Many people want to learn how to play drums because it is such a fascinating musical instrument. This post is going to outline some simple tips and tricks to help you in learning how to play steel drums.
Steelpans or steel drums won’t be a strange instrument for you after reading this post. They were originated in Thailand and today played by drummers and musicians across the globe.
People used to make this instrument from oil drums during the 30s, but modern drums are made of steel.
If you are planning to become a pannist or start your own band, you must learn how to play this instrument.
This post will provide you with the simplest and most effective methods of playing steel pan drums. So, continue reading to learn how this instrument works and how to play it like a pro pannist.
Learn How to Play Pan Drums
Playing pan drums would be much easier if you set it on the right height. You must know how to set-up the instrument perfectly when you want to learn how to play steel pan.
You must hang it around your waist height to reach it easily. Besides, your hands will be in a better position to play the drums easily.
Stay perfectly balanced when playing this instrument. Do not put most of your body weight on one foot otherwise, you may not be able to play drums for extended durations.
Do not stand too close or too far from the instrument. Ensure your elbows are slightly away and you can still hit all the notes conveniently.
Learning how to grip the pan mallet in the right position is also an important lesson. Different pannists apply different gripping techniques according to their convenience. You must choose a grip between the following mallet grips to play it like a pro:
- Gripping pan mallet with a fist.
- Index finger pressing grip.
- Light grip to hold more than one-third of the mallet.
- Three finger grip.
These are some common grips used to hold pan mallet. Try one of these four grips while learning how to play steel pan drums. Better grip means improved performance and better control!
This type of drum can generate multiple notes. Let it vibrate freely if you want to produce the best notes out of it. The mallet should not contact the drum for extended periods otherwise it won’t vibrate properly. Consequently, you won’t get the best sound.
Do not hold the mallet too tight otherwise you won’t be able to produce impressive noise. Hold it a bit loose and keep the mallet contact time as short as possible. That’s how you can produce appealing notes without any trouble.
You should also learn the techniques applied by pros to play successive notes. Thus, you will quickly learn to play it and also create many original tunes to entertain the audience.
How to Play Steel Tongue Drum?
Playing tongue drums would be quite easy if you master some simple pan techniques. It will also outline how to play steel tongue drum, so pay attention to the techniques we are describing.
The first thing you must understand that there is no need to apply too much pressure. You can produce big sounds by applying the least amount of force or pressure.
Stand right against the instrument and maintain at least 5” gap between you and the drum. Balance your body perfectly and always keep your hands around the playing surface. It will be more convenient if you keep your elbows slightly above the waistline.
Always hold the mallet between your thumb and the joint of the index finger. Thus, you will be able to move the pan sticks freely and you can play all the notes perfectly.
Do not grip the mallets too tightly because it won’t allow you to produce the best sounds.
All the pro musicians prefer double-up stroke and the flick strokes when playing steel drums. You should also prefer these two strokes to produce impressive sounds every time you touch the drum.
A little practice and a great understanding of notes will make you a skilled pannist. Later, you can also learn how to play tongue drum with hands without any guidance. It will be quite easy to improvise and adopt new techniques.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many notes are on a steel drum?
It is good to learn everything about these types of drums when you are learning how to play steel drums that are for sale. The number of notes will depend on its type.
Some tongue drums can offer 8 tones notes and some can even offer up to 30 soprano-range notes.
How do you hold steel pan sticks?
You should always hold the sticks between your thumb and the joint of your index finger. Hold it loosely to move the sticks freely on different notes for better sound and better performance.
What is a tenor pan?
A tenor pan or Soprano pan is the highest-pitched drum in a steelband. This pan normally carries the melody and only one person required to play this amazing instrument.
What is a steelpan tuner?
A steelpan tuner is a skilled craftsman, who takes the newly built exotic drum and further refines it to tune it properly. A steelpan tuner’s job is quite important because his/her work results in a flawless instrument.
A poorly tuned pan can never produce appealing notes and that’s why tuners have a great understanding of music and steelpan notes.
Can I play a steelpan by hands?
Yes, you can play this instrument by your fingers but it requires good practice and proper techniques.
You can play any song you want on this drum. It is a melodious instrument, which mostly reminds people about beautiful beaches.
Some of the most renowned musicians across the globe include this instrument in their band to produce memorable music for the audience.
You can learn how to play steel drums and join them as a pannist and make their music more melodious and entertaining for the audience.