, Noblet, Node Tone Sphere, Odysee, Omana Handpan, Opsilon, Orbipan, Oroborus, Oval, Owl-Pan, Oxymora Instruments, PanAmour Sound Sculpture, PANArt (Hang), Pan Chameleon, Panda Sculpture Sound, Pandakini, Panormus, PanStream, Peter Pan Handpans, Playpan, Q-Pan, Qi-Pan, RagaPan, Samsara Sound Sculpture, Sew Handpan, Shaktipan, Shellopan, Singing Steel, Soma Sound Sculpture, Soul Pan, Soulshine Sounds, Metal Sounds (Spacedrum), Steeltone, Sunpan, Tala Handpans, Taopan, Terre Handpan, TIFLIS Handpan, Vibe Handpan, Uni Instruments, Vibrelibre, Vision Instruments, Xavi Handpans, Zambelli Handpan, Zephyr Handpans

Where to buy a handpan outside of Europe and North America?

While most handpan makers are located in Europe and North America, the art-form is now reaching most of the world.Click here to search handpan makers below by country or sate.

Handpan makers outside of Europe and North America include: Balisteel Handpan, Bamboometal, Goonj Handpan, Harmonic Art, IO Handpan, Keyra Handpan, Kucpan Handpan, Live MetalArt, Lumen, Mana Steel Handpan, Muta Sound Sculptures, Namast_ handpan, OverTone Hand Pan, Pampeano Disco Sonoro, Pansula Handpan, Pantam Ortalpelleg, PI Handpan (Sonicpan), Rav Vast, Sattva Instruments, Satya Sound Sculptures, Shakapan Sound Sculpture, Sibiria Sound Sculptures, SND Handpan, SoHung Handpan, Sonobe, SPB, Steel Monkey Sound Sculptures, Tacta Handpans, Xuansound Handpan, Yishama Handpan

Where are the main handpan gatherings?

Attenting a handpan gathering can be a great experience as you explore the world of handpans. It's a way to meet other players and makers, and possibly to buy a handpan on-site.Click here to search the handpan gatherings by country.

Handpan gatherings include: Barcelona Handpan Gathering, Été Nomade, Griasdi, Handpan Festival Berlin, Handpan Global Music, Handpan Music Festival, Handpan World Music Festival, Handpaname, Handpangea, Hang in Azores, HangOut Naxos, HangOut UK, HangOut USA, Italy Handpan Festival, Le RDV du Hang, Reminiscence, Panada, PANiaque, PanSiam, Pantam Festival Israel, Pantasia, RPgea, Steel Mountain, Woman's Handpan Gathering

(Video) How To Use a Handpan for Meditation & Healing with Jerry Walsh

What is the price of a handpan?

The price of quality handpan is between $1,000 and $3,000. That might seem expensive but that’s typically what you would pay for a good guitar and much less than what you'd spend on a piano. Handpans are sound sculptures, part art and part musical instrument. They take months to make, and if you buy from a passionate maker, you will be supporting a unique art-form.

How do I know if a handpan is of good quality?

​Trust your ears. If you like a particular instrument over an other, who's to say you're wrong? Personal preferences in sound, timbre, sustain are subjective, so follow your intuition.

Interact with makers. Read about their philosophy; are they just in it for the money or do they want to make the best possible handpan? Jeremy Harper is a good example of a passionate handpan maker. He does not count the hours and he will spend as much time as needed on an instrument. Even if that means a smaller profit margin sometimes.

It's atough craftsmanship though. So, find dedicated makers and support their work! Handpan making is an art-form. But it's manual work. The hours hammering take a toll on your body. Some makers will try to cut corner and make low-quality handpans. Don't fall for them.

There are so many handpan makers that it can be overwhelming to choose.Start with these 6 Handpan Makers You Should Know. Do your research, be patient and you'll have a wonderful handpan for life.

Do I need to take handpan lessons?

Not necessarily. Handpans are very intuitive. They're in a single scale which means most notes sound good together. You can start playing without any prior musical experience or knowledge of music theory. That's what makes handpans unique from other instruments.

But if you are looking for classes, you shouldcheck out It’s a powerful online learning system put together by my cousin David Charrier. He’sa really goodhandpan players in the world and he can help you push your skills to the next level. Classes are online so you can go at your own pace and learn on your own time.

(Video) How to Improve Your Handpan Practice - Tips for handpan, RAV vast, hang drum and other pan drums.

How do I clean my handpan?

Wipe your handpan clean using rubbing alcohol on a cloth every 2 to 3 months. Handpans get dirty over time. Dust and oil from our hands get deposited on handpans and it affects the sound of the instrument. Specifically, it shortens the length of your handpan's sustain. So it's important to clean your handpan!Applying rubbing alcohol might discolor your handpan but don't worry! It's not permanent.

Then, coat your handpan with a lubricant (Froglube, Phoenix Oil or Sound Wax). Only use a little bit at a time. This will help prevent rust and make your handpan shiny again.

Let your handpan air dry for 24 hours and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth to remove the excess of lubricant.

Other cleaning tips:

  • Wipe your handpan with amicrofiber cloth after every time you play.

  • If you see rust appear on your instrument, scrub the rusty spot using aMiracle Cloth. According to Felix Rohner (inventor of the Hang) you can also use the green side of a kitchen sponge. I've tried. It worked!

What are the best handpan stands?

My four favorite options are thePantam Stand, Sounds Inspiring Stands, a generic snare stand, or a cheap tripod camping stool. These all work well to store or play handpans and you can fold them for easy storage or travel.

Two companies have made handpan stands specifically for handpans: Pantam Stand and Sounds Inspiring.

Pantam Stand is a metal frame that is adjustable for playing when sitting or standing. Pantam Stands look professional and are simple to use. These cost around $250.

Sounds Inspiring Stand is a beautiful wooden frame that also works well when playing handpans sitting or standing up. Check out the sitting, standing and sitting/standing adjustable models available. These range from $210 to $260 (180€ to 230 €).

A regular snare drum stands also work well for playing handpans while seated. These cost between$50 and $150 and you can buy them on Amazon or at Guitar Center.

The budget (and my preferred)option is a camping stool.Tripod camping stools are lightweight, and only cost $20 from Amazon or a camping store. I use the Oversized Quest Camping Stoolbecause it's tall enough to sit comfortably andallows me to play multiple handpans at once.It's a great hack at a fraction of the price ofother options.

(Video) Handpan Lesson: 1 Idea for better Independence, Timing and Improvisations!

How to transport my handpan when flying?

This depends on what type of handpan bag you have. I would recommend checking your handpan ONLY if you have a very strong, dependable bag such as those made byHardcase Technologiesor PanjiBags. If you only have a soft or thin handpan bag, do not check it when flying because your instrument will be destroyed.

How to check your handpan: I recommend purchasing a heavy duty bag before checking your handpan. Hardcase Technologies has a bag called Evatek Fly that has a hard outer shell that protects your handpan. This waterproof bag comes with straps to carry like a backpack. Evatek bags start at $179 (149 €). I have a Panji Bag, an eco-friendly hardcase. Although this bag is heavy, the ergonomic design makes is possible to carry like a backpack for extended periods of time. I have flown multiple times with this bag and I always have the peace of mind that my handpan is safe. Pangji Bags are pricy (but worth it)starting around $349.

How to carry on your handpan: First of all, it is easier to carry on a smaller handpan. I recommend the smallest/thinnest bag possible, such as a cymbal bag that you can find on Amazon. You can put the handpan in the overhead compartment. You can also put it under the seat if there is no separator and your neighbor doesn't mind. You may need to explain to the airport staff that your handpan is a fragile instrument and you cannot check it.

What is the correct terminology of handpan?

Here are several names you might come across when referring to this instrument: Hang, hang drum, handpan, handpan drum, pantam, cupola... To be clear, the Hang is the original instrument invented by PANArt in 2000. It means “hand” and “hill” in Swiss-German.

The name “hang drum” is still popular. It was adopted by early players to provide context around the instrument.Mentioning“hang drum” instead of only "Hang"gave people a frame of reference and helped them understand that the Hang was a percussive musical instrument. The Swiss inventors have however always disapproved of this term because the Hang isnot played like a drum. Indeed, the instrument is melodic, fragile and subtle. PANArt claims thatthe name "hang drum"leads to damaged instruments, physical injury and mental and emotional turbulence.

Handpan is now the most common term to qualify Hang-like instruments. It was coined by my friend Kyle Cox at Pantheon Steel. It’s English; composed of “hand” (unlike the steel drum, handpans are played by hand) and “pan” (referring to the steel drum). It emerged as an alternative to the trademarked name Hang.

Finally, you might stumble upon a variety of other names to refer to handpans: hangs, hand drum, hangpan, hang drum, handpan drum or metal drum. Some of these aren't technically correct but they typically refer to handpans nonetheless.

Tongue drums such as the Rav Vast,the HAPI Drum, the Zenkoor the GUDA DRUM are not handpans but tongue drums instead.

(Video) The History of the Handpan / Hang drum


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