5 Tips For Learning How To Play a Handpan

The handpan is a relatively novel instrument that has recently gained popularity. It is an idiophone, meaning it produces sound through the vibration of the metal itself rather than through strings or other components. The instrument has a large bowl-shaped body with tuned notes around the outside. 

The notes are typically tuned in a pentatonic scale, which provides a unique and soothing sound. The handpan is played by striking the notes with the hands and can be used to create a wide range of melodic and rhythmic patterns. Its unique sound has made it popular among music producers, composers, and performers. 

Every instrument has a learning curve, and the handpan can initially prove challenging. However, with enough practice and handpan lessons, anybody can master the handpan and use it to play their favorite tunes. Here are our five tips for learning how to play a handpan.

  1. Start with a Pentatonic Scale

As mentioned earlier, handpans are tuned in a pentatonic scale, a five-note scale that is easy to learn and can be used to play a variety of musical styles. Start by learning the basics of the scale, such as the notes and intervals. Once you understand the scale well, you can start exploring more advanced techniques.

  1. Play Slowly and Focus on the Timing of Each Note

If you're learning through watching Youtube videos, use the player's built-in controls to slow down the song's tempo. Play slowly and focus on catching the tempo. This will help you develop a sense of rhythm and accuracy.

  1. Listen to Recordings of Handpan Music

Listen to recordings of handpan music regularly to get an understanding of the different sounds and styles. This way, you can enrich your musical library with various handpan tunes and use them to practice and improve your playing.

  1. Experiment with Different Techniques

Handpan playing can seem deceptively easy, as it looks like you're hitting the instrument in different areas. However, players have developed techniques to create different tones and dynamics, such as dampening and muting. Spend time with your handpan and try striking it at different areas with varying levels of force to see how it affects your playing.

  1. Practice Regularly and Have Fun

The handpan is an excellent instrument to explore and can be very rewarding when you master it. However, mastering the handpan will take hours of practice, like any other instrument. Set a specific time daily for practice, take handpan lessons, and have fun while doing it. Don't be discouraged if you don't get it right away. With patience and dedication, you can become a great handpan player!


The handpan has a distinctive sound that is both relaxing and captivating. It is often used in various genres, ranging from ambient and acoustic music to jazz and world music. Its versatility and portability make it an ideal instrument for the studio and live performances. The instrument is relatively easy to learn and can be played with any combination of hands and fingers. With practice, the handpan can open up a world of musical possibilities, allowing players to explore their creativity and express their musical ideas. 

If you’re looking to buy a handpan, then look nowhere else but Canggu Guitars. Browse our shop today to see our growing collection of handpans, guitars, and other instruments. Start your musical journey today! 

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