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Handpan tips - Harmonics

March 31, 2024 2 min read

In this article for our handpan tipsEver wondered how to create those enchanting, dreamy sounds on the handpan? Let's unravel the mystery together! In this guide, we'll explore harmonics—the secret ingredient that adds depth and richness to your handpan melodies.

Understanding Harmonics: Harmonics on the handpan are like musical layers that enhance its sound. They're extra tones produced when you lightly touch specific spots while playing. These spots are found around the edge of each note, giving the handpan its magical, dreamy sound.

How to Produce Harmonics

  1. Gentle Touch: Use a delicate touch, like you're caressing the handpan, to coax out harmonics.
  2. Finding the Sweet Spots: Explore around the edges of the notes to discover where harmonics love to hang out.
  3. Stay Steady: Keep the pressure consistent once you've found a harmonic. Too much or too little pressure won't bring it out properly.
  4. Get Creative: Experiment with different angles, positions, and pressures to uncover new harmonics. It's like a musical treasure hunt!


Ways to Use Harmonics

  1. Adding Sparkle to Melodies: Sprinkle harmonics into your melodies for extra sparkle and depth.
  2. Creating Atmosphere: Make shimmering backgrounds with harmonics to transport listeners to another world.
  3. Playing with Chords: Layer harmonics to play chords, like painting with sound, creating something truly special.
  4. Express Yourself: Use harmonics to add emotion and feeling to your music, like painting with emotions.

Practice Tips

  1. Start Simple: Practice harmonics on one note at a time, focusing on getting the touch just right.
  2. Explore: Experiment with different notes and spots on the handpan to discover new sounds.
  3. Incorporate into Your Playing: Use harmonics in your songs and improvisations to truly master them.
  4. Have Fun!: Harmonics are all about exploration and creativity, so don't be afraid to let loose and enjoy the process.

Here are some tips for advances harmonic techniques from the Channel "Colin Foulke"


Harmonics might seem mysterious, but with practice and experimentation, you'll weave magic into your handpan music. So dive in, explore, and let the harmonics take you on a musical journey

alexandre zunino
alexandre zunino

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