How to play

Steel tongue drums are easy instruments to play in general, mainly because they are usually tuned to one specific scale and the player can never hit a wrong key.

The tones are positioned in “right-left-right-left” order similar to a hand-pan or a kalimba.The longer tongues produce lower notes, the shorter ones produce higher notes.

The strike should be fast and soft at the same time. Avoid blocking the vibration of the tongues while playing. A wrong strike will interfere with the vibration – this is why the “fast-slapping” technique is recommended. The hit should be with an open & loose hand using 1-2 fingers.

For easier playing, we recommend to place the drum with the longest tongue closest to you, the highest tone will now be at hour 12:00.This way you will be able to hit the longer tongues with the sides of your thumbs (like bass guitar “slapping”) and the shorter tongues with your index fingers.

* Tip :​ Imagine that you are checking the temperature of a hot iron with your finger, trying not to get a burn.

How to choose your scale

Choosing a scale for your instrument might sound like a difficult thing to do especially when it comes to buying your instrument online without even touching it.

This decision can also be rather spontaneous, when you listen to the sound sample of a specific scale you can naturally feel the different tensions it has.

For example a minor scale will have a rather dramatic rise from the bottom note to top of the scale while the major scale will have a happier essence and will leave you with a more positive sensation.

Try to feel the “mood” that the scale creates, your instinct will lead you to choose the right one for your needs.

FAQ

Simply because of the pure and rich sound of our instruments. We love our job and always devote ourselves to each instrument. 1TONE is a pioneer brand in steel tongue drum world, during our work over the years we have built hundreds of instruments by hand, developing and progressing with each one.

Just order one in our online shop. it will take us two-four weeks to build your 1TONE drum. shipping will take additional 3-7 days.

It takes a few strikes to get the idea, for some it can take a few hours of practice. There is no need to have musical education of any sort to play our instruments. The steel tongue drum is a really easy instrument to learn and play due to the fact that it is diatonic, meaning it has only one scale so you will never play a wrong note.

It is there to protect the sides of the drum and for other acoustic reasons.

Our instruments are made of a strong steel but… as all musical instruments, if not treated with care, the tuning might be ruined. All the owners receive a maintenance guide ( .pdf file ) with the drum, for best maintenance please follow the guide’s notes.

If your 1TONE did get out of tune, we guarantee a lifetime FREE tuning. ( not including shipping charges or taxes)​.

Our drum can get pretty loud. We specially designed our new FunTone drum to reach high volumes for playing outside by combining our steel with the wright shape and proper tuning. If you are playing outside or in a loud environment/instruments please do not forget to play with a reasonable force, to prevent any harm to your instrument and hands. FunTone drum reaches it’s peak volume with a relatively light stroke, the trick is in the speed of the touch.

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