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Handpan tips - the dynamic

September 27, 2022 2 min read

In this blog series, we will highlight different playing techniques to help you find ideas and improve your skill. To help you, we have collected on different platforms like youtube the most helpful videos to make your approach and learning as easy as possible.

The dynamic

When playing the handpan, it can be quite monotonous to always play with the same intensity. So consider varying your music by adjusting the volume throughout your composition. For clarity, dynamics in music is a variation between the highest and lowest volume. It is the dynamics that will add emotion to a piece. When music is played softly, it will evoke different emotions than music played loudly. This is what you can reproduce when you practice the handpan. Varying the volume will give your music more body and bring out the intensity at a given moment. Simply playing a note lower will really enhance your music.

Practice time

To practice, you can play the scale of your handpan from the lowest note to the highest by adjusting the volume. Playing with dynamics will allow you to create more feeling. Starting by hitting lower notes will give you more room to increase the volume and give more power to your composition. On the contrary, without dynamics and if you always play at a high volume, your composition will be duller and less intense and it will be more complicated to add a variation.

Dynamics will bring important transitions in your composition that are called crescendo and descrescendo. The crescendo is when the music gets louder and louder. On the contrary, during the decrescendo, the music will decrease in volume little by little which will help to create a real musical structure.

For some training, this video from the channel "Amy Naylor" will be very useful. 
Do not hesitate to take some time to discover this channel ;)

Dynamic with rythms

Another way to implement dynamic would be in addition to rhythm and tempo. This time we go to the next level. Once you have mastered the notes of your instrument and are able to adjust the volume during your sequences, you can start to create a tempo and integrate the notion of dynamics. This will give more intensity to your music and more fun.

This video from the channel "Hangman Drums" can help you understand the role of dynamics when creating your beat.

alexandre zunino
alexandre zunino



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