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First steps with your handpan

Erste Schritte mit Deiner Handpan

You managed! So you hold your first miracle of sound in your hands! You may also have questions about what you can do with it? By then you have probably already tried it out intuitively. Learning by playing applies twice here.
Luckily, getting started with handpan is very easy compared to other instruments that require studying fingering techniques, chords, or lots of music theory.

First orientation with your handpan

Make yourself comfortable and position your handpan on your thighs or your handpan stand . You can also place them on a table or pillow in front of you. Make sure that the sound hole (Gu) on the underside is free so that the air can swing freely in and out of the handpan. In general, the following applies: the smaller the contact surface, the more free vibration of the material and the richer the sound.
All of our descriptions here are meant as suggestions. Be creative and explore how you enjoy doing it and what feels right for you. We would love to be inspired by you - tell us about your experiences! Everything that sounds right is right ;-) At this point, we invite you to incorporate what you find out into your game as special features - there is no right or wrong.

Explore your tones and tonal arrangement

In order to get in touch with the whole instrument, we have had good experiences with first getting to know the individual tones and their arrangement. To do this, try two variants of the scale in a zigzag pattern as a continuous loop:

a) Deepest tone directed towards you
Position the largest clay field facing you. From here play the scale ascending left - right - left etc. and then backwards descending again.

b) Highest tone addressed to you
Position the smallest clay field facing you. From here play the scale descending right - left - right etc. and then backwards ascending again.

Discover your playing style and touch variations

Now that you've found the scale in both directions and from two positions, you might want to vary your playing a little to see what playing styles you might already be comfortable with and what you'd like to hone. The more possibilities you try out and practice, the more flexibility you gain for your subconscious, intuitive playing. A constant groove alone makes a lot! The great thing is, each tone field offers far more than just a tone. Depending on the strength, angle and anatomical impact part of your hand, different timbres and different overtone resonances are created.

Popular starting attacks are with the thumb, especially for the four pitch fields closest to you, and with the index finger. The shorter and more precise you set your attack impulse, the more freely a tone can vibrate. Play up and down the scale again, working all fingers from thumb to pinky. Where does which touch feel better? how does it sound What options add different fingers? Experiment with your individual style.
Also try to elicit sounds from your UFO with several fingers as a level or even with the palm of your hand. With a short finger slap, fist (carefully), or knuckles, you can intersperse percussive, snare-like rhythm hits.
The field around the thing, your keynote, the so-called shoulder, offers scope for special effects. Bring all your finger ends together on one hand and 'pat' the shoulder. Well, how does it sound?

Immerse yourself in harmonious sounds

Which tones actually go well together? What makes a beautiful melody? Here, too, it is important not to think of advanced artists that you, too, have to play fast, virtuoso tone sequences immediately. It can also be seen from the videos of the pros that the most catchy pieces are a combination of several simple and beautiful runs. In this respect, simply begin your journey in your own steps and surprise yourself with what emerges.
First of all, find the octave tone for your fundamental. Almost every melody you frame between your root note and its octave has something rounded about it. In addition, there is another tone on almost every scale, for which the octave tone also exists. Play with the two, use them to frame different tones and see what that does.
Now you have already classified a few tonal connections. Following this, now look for the main chords of your scale. Simply play any three notes in a row in any alternation and hear how this chord sounds to you. What happens if you exchange a tone of it? We invite you to research! A constant rhythm can help you here as a framework for different tone changes.
Last but not least, choose your first steps by daring to double tap, ie playing two pitches with one hand at the same time. Vary the finger selection here as well and move your double pair up and down the scale one after the other.

Congratulations so far :-) We wish you a lot of fun and joy with your instrument and will continue to provide you with suggestions.
Your Handpan.World - Team

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