How To Choose An Instrument

Welcome to the "Instrument Buyer's Guide"!  We have assembled the following information to help you choose the most appropriate instrument and scale combination for your needs.  If you already know what you would like to purchase, please return to the homepage and select from available options.  If you still have questions after completing this guide, don't hesitate to reach out and ask us for assistance, we are always happy to help!  You can also open or download our handy "Instrument Selection Flowchart" and move through the flow and fill in any information gaps you may have!

A good place to start is the below video comparing our Seed, Traveler, Explorer, Primordial, Hyperion and Helios instruments.

There are a few different factors to consider when choosing your instrument, and there are some questions you can ask yourself as you move through this guide to help you narrow down the options.  You may want to write some information down as you go, as this will make selecting specific options easier at your time of purchase.

1.  The Series/Type - What am I looking for in an instrument?
2.  The Sound (Scale) - What sounds am I attracted too?
3. The Key - Am I trying to match with any specific instruments or songs?
4. The Frequency - What hertz works better for my needs?
5. The Color - What color scheme am I most attracted too?

1. The Series

Our Instruments come in a few different series, which can all be viewed on our homepage.  Going from the smallest and least expensive, to the largest and most expensive:

Seed Series (6 Notes) - 8" x 4.5" - Smallest and most affordable instrument.  Only available in a C Major Pentatonic scale in the Teal color.
Traveler Series (8 Notes) - 10" x 5" -  Very transportable, high and warm scales, available in 4 diatonic scales.
Explorer Series (8 Notes) - 12" x 5" -Least costly instrument with the most scale options.  Find your favourite scales on this model.
Primordial Standard
(8 Notes) - 12" x 6" -  This instrument is only available in lower diatonic scales, the larger sibling of the Traveler Series.
Hyperion Series
(10 Notes with tuned overtones) - 14" -  Pointed tongues, with a starburst pattern etched in the centre, our professional model.
Helios 2.0 (10 Notes with a tuned overtones) - 17" -  A high-carbon instrument with rounded tongues, hand-hammered notes that are atmospheric and soaring.
Handpans - Check out our in stock Hamsa Handpans!

2. The Sound

Start this off by asking yourself: “What sounds am I more drawn to? Would I prefer playing in a happier and brighter sounding scale (Major) or a more emotional and darker scale (minor)?”  Here is a list of both the Major and minor scales we offer to help you begin sorting through our recordings:

Major Sounding Scales In Between Minor Sounding Scales
Videos and Recordings of these scales can be found here »

3. The Key

In music, the key of a composition is defined by what notes are being played (Which are derived from a particular Major or Minor scale). A popular Major scale is C Major (All the white keys on the piano) and E minor is a popular minor scale (A lot of blues guitar is played in E minor).  E Major and D minor scales tend to sound the best on these steel instruments (Due to the scale range), but here is a list of the most popular keys we offer:

Most Popular Major Keys Most Popular minor Keys
E Major
F Major
G Major
C minor
D minor
E minor

On the drop down menu for each particular product, the standard (or most commonly purchased) scale and key pair will be what you are able to select, so if this information is getting over your head, you can choose what the drop down menu offers, I promise that you won't be disappointed!  However, custom scales and keys are possible, you just need to ask.  Click here for our full list of scale and key choices.

4. The Frequency

Our Steel Tongue Drums can be made in 432hz or 440hz.  432Hz is known as the “Universal frequency” and is considered by many to be a more healing, and harmonious frequency.  You can learn more about 432Hz here.  440Hz is the concert standard, and is what a piano, cello, or guitar is usually tuned to.  If you are wanting to play with any of those instruments, this would be the frequency to choose.  If you want both options, you can order an additional set of "Tuning Magnets" with your instrument, which will allow you to tune your scale down from 440Hz to 432Hz.  However, tuning magnets are not available for all instruments.

5. The Color

We offer a wide range of color options on our instruments but our standard combinations are:  AquaBurst (Blue gradient), ForestBurst (Green gradient), SolarBurst (Red Gradient) and Aurora (Fuschia-Purple-Blue-Green Gradient), but please explore the pictures here on our website or social media pages to get an idea of all the different color combinations that are possible (Generally any picture you see of our instrument is possible, there are a lot of shades we can make).  If you have a unique color combination in mind that you would like on your instrument, we can do our best to accommodate you.  Unique color combinations are subject to what powder-coatings we currently have in stock although custom colors can be ordered from our supplier for an additional charge dependent on powder price.