Hand Pan Guru Shop:
About Hand Pan Guru
We created this website because we feel it’s a much needed resource for anyone looking to purchase an instrument made in the image of the Hang (drum). Before the Handpan Guru marketplace, your only options for buying a hand pan was either a store like Amazon, eBay or buying directly from a manufacturer. There are two issues with buying from a manufacturer. One of those issues is that a lot of them have waiting lists a mile long. The other issue is that there are so many fantastic hand pan makers out there that don’t have waiting lists and nobody knew about them. We wanted to fix that.
The Marketplace was created to help make hand pans more accessible and to give people more variety and choice, while at the same time helping hand pan makers and manufactures by giving them a place to sell their instruments.
Hang History and Information
To learn about the history of Hand Pans and why the term Hang drum is incorrect as a generic term, click here. Much has changed since the Hang ® (drum) was first created in the year 2000, which we will expand on in a moment. But first things first, we need to clear up that the instrument is not technically called a Hang drum. It is in fact called a “Hang Instrument” or just a “Hang”. The instrument, which is a member of the idiophone class, is also known as a Hand pan or Steel Drum. With that said, it’s fair to say that the incorrect term “Hang drum” has caught on and is not going away, despite the wishes of its original creators. The most appropriate name for instruments made in inspirated to the original Hang ® is Hand pan.
The Hang was introduced to the public domain in 2001 by a company called PANArt. In late 2013 they decided to discontinue the production of the Hang entirely and instead concerted their efforts on their new creation, the Gubal. Although their new instrument sounds great, it doesn’t have the beautiful resonant sound that the Hang design produces, and for this reason the Hang and instruments made in its image are still highly sought after. You can read more about the history of the hang
Different types of Hand Pans
There are two different types of Hand Pans available on the Marketplace:
The term Hand pan is used to describe the instruments inspired by the original PANArt Hang. These instruments have a dimple in the middle of each note and generally have a Gu (hole) on the underside of the instrument.
Although Tongue drums are technically Hand pans too, rather than having dimples for each note, each note is cut into the drum in a tongue shape. The tongues can be tuned by the maker by varying the length of the cuts, or by adding weights to the tongues. These instruments are generally less expensive and come in a lot of different shapes, sizes and designs.
Choosing which type of Hand Pan is right for you
You have options. In the video below, Lucius Harvey demonstrates different types of Hand Pans.
Smaller steel tongue drums don’t reverberate as much as the larger ones. So in other words, you don’t get as much of a “full” and loud sound out of them. You’ll notice in the video that the larger the Hand Pan is the better it sounds and the longer it reverberates.
One of the downsides to the tongue drums is that they aren’t as loud when they are played with the fingers, which is why most Steel Tongue Drums come with a pair of mallets to hit the drums with. The mallets make the drum sound louder and also makes the sound reverberate longer. Unfortunately using the mallets really takes away the “texture” and diversity that comes with playing an instrument like this with your hands. With all of that said, most of the tongue drums are also significantly less expensive.
This video will quickly help you decide which kind of Hand Pan is for you:
The video demonstrates well that the larger the Hand Pan, the better quality of sound is produced.