How to use and maintain your musical instruments

Use and maintain your handpan, tongue drum or steeldrum

The Metal Sounds handpans are quite fragile and can go out of tune, despite the fact of they’re built in steel. A hard play, shocks or temperature variations can be reasons for going out of tune. The metal is very thin and these instruments require a particular care when handling them.

In a normal way of use we recommend a “routine” tuning every 2 years (for Spacedrum and steeldrums). Of course this is just an estimate period and each case is different according to your practice. We recommend to play softly. The use of sticks needs a bit of practice to get the best sound from your instrument.

Zenko, our steel tongue drum, has a thicker shell so it’s not supposed to go out of tune. It’s also because the tone fields are cut and not hammered.

As for any musical instruments it’s better to avoid un-experimented players (who might hit too hard), and, if possible, keep it away from humidity (sea shore). Also, the heat makes the metal expend so you must not play when your handpan is hot or it will run out of tune.

The Spacedrum Evolution is made of stainless steel and the Spacedrum Nitro is made of soft nitrided steel. Both of them may be used the same way but they require a different maintenance to prevent a corrosion issue.

Handpans and steel tongue drums maintenance is simple as long as it’s done regularly. Any handpan player should be careful about his instrument’s lifetime, that is why it’s recommended to clean it just after playing (especially for the nitrided steel handpans). You will have to use cleaning wax, special lubricant and soft clothes to keep your percussion (handpan, pantam, tongue drum, steel drum) away from any rust problem.

- SPACEDRUM EVOLUTION® (stainless steel): A 30 ml pot of natural bee wax, mixed with organic vegetal oil, is included with your Spacedrum Evolution. Feel free to wax your Spacedrum once a month so you will maintain a protective layer on it and keep its brand new shiny look (watch tutorial video).

- SPACEDRUM NITRO® (nitrided soft steel): This model is far more sensitive to corrosion than the Evolution line. Therefore, it’s essential to protect it effectively against rust. We recommend to use natural wax or a specially designed oil for handpans. Metal Sounds provides a 30 ml oil spray with each Spacedrum Nitro. This oil should be used and stretched regularly (two or three times a month) all over your handpan.

- ZENKO® (stainless steel): As it’s made of stainless steel you won’t have any rust issue with the Zenko. However, whether you play it by hand, or with mallets, a careful player should clean it after every playing session and use a special oil once a month.

- STEELDRUMS (painted or chrome steel): The steeldrums can be powder coated, painted or chromed. They are made of soft steel so they can get rusty if they’re not regularly cleaned, with a soft dry cloth after play. You may also clean them with a wet cloth in order to remove the dust from it, then dry it carefully with a cotton cloth.

Do you need maintenance products for your metal-made percussion? Check out our special oils and wax.


Knowledge made in France
Knowledge made in France
Creator of unique instruments
Creator of unique instruments
Artisanal production for optimum quality
Artisanal production for optimum quality
Personalized advice and customer services
Personalized advice and customer services
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