FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

On this page we have listed questions we regularly receive about our instruments. If your question is not listed here, please send us an email at contact@lidahdrums.nl, or send us a message via the contact page.

On this page we shine light on the following questions:

  1. Which Handpan or Tongue Drum Key Should I Choose?
  2. How do I learn to play Handpan or Tongue Drum?
  3. What is the difference between a Handpan and a Tongue Drum? 
  4.  For what can you use a Handpan or Tongue Drum?
  5.  How often should a Handpan or Tongue Drum be tuned?
  6. What is the difference between a Tank Drum and a Tongue Drum?
  7. Can you play a Steel Tongue Drum with your hands?
  8. What are Steel Tongue Drums made of?
  9. What if your desired Handpan or Tongue Drum is not available?
  10. Can I come by to listen to the instruments?

Both the Handpan and the Tank Drum are available in different keys. It is therefore not surprising that you may not quite know which key to choose. We can give you all kinds of advice, but the most important thing is that you choose the instrument that suits you best! 

In general, a minor key is experienced as a heavier / more melancholic sound. Where a major key produces a lighter / more euphoric tone. It is important to realize that everyone has their own taste and that all we can advise is to choose a key that appeals to you the most. If you would like to experience a Tank Drum or Handpan up close, please send an email to contact@lidahdrums.nl to make an appointment to visit.

It's not a problem if you don't have experience playing a Handpan or Tank Drum yet (also called Tongue Drum). It is quite easy to learn to play this instrument, there are a number of reasons for this. First of all, these instruments should be played by feeling. So you play whatever tones you feel like and that means you can't play wrong tones! In addition, the pure, harmonious tone compositions ensure that you can't hit wrong sound combinations. Take your time and you will enjoy the journey of explore your instrument.

We at LIDAH Drums are specialized in the Handpan and Tongue Drum. Both instruments produce a magically beautiful sound. For a lot of people, these instruments are ideal for relaxing and meditative purposes. In addition, the Tongue Drum and Handpan sound fantastic in combination with other instruments. However, there are some differences between these two percussion instruments.

With a diameter of 50-60 cm, a Handpan is many times larger than a Steel Tongue Drum 25-40 cm. Making a Handpan is a very time consuming process and requires enormous skill. Compared to a Tongue Drum, more expensive tools and materials are used to make a Handpan. This results in the difference in price between these two instruments. The Steel Tongue Drum also impresses in terms of sound. The smaller size makes the Tank Drum ideal for Travelling. In addition, the Tank Drum is a very accessible instrument for beginning percussionists. You will learn to discover the instrument in a joyful way. Whether you choose a Tank Drum or a Handpan, both instruments will provide you a lot of relaxation and enjoyment.  

The Handpan and the Tank Drum are ideal to use for meditation, yoga, music therapy and other spiritual purposes. Many experience playing these instruments as enormously relaxing: "as if time stands still and all thoughts disappear for a moment". In addition, the Handpan and the Tank Drum can be beautiful in combination with other instruments, such as the piano, violin or harp.

It takes craftsmanship to make the notes sound harmonious when creating a Handpan or a Steel Tongue Drum. All our instruments are new and carefully and professionally tuned upon purchase. However, when playing the instruments for an extended period of time, they may occasionally become slightly out of tune. In most cases this takes several years, depending on the frequency of playing, the intensity of the playing and the instrument temperature. We therefore advise not to play in full sun, but to find a spot in the shade. If your instrument gets slightly out of tune after playing for a long time, we advise you to have it tuned again by an expert Handpan or Steel Tongue Drum tuner.

Sometimes it's unclear what the difference is between a Tank Drum, Steel Tongue Drum, Happy Drum, etc. However, all these names are used for the same instrument, so there is no direct difference. There is currently no consensus on the name of the instrument, and this can sometimes cause confusion.

A Tank Drum can be played with hands or with mallets (drumsticks). Play the drum with your hands for a softer / quieter tone or with the included mallets (drumsticks) for a brighter / louder tone. These different ways of playing the Tank Drum provide a wide variation in playing experience and sound. 

The name Tank Drum can be confusing. Originally (and in some cases still), Tank Drums were made from old gas tanks. By cutting off the top of the gas tank, the round shape of the drum is already present. The steel was processed, the tones were cut and the instrument was finished with a coat of paint. 

We quickly found out that to optimize our Tongue Drums, they should be made of a specific steel and crafted by a certain design. For example, we use high carbon steel with a round design for our Constellation drums to produce a warmer sound. The term "Tank Drum" is still often used for this instrument, but we feel that we are qualitatively a step further. So Steel Tongue Drum or Happy Drum might be a better fit.

If you are looking for a Handpan or Tongue Drum, but the instrument you would like is not available in our webshop. Send an email at contact@lidahdrums.nl. We will inform you if / when we have the instrument available again.

We try to give you a good impression of the instruments that we offer with the images and videos on our website. However, we understand that it may also be desirable to see an instrument up close and play it yourself so you can experience the Tongue Drum or Handpan even better. If you would like to come by and play the instruments, you are very welcome. To make an appointment, send an email to contact@lidahdrums.nl