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Tips For Playing Together

Title: Playing Together with the Handpan: A Harmonious Guide


Playing together with the handpan is not only a musical experience, but also an expression of connection and harmony. In this blog, we delve into the art of playing together with the handpan, share tips for a fluid fusion of sounds, and discover how to experience a unique musical journey with others.

  1. Tuning into each other’s sound world: The easiest way is to use the same keys! D Kurd plays very well with D Kurd. However, it can be more challenging with a D minor and a D major handpan, but there are still notes that can go together. With the D Minor, for example, the B is a Bb and the F# is an F; these notes cannot be played simultaneously. It is a journey of discovery to see which notes go together and which do not. A favorite combination is the B Kurd (Minor) and the D Ashakiran. These have different scales but share the same notes in a different order.
  2. Keep it Simple: With a minimalist basic rhythm, you lay the foundation of the ensemble. This creates space for the other person to fill in themselves. A simple rhythm allows for variation, such as omitting percussive taps or playing a few notes around them. A course on playing together will also be available soon.
  3. Create Structure:Y e can create a structure by alternating rhythm and harmony when assigning roles. Keep a clear beat, such as 8 counts. For example, repeating your rhythm of 8 counts 4 times and then changing roles, or repeating your rhythm 8 times, creates structure and calmness. This makes playing enjoyable and pleasant to listen to.
  4. Pay Attention to Each Other: Pay attention to each other and follow each other’s dynamics. If one plays softer, follow. If the other person goes louder, adjust your volume. Play with who leads and who follows, but above all, keep listening to each other.
  5. Build Space In: It is of utmost importance to play with plenty of rest. This preserves your space to build out and improvise at specific times. Playing too busy makes improvisation more difficult and makes it difficult to rise above the sounds.

  6. Add Other Instruments:
    Experiment with adding other instruments to your playing together. Percussion instruments, flutes, or even vocals can enrich handpan music and add new dimensions to your collective sound.
  7. Improvisation: Improvisation is a valuable way to embrace spontaneity and creativity. Here are some tips for improvising together with the handpan:
    • Listen Actively: Active listening is the key to successful improvisation. Be aware of each other’s sounds and respond to subtle changes in dynamics and pitch.
    • Rhythmic Variation: Experiment with rhythmic variations during improvisation. Alternate between fast and slow rhythms, use syncopations and rests to increase dynamics.
    • Call and Response: Incorporate the “call and response” technique into your improvisation. Have one person introduce a short musical idea, and have the other respond with their own unique contribution. For example, this works very well if you choose to improvise every last 2 or 4 beats of a measure in turn. Then you take turns. You can really play with each other in this by imitating each other but applying small changes each time.
    • Dynamics and Crescendo: Build the intensity throughout the improvisation. Start soft and subdued, and gradually build up to more powerful and expressive sounds. You can also imitate the other person’s improvisation by, for example, playing the same thing but using a different way of dynamics and volume. Or just take over the dynamics but a different set of notes.
    • Give Each Other Space: It is important to give each other space. Avoid overplaying and allow silences, making room for the impact of your notes.

    Improvisation is a skill that is refined with practice and experience. Experiment, don’t be afraid to take risks, and enjoy the uniqueness that improvisation adds to your playing together.


Playing together with the handpan is a journey of discovery full of musical expression and mutual resonance. By tuning in, keeping it simple, creating structure, paying attention to each other and building space, you can create a meaningful and harmonious collaboration. Let the handpan be your guide to a wonderful world of shared creativity.