Discover sound healing with a hand pan drum

Heal with the ethereal cadence of major and minor notes.

hand pan drum

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

Hand pan drums produce soothing, resonant tones and vibration. Their calming sounds promote relaxation, focus and mindfulness during meditation. Sound exists, flows and permeates our lives continually. These instruments are finely tuned to frequencies that balance the body's energy centres. It's not just about musical performance; it's about embracing the potent energies of sound and its potential to enhance our mental and physical wellbeing. As a form of sound therapy, hand pan drums can enhance the ambience for massages, spas and yoga.

Inspired by Trinidadian steel drums, hand pan drums originated in the Noughties in Switzerland. The circular instrument has a convex shape with carefully tuned, concave indentations, that create distinctive melodic notes. Imagine two steel pans fixed together that you hold in your lap – a hand pan drum gives its player an immediate connection to its resonances. Each hand pan drum is unique, making them valuable musical instruments and an investment piece.

Best hand pan drums at a glance

Best hand pan drum in D minor: LOMUTY Hand Pan Drum – View on Amazon UK
Best hand pan drum in 432Hz: Hand Pan Battiloro C# minor 432Hz – View on Etsy
Best mid-range hand pan drum: NAHAIA 440Hz Hand Pan Drum – View on Amazon UK

Some people find themselves drawn to particular sound frequencies and scales. Musical instruments are tuned to 440Hz. It's known as "concert pitch" and allows for consistency in musical performance across different instruments and ensembles. In contrast, sound at 432Hz can have a relaxing or healing effect on some people. The Schumann Resonance or the Earth's heartbeat is a frequency that's closer to resonances in nature. You may choose hand pan drums tuned to this pitch; it's worth listening to 432Hz music on Youtube to see if the frequency induces a feeling of calm in you.

Hand pan drums offer a creative outlet for emotional expression and releasing pent-up emotions. The act of playing hand pan drums promotes physical relaxation and can be therapeutic for muscle tension. They are relatively easy to learn to play. You can join a group and enjoy the social connection of a like-minded community, or learn from online tutorials. Similarly, explore a whole array of drums, tuning forks, chimes and singing bowls that are more affordable and have healing benefits. Whether you're a beginner to hand pan drums, gongs or crystal singing bowls, or looking for a way to get involved in sound healing, cast your gaze over these beautiful vessels of music.

Best hand pan drums

Best hand pan drum in D minor

Find harmony and deeply restorative sound healing with the LOMUTY Hand Pan Drum. This 22-inch instrument has 10 notes and is tuned to 440Hz in D Minor. It's made of carbon steel for a clearer layered sound and to prevent excessive resonance found in titanium steel counterparts. On the underside of the hand pan drum there is a hole that's based on the principle of a Helmholtz resonator. In musical instruments, a Helmholtz resonator enhances sound by using a cavity with an opening to amplify specific frequencies, enriching tone.

LOMUTY Hand Pan Drum has one centre note and nine tone fields: D3-A3 bB3 D4 F4 A4 C5 G4 E4 C4

Customer review: "Absolutely love the sound. I bought it for my grandson who is autistic. The sound of the drum is so calming for him. I think the Lomuty drum is a unique gift for anyone. I even play it in the morning before meditation."


  • Hand-cut and hand-tuned
  • Heavy duty steel alloy
  • Healing sound


  • Mixed reviews
Dimensions: 62 x 62 x 37cm
Material:Alloy steel, metal
  • Comes with a carry bag, dust-free cloth and drum sticks
  • Choose from gold or blue

Best hand pan drum in 432Hz

Handpan Battiloro C# minor 432 Hz
Price: £1239.41+

Feel rebalanced and discover inner peace with the Hand Pan Battiloro C# minor 432Hz. Handmade in Italy this premium instrument is made from nitrided steel which enhances the hand pan's durability, corrosion resistance and resonance; overall improving the sound quality and longevity of the instrument. Its rich, warm tones and deep ding sound suit meditation enthusiasts.

Hand Pan Battiloro C# minor has eight notes: C# G# B C# D# E F# G#

Customer review: "Just WOW! This is my first hand pan and I was drawn to the C minor scale and love that this is tuned to 432hz. I'm learning to play slowly but the sound is amazing. My husband is a drummer so he's teaching me a little but I'm mostly watching YouTube videos. I plan on using this for sound healing and meditation."


  • High quality craftsmanship
  • Tuned to nature's frequency


  • There may be customs and import taxes
Dimensions: ‎Diameter 56cm, height 26cm
Material:Nitrided steel
  • Personalisation and bag available for extra cost
  • Dispatched from Italy

Best mid-range hand pan drum

Achieve healing and mindfulness with the NAHAIA 440Hz Hand Pan Drum, Made from high quality stainless steel, it's corrosion-proof and durable. This brand has a variety of hand pan models to choose from, depending on which frequency you prefer and the number of notes. This makes it accessible to beginners or musicians who are looking to add to their collection of percussive instruments.

This 10 note design has one heart note (ding) and nine keys: D3 A3 bB3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 C5


  • Range of styles and colours available
  • Durable
  • Accessories included
  • Play with versatility


  • No reviews
Dimensions:55 x 55 x 25cm
Material:Stainless steel
  • Available with 9, 10 or 12 notes in 440Hz or 432Hz
  • Also available in black, blue, gold or silver
  • Includes a stand, shoulder bag, cloth, woven rattan decoration and mallets

Best hand pan drum with accessories

Enter into a calm transcendent state with the VEVOR 22" 10 Notes Hand Pan Drum. Create unique melodies and develop your own playing methods and compositions. It's a steely blue harmonic instrument with a clear, steady and accurate pitch, with less noise than other steel drums. Play it with your fingers and hands for soft and warm sounds. The notes have excellent resonance vibration that have been individually checked with a tuner.

VEVOR 22" Hand Pan Drum in D Minor has a centre note and eight tone fields, D3-A3 bB3 D4 F4 A4 G4 E4 C4 A3


  • Handmade
  • Comes with accessories
  • Beautiful vibration


  • No reviews
Dimensions:Diameter 56cm, height 26cm
Material:DC04 Nitrogen Steel
  • Includes a stand, bag and hammer

Best hand pan drum for beginners

Seeking realignment and good vibrations? The JAMITE Tongue Drum is the perfect place to start. Affordable and supplied with a range of accessories, you can go on a journey with this instrument. This 10-inch steel tongue drum in D major has 13 sounds; perfect for music enthusiasts and beginners. Handcrafted from titanium steel, it produces a clear, calming sound. It can be used for music lessons, meditation, and more. The included sound stopper alters the tone for different music styles. This percussion instrument works by striking the tongue, creating beautiful rhythms. It's a great gift for meditation, music, and as a musical training tool for children.

Customer review: "Fab fun. Might need tuning when you first get it."


  • Play this in a number of ways
  • Lots of accessories
  • Great for children too


  • Doesn't specify the notes this instrument makes
Dimensions:28 x 28 x 18cm
  • Comes with drum sticks, drum stick support, finger cots, note stickers, cleaning cloth, sheet music and drum bag

Best premium hand pan drum

Built to last a lifetime, this Meinl Sonic Energy Hand Pan has been meticulously hand-crafted. Made from strong stainless steel, it resonates beautifully, with nine notes around a central ding. This vintage gold instrument is 440Hz and can be used in musical performance, in a group or solo. In addition, it could be used for therapeutic play and meditation.

Tuned to D with notes: A Bb C D E F G A


  • Buy for life
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Use for musical performance or therapeutic play


  • No reviews
Dimensions:Diameter ‎21 1/2'', height 9"
Material:Stainless steel
Weight:Not specified
  • Heavy-Duty nylon bag and protective gloves included

Best black hand pan drum

Advanced Hand Pan In D Minor 9 Notes
Price: £436.99

Festivals, street performances or holistic gatherings can all feel the joy of a hand pan drum melody. Using drum sticks creates a stronger sound. With a carry bag and metal stand, be the therapeutic minstrel of your next retreat. Made of nitrogen steel, this Advanced Hand Pan In D Minor 9 Notes is high-quality, corrosion-proof and wear-resistant. Notes have been checked with a tuner.

Tuned to D minor with one centre note and eight tone fields: d3 A Bb C D E F G A

Customer review: "The hand pan sounds really great. The "ding" is not sustained for a very long time but for the price, which is one of the cheapest I've found on the market, is more than fair. I wouldn't recommend it if you are already at an advanced level though, but for beginners I would completely do it, is very worth the price."


  • Portable
  • Versatile
  • Durable


  • One review comments about rust spots on their instrument
Dimensions:Diameter 56cm
Material:Nitrided steel
Weight:Not specified
  • Soft hand pan bag and metal stand included

Best hand pan drum for a unique sound

Create intricate rhythms, masterful melodies, enchanting chords and dual-voice harmonies with Sela Harmony Hand Pan F# Hijaz. It's mesmeric sound has a Middle Eastern quality. The musical scale has sharp notes and melodies take on a whirling, hypnotic and off-kilter quality. In the hands of a skilled musician, this hand pan drum is an expressive experiences, where the smallest nuances of the note are sensual. For detailed sound, this is a compelling instrument.

F# Romanian Hijaz with the tones of F#3, C#4, D4, F4, F#4, G#4, A4, C5 and C#5


  • Unique resonant sound
  • High quality
  • Beautifully crafted


  • Best suited to an experienced musician or someone willing to invest the time to learn
Dimensions:Not specified
Material:Stainless steel
Weight:Not specified
  • Includes a tear-resistant nylon bag that has two handles or comfortable backpack straps
  • Available in gold or grey

Best hand pan drum cleaning kit

The Meinl Sonic Energy Stainless Steel Hand Pan Care Set is an all-in-one kit for hand pan maintenance. It includes a cleaning solution, protectant and non-abrasive cloths. Use it to clean and protect your hand pan, removing stains and dirt. It's easy to use: apply the cleaner and protectant, wait, and wipe off. The protectant safeguards the surface and gives it a polished look, perfect for hand pan maintenance. Cleaner contains Jojoba oil.


  • Corrosion protection
  • Cleaner removes any dirt and grease
  • Formulated specifically for hand pan drums


  • Small quantity
Quantity:150ml per bottle
  • Includes two microfibre cloths
  • Cleaner bottle
  • Protectant bottle


What is a hand pan drum?

Hand pan drums belong to the idiophone musical family and is a derivation of the steel pan. It's an instrument that produces sound through its own substance, such as vibrating when struck, without needing strings or a drum skin.

Hand pan drums consist of two thin yet durable metal bowls, generally nitrided or stainless steel that's been hammered or hydro-formed into shape. Thickness, slope, diameter and height of a hand pan drum influences the resonance, tone presence and tuning. Saraz Hand Pans advises, "the slope of the shell influences the number of 'shoulder tones'… most easily activated by striking the edge of the note." Therefore, a carefully crafted instrument will have nuance, expressive notes and richer vibration.

Hand pan drums create melodious and healing music. They have an especially warm and rich sound when played with hands and finger tips. A centre note (or ding) provides a grounding resonant vibration, surrounded by a scale of notes that encircle it. A bright, resonant sound comes from each note. Stainless steel further enhances the reverberation.

Whether your a beginner, novice or expert musician, hand pan drums are a compelling musical instrument. However, they are not cheap, therefore do consider how much you or a loved one is going to embrace learning it before buying.

Hand pan drums come in 9, 10 and 12 note models tuned to 440Hz or 432Hz. Additionally, Handpan drums are available in a range of scales. Saraz Hand Pans offers a comprehensive guide to hand pan scales with help to decide which musical scale is right for your needs.

How do I choose a hand pan drum?

Hand pan drums can be called Pantam drums and there are variations such as Hang drum, Spacedrum and Tongue drum. It pays to buy from a reputable brand as quality hand pan drums have precise tuning, even sound projection and are responsive to touch.

Next, what sound moves you? Listen to hand pan drum music, tuned to different notes and frequencies. Additionally, what is your intent with the instrument? Hand pans are compact and portable, allowing for easy transportation and outdoor performances. So, they're ideal for professional musicians who are in the spiritual community. Also, hand pans can be used in various musical genres, from world music to ambient and meditative styles. Therefore, hand pan drums are a wonderful therapeutic instrument for sound healing.

Decide what frequency you want. 432Hz is closer to the frequency of nature whilst 440Hz closer to the frequency of musical instruments. Also, choose the number of notes the hand pan can play: 9, 10 or 12.

A hand pan drum tuned to a major scale produces uplifting and motivating sounds. Played in an rising melody, that feeling of ascent, progress and positivity contributes to feeling enlivened. Major scales appear in many cultures' joyful and celebratory music. Have a listen to the sound of this D Major hand pan drum, that evokes the sound of Trinidadian steel pans.

In contrast, minor scales often sound more mysterious and meditative due to their different interval patterns, and create sounds that evoke introspection and suspense. For deeper emotional nuance, have a listen to this hand pan drum in C Minor. It's tacitly melancholy and meditative.

How do I play a hand pan drum?

Scales are built around a centre note. In music, this centre note serves as a point of stability and rest. In melodies or chords, returning to this centre note creates a satisfying and positive feeling. Tap the hand pan drum with both hands simultaneously to create haunting and nuanced two-tone harmonies.

By using your fingers to gently strike the tone fields, you control the strength of the melodic notes. Explore various techniques for different sounds. Create fascinating melodies that make the perfect accompaniment to yoga and meditation.

How do I maintain my hand pan drum?

Clean it after each use to remove grease and dirt, then enrich it with a polish. Hand pan drums made from titanium, nitrided steel and stainless steel are generally corrosion-resistant. Periodically check for the tuning and consult a professional if necessary. Store your hand pan in a padded case to protect it from damage. Also, keep the hand pan away from extreme temperatures, humidity and direct sunlight to prevent warping and rust.

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden product writer for Spirit & Destiny, A Modern Kitchen, Yours Magazine, Take a Break Pets, and Modern Gardens. In her other life Natalie is a successful artist and illustrator.

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