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How to choose your first Handpan ?

How to choose your first Handpan ?

Purchasing a handpan is a challenging decision. Prices range from $500 to $3,500, with varying sound quality among manufacturers.

Here are some tips from us for choosing your first handpan:

1. Which scale to choose?

We all know that sound is the most crucial aspect of a handpan. This varies according to different criteria, such as the scale in which the handpan is tuned.

a. What is scale?

The musical definition of a scale is a sequence of consecutive notes. Here is what the D minor Kurd scale looks like on the stave:

Each scale has a distinct sound and offers its own unique emotion. It also depends on how it is played. They might be joyful, melancholic, relaxing, or oriental. Everyone interprets the emotions presented by a scale in their way.

b. What are the major differences among scales?

The Major scale

The minor scale


 Eastern scale
  • Joyful and positive
  • Limited scale
  • Profound and mysterious
  • Various expression
  • Exotic and repetitive
  • Zen atmosphere

c. Beginners' favorite scale: D minor Kurd

In 90% of cases, a beginner will choose a handpan tuned in D minor. It is the most popular scale because it is easy to play. You can create beautiful and harmonious melodies with it. Here is an example:

It offers a hypnotizing and relaxing vibe. This is the scale that we most recommend for beginners.

Note: In the “Customize Your Handpan” category on our site, you can choose the other scales you want.
2. Which frequency to choose? 432 Hz,440 Hz or 999 Hz ?
The sound of the handpan varies depending on the frequency to which the instrument is tuned. Even if they are the same scale, the sound is deeper at lower frequencies.

The definition of frequency in music: the number of vibrations of sound per second expressed in Hertz.

Frequency 432 Hz

 Frequency 440 Hz

 Frequency 999 Hz


Good for relaxation, meditation and yoga To play with other instruments in a group or to compose To help with tapping into higher states of consciousness

The frequency 432 Hz is a symbol of life. It represents balance and is found in nature. It is the same as the resonance of water. Some people say it has mystical virtues. Meditation fans truly appreciate it.

The frequency 999 Hz is known to help with tapping into higher states of consciousness. Perfect for meditation or to aid you in a process of transformation. 

 3. The choice of sustain for your handpan

a. What is the sustain of a handpan?

The duration of time an instrument maintains a note after it has been played. It's also referred to as resonance. For example, when hitting a wall, there will be minimal resonance. By tapping a bell, the resonance will be very long:

The same applies to the handpan. Some have short sustain, others have medium sustain, and others have long sustain. This is not a criterion of quality but of taste. Experienced players or percussionists typically prefer a shorter sustain.

b. What sustain is suitable for beginners?

A beginner can more easily play with a "medium-long" sustain. The notes' duration enables us to "keep them alive" and, at the same time, move forward with the creation of the rest of the melody.

This means it's easier to play by beginners. "medium-long" sustain is more conducive to relaxation and meditation. It enhances the hypnotic and soothing vibes.

Here, most AS TEMAN stainless steel handpans have "medium-long" sustain (select "Material" - "Stainless steel" in the filter bar to find them out if you like).

4. Checking the sound quality of handpans

a. Balance of notes

Before purchasing a handpan, it is essential to ensure that each note is equally balanced. In other words, each of them possesses the same sustain, timbre, and quality. Otherwise, the music will be imbalanced and unpleasant to the ear.

Here at AS TEMAN, you don't need to worry about this, because we double-checked every note of every handpan before shipping the instrument to you.

Note: To alleviate any concerns regarding unbalanced notes, we offer personalized services. If you wish to confirm your order before shipment, you may request the provision of an audio verification. Please note that this service is available only if it is specified during the order process.

b. Crosstalk

This is interference between notes. When we play note 1, we don't want any sound from note 2 to be emitted. The separation zone must be carefully constructed. A handpan of poor quality can cause unwanted interference and deteriorate the sound quality.

Some handpans have sympathetic interference. They can create a harmonious effect between certain notes. However, it is more suitable for experienced players.

Therefore, you must order from a trustworthy manufacturer who takes care to ensure the perfect isolation of each note. Choose a craftsman with several years of experience, such as ours from AS TEMAN.

5. The manufacturing materials

a. Nitrided Steel vs Stainless Steel

They are two major materials most used to make handpans.

Nitrided steel  Stainless steel
  • Susceptible to rust and corrosion.
  • Higher sound volume.
  • Requires regular maintenance.
  • Very resistant to rust and scratches (suitable for damp locations).
  • Maintenance is easier.
  • Keeps longer.

b. Which steel is recommended for beginners?

We advise beginners to choose a stainless steel handpan as we believe it is the most suitable option.

You will receive an instrument that is far more durable and easier to maintain. Don't forget the frequency and sustain provide a highly enjoyable playing experience.


6. How many notes to choose?

It is crucial to avoid selecting a handpan that has too many notes. Managing 11 notes proves to be a challenge for a beginner. But with less than 9 notes, you might be disappointed for lacking broader musical opportunities.

a. 9 or 10 notes handpan for beginners

For a beginner, it is ideal to opt for a 10- or 9-note handpan. Some individuals believe that 10 notes are too much. Don't worry. It's still easy to play with two hands. Furthermore, you will have more opportunities to improve your skills. If you have the budget, grab a 10-note at one time. It's worth it.

b. Cost-effective style: the 17-note handpan (2-in-1 handpan)

Our 17-note handpan is an excellent investment as it contains two different scales. The top has 9 notes (D Kurd), while the bottom has 8 notes (D Gong). Each side possesses its distinctive sound. You have the freedom to choose the side that best aligns with your mood.

The advantage is that as you improve yourself you can start playing with both sides at the same time. The price is higher but it allows you not to buy a second handpan while gaining level (savings in the long term).

Video Responsive:


7. The color of the handpan: a matter of taste

The final criterion for selecting your handpan is a matter of aesthetics. This is a highly subjective matter that necessitates some introspection on your part. Simply select the color that appeals to you the most.

You have the option to choose between dark colors like black and maroon, or other colors that better reflect the hues of life like gold, green, and blue.

Important: The selection of color also depends on the type of steel chosen. It is impossible to associate all the colors with the two distinct types of steel, nitrided and stainless.

Note: To achieve the style you prefer, you can select both the "Color" and "Material" attributes in the filter bar.


To help you

Imagine the perfect color that would complement the style of decoration in your home, including the walls, objects, and other colors.

Tips: AS TEMAN delves into nature's inspiration and divides these themes into various series. Every series has a story to tell. The various colors, designs, and craftsmanship are symbols of the admiration and respect that the designers and craftsmen hold for nature, as well as the expression of their own emotions.

8. Order your first handpan

a. Buy a handpan at AS TEMAN

You have all the necessary information to decide to order the right handpan. Simply apply our advice and take action. Your future favorite instrument awaits you.

When you order from AS TEMAN HANDPAN, you can rest assured of receiving an instrument of excellent quality. This eliminates the need for you to contact multiple craftsmen. You don't need to verify the sustain, as there should be no interference between the notes, and every AS TEMAN handpan is well-balanced.

Furthermore, you can expect to receive your handpan very soon, within 7-15 business days. Save time by avoiding queues of 4-5 months, as is the case with most other manufacturers.

b. Gifts: we package each order with some gifts for the instrument. Included accessories are no less than:

  • 1 x Carry Bag
  • 1 x Pair of mallets
  • 1 x Dust-free cloth
  • 1 x Handpan stand (Random color)
  • 1 x Maintenance instruction

Note: We usually give out special gifts during HalloweenThanksgivingBlack Friday, and Christmas sales, so fans don’t miss it!

c. Coupon: New users get $20 off with code "NEW20OFF"

Please apply "NEW20OFF" discount code at checkout.

9. Customer submission reward programme

Contents of the works: handpan playing in various scenarios, including relaxation, meditation, entertainment, performance, accompaniment, outings, and traveling. It's also ideal for playing in nature like woods, rivers and mountains. We are eagerly looking forward to your creative works being shared with our community.

Important: Submissions should be sent to our email: astemanpan@gmail.com

Note: Rewards will be sent to either Paypal or returned to the bank account used when you order. For more details, please comment below or email us.



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