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Handling Steel Pans - Playing Techniques

Careful lifting, moving, setting up and packing away of your steel pans will ensure you, the players and the instruments remain safe and undamaged.

Handling Steel Pans
• Never lift steel pans by the hanging loops; use both hands on either side of the skirt and the rim.

• Always store instruments in cases when not in use and whilst in transit.

NEVER rest the tenor instrument on its bowl or skirt - always place it rim down.

• Always ensure the instrument is played with a light touch. Heavy handed playing can severely damage the instrument.

• Avoid impact of the playing surface with any object other than the rubber ends of the recommended sticks.

• Keep pans tuned by always using reputable tuners or tuning services.

Playing Steel Pans
• Large orchestras can produce a loud volume of sound. Encourage quiet playing, advise players and tutors to wear ear plugs.

• Ensure instrument is set to correct height for the player - just below waist level.

• Always stand at the centre of the instrument and play notes dead centre.

Do not cross the arms. If a note is to the left play with the left hand, if to the right play with the right hand.

• Never place the index finger down the pan stick as this prevents the vibration and dampens the sound.

Play from the wrist holding sticks fairly loosely so the rubber tip bounces naturally.

• Keep elbows in and shoulders relaxed leaning into the pan from the waist to play the uppermost notes.

Steel pan facts.

Steel pan explained

Steel pan explained

Careful Handling

Steel pans

Never rest the instrument on its bowl as this may damage the playing area. Always place pans face down.

Holding Pan Sticks

Holding sticks

Play from the wrist holding the sticks fairly loosely so the rubber tip bounces naturally from the centre of each note.