A Beginner's Guide: How to Pick the Perfect Handpan

If you're new to the enchanting world of handpans, you're in for a musical journey filled with mesmerizing melodies and captivating rhythms. Choosing the right handpan as a beginner can be an exciting but daunting task, considering the variety of options available. To help you make an informed decision, let's explore some essential tips on how to pick the perfect handpan for your musical journey.

1. Understand the Basics:

Before diving into the selection process, it's crucial to understand the fundamental aspects of handpans. A handpan is a percussion instrument with a convex top and bottom, typically made of steel. It produces ethereal tones by striking the tuned notes with your fingertips. Familiarize yourself with terms like scale, note layout, and tone quality to better grasp what to look for in a handpan.

2. Determine Your Budget:

Handpans come in a wide range of prices, so it's essential to set a budget that aligns with your financial resources. Quality handpans can be a significant investment, but remember that a higher price doesn't always guarantee the best instrument for your needs. Consider your budget carefully and explore options that offer good value for money without compromising on sound quality and craftsmanship.

3. Research Different Scales:

Handpans are available in various scales, each producing a unique set of notes and musical possibilities. Common scales include pentatonic, diatonic, and chromatic scales. Research and listen to recordings of different scales to identify the ones that resonate with your musical preferences and playing style. Keep in mind that some scales may be more beginner-friendly, offering easier transitions between notes and simpler melodies.

4. Seek Guidance from Experts:

Don't hesitate to seek guidance from experienced handpan players or reputable sellers when choosing your instrument. They can offer valuable insights, recommend reliable brands, and help you navigate the complexities of handpan selection. Consider attending workshops, joining online communities, or reaching out to experts for personalized advice and recommendations.

5. Test Before You Buy:

Whenever possible, try out different handpans before making a purchase. Testing allows you to experience the instrument's sound quality, responsiveness, and overall feel firsthand. Pay attention to factors like sustain, resonance, and ease of playing during your testing sessions. If visiting a physical store isn't feasible, explore options for virtual demos or recordings that showcase the handpan's capabilities.

6. Consider Build Quality and Material:

The build quality and material of a handpan significantly impact its durability, sound projection, and aesthetic appeal. Look for handpans crafted from high-quality steel with precise craftsmanship and attention to detail. Consider factors like nitriding (heat treatment) for improved durability, rust-resistant coatings, and ergonomic design elements that enhance playability and comfort.

7. Trust Your Instincts:

Ultimately, trust your instincts and intuition when choosing a handpan. If a particular instrument resonates with you on an emotional and musical level, it's likely the right choice for your journey. Take your time, explore different options, and don't rush into a decision until you feel confident and satisfied with your selection.


Choosing a handpan as a beginner is an exciting and rewarding experience. By understanding the basics, researching scales, seeking guidance, testing instruments, considering build quality, and trusting your instincts, you can find the perfect handpan that inspires creativity and musical exploration. Embrace the journey, enjoy the process, and let the enchanting sounds of the handpan guide you on your musical path.

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