The course of learning to play the handpan is always very individual. At the same time, there are a few basic recipe ingredients that we are sharing with you here to make your journey extra easy and enjoyable.
The best environment and time to play
Setting up a nice environment helps to calm down and facilitates the daily habit of getting comfortable and playing with your handpan. Ideally, you don't have to set up your equipment and space for a long time and can start right away in a feel-good atmosphere. Sheet music, tutorials and your notes are at best always ready to hand somewhere on site, so that you can start practicing quickly without much preparation.
If you have the opportunity, you can try the handpan at different times. Maybe you find that things are going differently? It's worth trying out and tuning into your own rhythm. Then it can make sense to set aside a fixed amount of time. Sometimes, of course, that's not possible. Even if you don't have that much time, don't use that as an excuse, but use every free second that feels good. You will almost always find that playing handpan expands your sense of time, grounds you and is actually useful in your time management - especially when it is rather stressful. The basic rule is: little played is always better than not at all :-)
Speaking of time, time-logging can be a good way to become more aware of your habits. If you write down everything you do for a week, you might be able to spend more time playing the handpan and freeing up other activities.
Freedom from distractions
When practicing a musical instrument, it's beneficial to stay focused and free from distractions during this time. Since you may be learning to play with digital media, we definitely recommend disabling all notifications for this period. On most devices, this is a click or two. In addition, you can attach a do not disturb note to your whereabouts so that friends and family also know that you are now practicing :-). In order to clear your head completely, a short introspection or a simple note of the mental todos you want to get rid of can be very helpful. Then put this list aside and focus on you and your handpan. Now is the time for you.
The right resolution - What do you want to practice now ?
There are countless videos on the net and many techniques that you can use. If you scatter your concentration in many directions, a corresponding result will come and we want to avoid frustration and stagnation. Don't be intimidated by the overwhelming amount of oversupply and know that wherever you are, you are in the right place. Approach what attracts and inspires you from an attitude of abundance and take all input one at a time.
Perhaps you can briefly assess how far you are and where you would like to take the next step. Structure your search on the net accordingly, for example using keywords such as “Exercise”, “Beginner”, “Intermediate”, “Professional”. Take a quick look at a few tutorials and start as directly as possible with something that appeals to you.
What are the most important skills on the handpan that you would like to practice to get ahead? Do your basics already feel so tight that you want to move on to the next? We recommend choosing 2-3 techniques step by step and then practicing them intensively over several months until you get them down in your sleep, so to speak. Practice the techniques at least long enough that you can flexibly integrate them into your playing and are reasonably happy with the sound before moving on to the next technique. It makes sense to question yourself again and again and, for example, to record something. Listen to yourself or talk to others about it - it only gets you further!
Going through tutorials in order can, but does not have to be useful. Maybe you're just somewhere else? This is especially true if you've been playing for a while - you don't want to get bored. Your music diary makes it easier for you to create your own program, as you regularly reflect on what you would like to improve on when you take notes. Over time you will find your flow there.
Distinguish between technical training and making music when practicing the handpan
Furthermore, it is good if you focus on a maximum of 2-3 techniques over periods of time in order to see successes promptly. This in turn boosts your self-confidence. Later everything complements itself and things are easier to learn, the learning successes come faster. At first it can be a bit tedious until you are satisfied. But don't worry, with dedication, trust and certainly love and fascination for the instrument and music, you will confidently find your style and your learning pace.
The attitude towards your own game - having fun helps a lot :-)
Hand on heart: everyone likes to learn a thing or two from professionals. The trick is never to compare yourself and certainly not to speak badly. Your standard of reference lies solely within you. What sounds so banal actually has an enormous impact, which is why we expressly point it out again here.
It is important to treat yourself well, as this has an impact at least subconsciously and makes a useful contribution. Imagine that you regularly say to yourself: I'm just right and I'm learning this at my own pace and in the way I enjoy it. What emotions can you notice there? Just notice your attitude towards yourself and hug yourself inside, even if you notice frustration, anger or disappointment. Be confident that taking good care of yourself while learning to play the handpan will lead you to wonderful results. Set your state of consciousness to gratitude and joy, for example for the day or simply for being able to play your instrument right now. Face yourself and your current state of development with acceptance. It is probably hard to overestimate how much is actually going on subconsciously and how you can support yourself accordingly.
Pause for the first time
After a stressful day, it helps to breathe deeply through your stomach for a few minutes and after a few moments of quiet thinking to start playing or practicing. Meditation can also be very helpful here. Breathing deeply through your stomach gradually releases pent-up fluids.
Let go of your expectations, the best way to learn is playfully and with joy. You can also promise, if you are self-taught for the first time and with video tutorials, that you may get support with lessons at a future point in time.
Shared joy is multiple joy
Maybe you know someone in your area who is also learning Hanpan? Join forces! This is how you can inspire each other. Maybe you even want to get together right from the start and buy your handpans together? This is how you can coordinate your sounds! Read our article on matching handpan tunings .