Hang drums have become pretty popular today. And there is a reason for this.
But wait, the inventors don’t like them being called hang drums, just “hung.” But here, I will just refer to them like anyone else does “hang drums.”
What is a hang drum?
Or rather, why have they become so popular today? One of the reasons is how easy and simple they are. Their working principle does need a lot of thinking.
A hang drum simply two half-shells joined to create a convex lens-like shoe with a hollow inside. Perhaps this is why they are called hand drums.
This build is meant to create a Helmholtz resonator. I know many are not physicists, so this term can be just confusing.
But, do you remember when you were growing up, and sometime you would blow over and empty bottle? Many people still do this in their old age.
Well, this is basically what the idea is all about. With that in mind, you already know what I am talking about.
The bottom of these devices has a plained surface with one hole at the center that appears rolled. The top carries what they call a Ding, or center note. Seven to eight additional tones surround this part.
How did this idea come to life?
The development of a hand drum started in the 1990s. It all started as the brainchild of Felix Rohner and Sabina Scharer, from Bern, Switzerland. They started a small company known as PANArt.
But it was not until 2000 when the first hang was finished. It was then presented at the Musikmesse Frankfurt in 2001.
Because of the great reception, the two inventors continued to do more development. And today, we classify hangs into four main groups.
The original batch was manufactured between 2001 and 2005. Then came the second generation, with several design improvements. Today, you can find options like integral and free integral hands.
Different names for the same product
During the time PANAart was working on the expansion, other players came into play. This is normal for any business idea out there.
As a result, there came different instrument names. You will find people calling them to hang, hand drum, handpan, pantam, and cupola, among many other names. However, the hang drum has remained the most popular name.
Felix and Sabina don’t like the name hang drum. They say it sounds pretty offensive, and we have to acknowledge this. They argue the instrument is not played like a drum set, also, because the word means emotional and mental turbulence.
What is the best place to buy hang drums?
As stated above, there are so many manufacturers to hang drums on the market today. They have been steadily growing in popularity. Despite this, they are mass-production items. Hence, it is very easy to get ripped off.
Note that, the best of these instruments are generally handmade. By default, this means you will not find them as easily as you would other musical instruments.
Even at your local music store, or online shops, you will struggle to get the best quality to hang drums. Very few are produced in bulk.
And with their growing popularity, some merchants are taking advantage of selling poor quality instruments.
The best way to pick the perfect solution is to find a reputable brand. They are mostly small companies led by a few enthusiasts. You will find that the owner is also the builder.
However, manufacturers never have too many products in stock. You may have to write your name on the waiting list.
Also, there are few online sources you can get these products from. But you need to seek for a reputable dealer.
5 Best Brands for Hang Drum
The list of hand pan brand is endless today. Everywhere in the world, you will meet with a few groups of people claiming to product hand pans. You can find several who sell their products through an online store.
A handpan may seem simple, but building one requires a lot of skills and time. You should not, therefore, be surprised that these are pretty costly.
A quality handpan will cost you thousands of dollars. But there are affordable options, as we shall see later in this article.
If you are not sure which product is quality, I would recommend you stick with known brands. Consider the following options.
Omana is a popular brand across Europe. The company is based in Ukraine and has been making a highest-quality hand pad.
But they produce by order. Which means you will have to sign a waiting list. Once you place your order, you may have to wait for up to two months. The speed of delivery depends on various factors, including the material, scale, and acoustic issues, among others.
The quality is pretty impressive, perhaps this why the company is very popular. You will get three types of offers, but they all come sturdy.
They are all made of steel, which confirms its quality. But you can request for your hand pan to be nitro-carbonized. This gives it the ability to withstand corrosion, but it affects sound quality.
And if you want the most expensive ones, you get those made from stainless steel. They are both sturdy, durable, and withstand corrosion better.
Yhonatan Ale-Yahav founded this company in 2014. And today, it has become a reputable maker for hand pans. It is located in Israel and headed by Yhonatan and another creator.
This is a manufacturer who will give you any type of hand pan. Generally, they offer three sizes: 50, 53, and 56 cm in diameter.
Every piece is made by hands. And most importantly, you can order at an exotic scale you want. And sometimes you can find a few products in a flash sale.
Meraki is a known business in the world of musical instruments. Unfortunately, the company does not even have a website. You can access them mostly through their Facebook page.
Still, you cannot find much useful information about the manufacturer. Important information like products, prices, and so on does not feature anywhere.
But perhaps this is what makes the company so unique. The Meraki handstands are simply amazing. They come at an excellent general quality as the maker pays close attention to details. Their final touch will leave you satisfied.
Pantheon Steel is a project of Kyle Cox, who established it in 2004. And for the past fifteen or so years, the company has grown into one of the leading handpan brands.
But their products are very expensive. However, if you have no problem investing in high-quality products, this should be your best option.
You will see a wide variety of products. They have some called “Halo” handpan. A new era has been highly promoted as a flagship product. It features many new technology and complex construction. They have a bit different shape, and their steel is improved.
And the good news is, the company usually has a few items in stock. So you won’t have to wait for long.
Sibiria Sound Sculptures makes so great quality products they don’t need advertising. Based in Russia, it is a small company that produces affordable and quality handpans.
They don’t have a website, but you can reach them through Facebook. Even so, you won’t find much useful information.
Bust since the company is specialized in handmade hand pans, they have pretty amazing offers. Also, their prices are all attractive.
5 Best Hang drums
Not everyone can access brands directly, like the ones mentioned above. But don’t worry, the list below carries five more affordable and easy to get hang drums.
This hang drum by HAPI is one of my favorite products. Well, apparently, it is too for the world as it has been tagged as the bestseller.
It looks adorable in size and looks, which reflects its superior quality. You will notice its lovely coppery shine as the first thing when you set eyes on it. Hence, you can expect to get a beautiful device altogether.
For those who need meditation companions, here is something to count on. It’s beautiful, soothing sound will calm you down after the constant constraints of life.
This means it is a useful tool for those who suffer from depression. What you need is a deep relation, and this hang drum is a promise.
In terms of sounding, this drum will not disappoint, at least for most parts. However, expect a few situations when one tough may misbehave – a tone or two may go off.
If you are looking for a tunable solution, this may not be for you. But it is compensated in the overall sounding. A single off-tune will not, therefore, be such a bother.
The drum features two small rubber mallets. And they are only to enhance your playing, though you will still enjoy playing with your fingers. Some players have opined that the mallets make better sounding than fingers.
But I don’t think this should be an issue of discussion. Everyone understands what soothes them. And since you have both options, you can try both and make your decision.
- Have an easy carrying luggage
- A beautiful tone
- Feature rubber mallets
- Beautiful and sturdy.
- A few tunes go off.
- It might be too small.
Remember, we talked about the best hang drums being hand-crafted. Well, here is one good example. And the price tells it all.
And for those who need a well customized, detailed, and beautiful piece, you may forgive its extravagance. It is hand-forged, with every detail in place.
And the reason this drum is unique is that it is not even mass-produced. It will only be built on order.
For those who enjoy custom made products, you are free to choose your won scale. And this means you will have to wait, at least two weeks to get a stunning instrument.
You cannot compare its quality to a mass-produced product.
And talk of sound, you will love what comes out of this instrument. It has been forged to offer the most amazing sound. It may be costly, but sure to get your investment back.
Besides, you get a carrying case for portability. If you are planning to travel with it, this should make it easy.
Like and traditionally constructed hang drum, it does not come with mallets. You may not use them, when you have all the time to enjoy playing with your fingers.
- Excellent durable materials
- Every tone is on point.
- Includes a carrying case
- Very costly
For those who enjoy beautiful hang drums, this is another wonderful device for you. It is made with details and embellishments that make it excellent and attractive.
And the best part is, you can hung it on your wall at home as a decorative piece. That is how beautiful the item is.
But I am not interested in beauty. It is just an added advantage. The sound is out of this world, and every player will find it highly attractive.
Shamanicshop claims you use patented technology, making sure you only get high-quality sounds. And the drum is already fine-tuned. You can start playing immediately.
Another thing is that it comes with a stand. You will get a rubberized flip skirt included. This will help you balance it better on any surface. You can play from your lap or ground.
And also a beautiful carrying case is included. The case has a backpack as well, so that you can conveniently carry it around on your bag.
- Sturdy and durable
- A beautiful design
- Excellent sounding
- Rubberized strand and carrying case included.
- The price is quite high.
Who does not know Meinl in the drumming and percussion instrument industry? I have been a fan of the brand for a while now. Many high-end drummers use it.
The Sonic Energy Hand Pan is a hand-crafted item made in Columbia using German steel. It is tuned to D sharp major.
If you in search for a brand that you can rely on, then here is one. The producer usually makes them in order, but you can find a few in stores.
One good thing about Meinl is their dedication to technological discoveries in music instruments. Hence, this drum is made traditionally with modern technology.
Personally, I really like the sound of this hang drum. And since it is hand-crafted you can expect great details.
Also, it made with German steel, which is excellently sturdy. This drum will serve you for a long time.
It is also beautiful and highly portable. You can use it as a decorative ornament and enjoy some visuals in your home.
Even though it is a bit pricey, you shouldn’t mind if your focus is on quality. It comes equipped with the best sounds to get you relaxed.
- Made from German Steel
- A reputable brand.
- Great quality.
- It is pricey.
Are you looking for a hang drum you can travel around with, then Pyle Professional Steel Drum should be a good choice?
If you have been on the market for long, then you know Pyle Drum. Its compactness makes this drum great for the purpose.
You can carry it to the recording studio or just play it around for fun. It is not heavy, which makes it easy to carry on the laps without getting tired. This makes it easy to carry around, too – it comes with a carting case.
Its sounding is quite soothing. Whether you are going for meditation or practicing yoga, this drum is made to serve you right.
Every tune is right and on point. And you will be surprised to know just how affordable it is. Its learning curve is very basic. Hence, it is perfect for both professional musicians and beginners.
It also features s rubber mallets. This means you can either play with your fingers or use the mallets. Of course, it depends on your preference.
The most important things are that you will get an enjoyable and relaxing time.
- It features a compact size that is easy to carry around.
- High-quality material.
- It comes with rubber mallets.
- You get a carrying case.
- Some people find it too small.
How do you buy the best Hang Drum?
When choosing the right hang drum, we have already said that brand choice is very important. Now, apart from this, there are two other important factors to put in mind.
First, consider how you want to play it. There are two sides, the top where you normally play with a ding and the bottom, “Gu,” side.
Second, consider the scale of the drum too. The ding is the central note, followed up to 7 or 8 other tones in a cycle. Choose one that has all the tones.
Following his reviews, the winner is the Pyle Professional Steel drum. It comes with excellent size and sound. It is also reasonably affordable. But all the items reviewed above will serve your purpose.