Handpans are becoming increasingly popular for their unique sound and ability to create a calming and meditative atmosphere. However, not all handpans are created equal. If you're looking for the best authentic handpans with accessories, we've got you covered.
What is a handpan?
Handpans are a unique instrument, invented in the early years of 2007. They supposedly originated in Bern, Switzerland by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer although it could be argued that the steel pan came from Trinidad and Tobago in the 1930s as an adaption from another steel pan drum.
Why is the handpan unique?
With the hand pan being such an unusual musical instrument it has developed its very own niche market. Within this market, people understand both the quality of the metal used as well as the craftsmanship involved in developing such an instrument. Due to the time and skill that it takes to produce a single handpan, people are willing to pay such a high price for them.
One of the benefits of a handpan is that it’s similar to a gamelan in that it relaxes you and lets your mind settle or wander freely without worry. As you play, you’ll feel your mind and body start to relax, and you’ll be able to express yourself in a way that words cannot. It’s the perfect way to relieve stress or simply unwind after a long day.
How to play the handpan drum
The handpan itself is designed to be played in a similar way as the drum. It is played by using your hands to play keys on the pan itself, each time producing a unique sound depending on where you hit the pan and the way in which you do so. Over the past decade, musicians have learnt to use the hand pan to produce sounds and the melodies of songs that would usually be played by a more classical instrument such as the violin or piano.
How much does a handpan cost?
The price of a hand pan can vary depending on the material that it is made from, the brand, design and the techniques used to make it. Prices typically can range from £15 for a budget cheaply made pan - £3500 for a luxurious steel high quality instrument.
When you buy a cheap instrument, it will soon become obvious that the cheaper option was not the best way to go due to it being made from poor quality metals. If the thought of owning one of these exquisite instruments interests you then see our buying guide below.
Handpan buying guide for beginners
1. Om handpan
The Om hand pan come with rubber feet on the bottom to provide extra stability while you play. With this feature, you can focus on your music and not have to worry about your handpan moving around. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, the handpan with accessories is a great choice. With its cool Gheri carry bag, two beaters, and rubber feet for stability, you’ll have everything you need to get started on your musical journey.
2. Saraz Handpans
Saraz is a well-known company in the handpan community, they are known primarily for their custom series stainless steel pans that are nitrided and come in various different scales and note variations. On their website they also have a selection of accessories such as microfibre cloths, carry case, soundpan rust wax, rain cover, evapad and more.
3. Meraki Handpans
Meraki Handpans are an Italian company that produces steel handpans that come in a variety of scales.
4. Ayasa Handpans
Ayasa Handpans are known for their extraordinary instruments. Their handpans are made with high-quality steel. The two main separations in design are the Ember steel class which consists of a rounded sustain, ceramic like sound, rust protection, more stability, patina temperature colours ranging from bright gold to purple or blue. The Stainless AISI 430 class which has a 1mm nitrided steel shell allowing for a more deep sustain sound. They also offer a variety of accessories such as tuning hammers, tuning sticks, phoenix oil for rust protection, scotch brite ultra fine for cleaning dirt and rust particles.
5. Professional handpan
These professional hardpans come in two different scales, these are; A scale with the following progression: A, C, D, Bb, G, E, D, F, A and the G scale variation has the following progression: G, Eb, D, F#, A, C, D, Bb, G
6. Aura Handpans
Aura Handpans are known for their sound quality, mixed colour options and different series for musicians who are at a different stage of learning. These series include the beginner series, Azure, Pantam and resonance. There are subtle differences between each series and the price varies from the low end of the scale to the upper range but is mainly based on aesthetics. Each handpan is made by hand and undergoes strict quality control to ensure it meets the highest standards. With a warm and balanced sound, Aura Handpans are perfect for both beginners and experienced players.
The Best Handpan Accessories
Investing in quality accessories can enhance your playing experience and protect your handpan. When it comes to accessories, there are a few key items that every handpan player should have. Here are a few must-have accessories for any handpan player:
A hard case is essential for protecting your handpan during transport. Look for a case that is padded and has a secure locking mechanism to ensure your handpan stays safe.
A stand can make playing more comfortable and enhance your sound quality. Look for a stand that is adjustable and stable to ensure your handpan stays in place while you play.
Mallets are essential for playing your handpan. Look for mallets that are specifically designed for handpans and have a soft rubber tip to produce a warm and rich sound but also feel free to experiment with different types of mallets to produce different sounds.
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