Handpan Article – Cosmos Handpan

Choosing Your First Handpan


Buying your first handpan is an exciting journey. This unique instrument offers a mesmerizing sound that captivates everyone. Follow this guide to make the best choice and start your musical adventure.

Understand the Handpan

A handpan, also known as a handpan drum or hang drum, is a steel percussion instrument. It has a distinctive UFO-like shape with a convex playing surface. Handpans produce rich, resonant tones that are enchanting and soothing and originate from the steelpan family.


Set a Budget

Handpans range in price from $500 to $3,500. Determine your budget before you start shopping. While higher prices often indicate better quality, you can find good handpans for any budget. Consider what you're willing to spend and look for reputable manufacturers who offer instruments within your price range.


Choose the Scale

The scale of a handpan determines its sound. Each scale has a unique feel and emotion. Beginners use the D minor Kurd scale due to its ease of play. It also offers a relaxing, hypnotic vibe. Explore other scales like major, minor, and eastern to find what resonates with you.

Decide on the Frequency

Tune your handpans to different frequencies: 432 Hz, 440 Hz, or 999 Hz.

  • 432 Hz:Ideal for relaxation, meditation, and yoga. It resonates with the natural harmony found in nature.
  • 440 Hz:Standard tuning for playing with other instruments and composing music.
  • 999 Hz:Known to aid in reaching higher states of consciousness, perfect for deep meditation.
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Consider Sustain

Sustain refers to the duration a note resonates after being struck. Handpans can have short, medium, or long sustain.

Medium-long sustain is recommended for beginners. It allows notes to linger, making it easier to create flowing, harmonious melodies. It's perfect for relaxation and meditation.

Check Sound Quality

Sound quality is crucial. Balance each note on the handpan drum in sustain, timbre, and volume. Avoid instruments with crosstalk, where one note causes another to vibrate unintentionally. A well-made handpan has clear, distinct notes without interference.

Choose the Material

Manufacturers make handpans using nitrided steel or stainless steel.

  • Nitrided Steel:Offers higher sound volume but requires more maintenance and is susceptible to rust.
  • Stainless Steel:Durable, rust-resistant, and easier to maintain. It is ideal for beginners and suitable for damp environments.

Select the Number of Notes

Beginners should start with a 9 or 10-note handpan. This range provides enough musical flexibility without being overwhelming. As you progress, you might consider instruments with more notes, but starting with fewer notes helps you master the basics.

Customize Your Handpan

Many handpan makers like Cosmos Handpans offer customization. You can choose the scale, frequency, material, and even the color. Customizing your handpan adds a personal touch and ensures it fits your preferences and playing style.

Find Reputable Sellers

Purchase your handpan from trusted sources like Cosmo Handpan USA. Research manufacturers and read reviews from other buyers. Joining online handpan communities can provide valuable insights and recommendations. Ensure the seller offers good customer support, a warranty, and a return policy.

Test Before You Buy

If possible, test the handpan before buying. Attend handpan gatherings and workshops or visit local dealers. Playing different handpans helps you understand their feel and sound, ensuring you make a choice that truly resonates with you.

Maintain Your Handpan

Proper maintenance is vital to preserving your handpan's quality. Keep it clean and dry, store it safely, and don't expose it to extreme cold or, heat or humidity. Regular maintenance ensures your handpan sounds excellent and lasts longer.

Make Your Purchase

Once you've chosen your handpan, make your purchase. Confirm details like shipping, payment, and any additional accessories. Reliable sellers often include a carry bag, mallets, a dust-free cloth, and a handpan stand. Some also offer maintenance instructions and unique gifts during sales events.


Buying your first handpan is a rewarding journey combining musical exploration and personal expression. With the right information and preparation, you'll find the perfect instrument that brings joy and harmony to your life. Start your handpan journey today and immerse yourself in the beautiful music it brings.


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