How to Choose a Handpan?

We want to help you find your perfect handpan scale.  In our other blog, "How to choose a handpan scale" we created an application that allows users to explore how they perceive the musicality of various handpan scales. With that tool we've developed an approach that can help you find your perfect scale. These key questions should be useful in finding your perfect scale: 

1) Do you have a musical background?

2) Do you prefer Low Bass (deep sounding) or Mid-range (higher sounding) instruments?   

3) Do you prefer Uplifting (major sounding scales) or Mysterious (minor sounding scales)?

To us, "Beginner" handpan scales are those that allow for easy improvisation, expression or intuitiveness when playing, while also having an ability to play well with other common instruments. We believe you shouldn't need a musical background to enjoy these instruments! So if you've never played before, we first recommend selecting a  "Beginner scale"  that has that inherent musicality, built-in.

If you have a musical background and are looking for more challenge and inspiration in your songwriting, we recommend checking out the "Intermediate scales" as well as any beginner scales.

If you are just starting to think about scales, we think that deciding between a "Major feeling" or "Minor feeling" scale set can be very useful. We typically define a major feeling scale to be uplifting, happy or joyful. A minor feeling scale could be mysterious, mystical, melancholy or inquisitive.

If you've been looking for a deep or low-voiced and bass sounding instrument, we've separated those options into the Low Bass Scales category, which has a few scales that also may work well for beginners.

This process is made to help you know where to start when looking for a handpan scale that might be a great fit for you. We've already separated the handpans we build into these categories (Beginner, Intermediate and Low Bass.  Although what ultimate scales we build and offer may change in the future, the process and the questions we present here should help you understand how to make an informed choice for yourself.  We hope this helps. 

-The Isthmus Team


popularVirginia Robinson