Useful Tips on How to Play Steel Drum

April 28, 2022

Okay, now that you know everything about steel drums, do you want to learn something new? If the answer is yes, stay with us and learn how to play steel drums!

This part will teach you the most basic and successful techniques for playing steel pan drums. So, keep reading to learn how this instrument works and how to play it like an expert.

Beginners guide for pan drums

If you want to play pans, you need to set them up perfectly for the best sound. Set your drums on the height that fits for you.

To access it conveniently, you simply hang it about your waist. Furthermore, your hands will be in the right position for easier playing.

You will need to be extremely good at balancing to play this instrument for a longer time. Don’t be too far or too close, and don’t be scared of the instrument.

Learning how to grasp the pan mallet correctly is also a vital lesson. Different pannists use different grasping techniques according to their preference. To play it like a pro, you must select one of the following mallet grips:

  • With a fist, grip the pan mallet
  • Pressing grip with the index finger
  • A light grip is required to hold more than one-third of the mallet.
  • Grip with three fingers.

If you try some of these four grips, chances are bigger to become better at playing pan drums. You will have better control and amazing performance.

With this drum, you will have multiply notes. Allow it to freely vibrate if you want to get the greatest notes out of it. If the mallet is in touch with the drum for a lengthy period, the drum will not vibrate properly. As a result, you won’t receive the finest sound.

If you hold the mallet too tight, you won’t be able to play impressive noise. So instead, hold it loosely and make as little contact with the mallet as possible. That is how you may effortlessly make enticing tones.

You will surely learn some techniques to play successive notes, but only if you want to expand your knowledge.

Beginners guide for tongue drum

Well, playing tongue drums is not easy. But, if you have learned how to play the pan drum, you would be able to play tongue drums right now.

You need to understand right at this point, at the start of the learning process. There is no need for too much pressure on the tongue drum. Big noises may be produced with the least amount of effort or pressure.


Like pan drums, you will need to stand for about 5’’ far from the tongue drum. Again, good balance and your hands close to the instrument are a great combination for best performance.

Grip and Mallet

Always keep the mallet between your index finger and your thumb. As a result, you will freely manipulate the pan sticks and play all of the notes correctly.

Gripping the mallets too tightly can prevent you from producing the optimum sounds.

A little practice and a strong grasp of the notes will turn you into a great pannist. Later on, you may learn to play the tongue drum with your hands without any instruction. It will be simple to improvise and incorporate new approaches.

But, like every beginner, you will need material to start playing steel drum, so we prepared the best steel drum songs to play, especially for beginners.

Best steel drums song for beginners

When you buy your steel drum, usually you will get a little book with notes and songs for beginners or intermediate. Here you can find a list of songs that you can play on steel drums.

Here is a list of the best steel drums song:

  1. Under the Sea
  2. AC\DC- You Shook Me All Night Long
  3. Nirvana- Heart-Shaped Box
  4. Iron Maiden- Hallowed by Thy Name
  5. Metallica- Sad but True
  6. Guns n’ Roses- Paradise City 
Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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