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Handpan alternatives

November 12, 2022 3 min read

Handpan is a magical instrument, but it can be difficult to find and it is not the most affordable. Getting a handpan requires research, time and money. We will see here other similar instruments to the handpan that can be interesting solutions to explore.

Rav drum

Similar to the handpan by its convex shape, the RAV Drum is a melodic percussion drum that comes from Russia. It was invented by an engineer by the name of Andrey Remyannikov, who after many attempts designed the RAV DRUM. With its inimitable sound quality and authentic design, the RAV drum is a real alternative and is less expensive than its famous counterpart the handpan. Its special sound is due to the long vibration typical of this instrument. The price of a RAV drum is between 700 and 900 €.

Tongue drum

The Tongue Drum is a percussion instrument that works with several steel tongues that constitute notes. With each impact, the tongues start to vibrate, creating sound that is amplified by the resonance box. The Tongue Drum consists of two convex metal shells welded together. Before welding the two shells together, cuts are made in the upper shell. The note will be modified according to the tongue cuts. On the lower convex shell a hole is usually drilled. Tongue drums are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, sound fields, colors, patterns, and have between 6 and 9 notes. The price of the tongue drum is between 200 and 600€.


Lien vers boutique Metalsounds

The Gubal is developed by the company PANArt which is at the origin of the hang. The gubal is made of Pang. Pang is a sheet of pressed steel impregnated with iron nitride needles. The gubal was the first pang instrument to be developed after the hang. Unlike the Hang, the Gu is placed in the center of the upper part of the instrument. It is surrounded by an elastic area, the Ringding. Here the player can stimulate the Helmholtz resonance more strongly than with the Hang and thus generate a louder bass sound. By inserting a hand into the opening, the player can lower this frequency and is able to play different low tones.

Electronic handpan

Yes if you are familiar with electronic instrument and like to produce music on softwares like ableton for example the electronic handpan can be a solution. Very few brands have emerged like the "wavepan". Wavepan are made of metal and have a sensitive playing surfaces that perceive even the finest touch. Metal plays an important role as a material for the clubface and body in order to create an authentic feel. The body is equipped with sensors to get as close as possible to a handpan. I have never tried this instrument so i recommend you to make your research if you are interested !

Hamgam drum

Based on the ideas of a hand pan, the Hamgam is made of wood instead of metal. It offers 7 playing surfaces, which are tuneable by a magnetic system. Thus the instrument features a broad range of sound variations and an enormous potential of possibilities. The Hamgam is 100% hand made by the majid drums. The price of a hamgam is around 700 euros. 

Steel drum

The steel drum or steel pan is a steel drum that is also called the steel pan. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean), this instrument is used in carnivals and parties in other parts of the world. The pan is the pride of Trinidad and Tobago and has been proclaimed the "national instrument". It is made from one or more oil drums and is played with rubber-tipped sticks. There is a wide variety of pans tuned to defined pitches and distinguished by their range or distribution of notes, which allows for symphonic-type orchestration.

alexandre zunino
alexandre zunino

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