Sound Models

Here on our “Sound Models" page you will find a list of scales we offer with their descriptions, the available keys and a video.  Transpositions and custom scales are possible and we are more than happy to help create the perfect instrument for you.  Below are videos comparing the different scales we offer on our older "Helios Mini" steel tongue drum (Now the Hyperion Series), but other scale videos of each instrument series can be found under the products listing on our shop page for those instruments.

*Our videos are best viewed with external speakers or headphones, as cellphone speakers tend to lack the dynamic range for a full-sound experience.*


The Akebono scale is a musical scale commonly used in traditional Japanese music. Akebono and the Diatonic scale use the same intervals, but Akebono has no fixed tonic; as such, any Akebono note can be the tonic.  Strong, Solid, Interesting.


G minor:  G3, A3, Bb3, C4, Eb4, G4, A4, Bb4
F minor:  F3 G3 Ab3 Bb3 Db4 F4 G4 Ab4
E  minor:  E3, F#3, G3, A3, C4, E4, F#4, G4, A4
D minor:  D3, E3, F3, A3, Bb3, D4, E4, F4, A4, Bb4


The Annaziska scale is a very popular minor scale for handpans. It is most known through the "Sam Maher Subway Video" that has been shared widely on social media platforms. It is a very nice minor scale, similar to the Kurd and Integral.


D minor:  D3 A3 Bb3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 Bb4
C# minor:  C#3/ G#3 A3 B3 C#4 D#4 E4 F#4 G#4 A4
C minor:  C3/ G3 Ab3 Bb3 C4 D4 Eb4 F4 G4 Ab4


The Arbutus scale is derived from the Mixolydian mode, and is warm, and expressive. It is our most “up-beat” and “happiest” sounding scale that we offer.  Great if you are looking for something Angelic and crystalline.  Excited, Bubbly, Changing.


Bb Major (F root):  F3, Bb3, C4, Eb4, F4, G4, A4, Bb4, C5, D5
A Major (E root):  E3, A3, B3, D4, E4, F#4, G#4, A4, B5, C#5
G Major (D root):  D3, G3, A3, C4, D4, E4, F#4, G4, A4, B5
F Major (C root):  C3, F3, G3, Bb4, C4, D4, E4, F4, G4, A4
E Major (B root):  B2, E3, F#3, A4, B3, C#4, D#4, E4, F#4, G#4

Celtic Minor

The Celtic Minor is one of the most popular scales for melodic steel instruments.  By eliminating some of the more tension-creating intervals, you are left with a very harmonically strong minor scale that sounds reminiscent and searching.



E minor:  E3 B3 D4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 B4
D minor:  D3 A3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 C5 D5
C minor:  C3 G3 Bb3 C4 D4 Eb4 F4 G4 Bb4 C5
B minor:  B2 F#3 A3 B3 C#4 D4 E4 F#4 A4


The Integral scale was very popular on the hang, and was most notably seen in the "Once Again" video by the musical group "Hang Massive". It is a balanced and well-rounded minor, with more highs than the Kurd or Annaziska scale.


A Major (D root):  D3 F#3 A3 C#4 D4 E4 G#4 A4 B4 C#4
G Major (C root):  C3 E3 G3 B3 C4 D4 F#4 G4 A4 B4
F# Major (B root):  B2 D#3 F#3 A#3 B3 C#4 F4 F#4 G#4 A4

Golden Arcadia

The Golden Arcadia is a warm extended major scale that has a lot of depth and personality.  Although it is based in the key of G major, the strong C root coupled with the F# incidental leans it more towards some of the more diverse sounding modes, while still retaining the familiarity of the C Major scale.


A Major (D root):  D3 F#3 A3 C#4 D4 E4 G#4 A4 B4 C#4
G Major (C root):  C3 E3 G3 B3 C4 D4 F#4 G4 A4 B4
F# Major (B root):  B2 D#3 F#3 A#3 B3 C#4 F4 F#4 G#4 A4


The Hijaz scale is very common in Middle Eastern music, particularly Arabic and Egyptian Music. It may be seen as an altered Phrygian mode that is a Phrygian with a raised third in the key of C relating to the third mode in a C Major scale system. Exotic, Mysterious, Spooky.


G minor:  G3 D4 Eb4 Gb4 G4 A4 Bb4 C5
F minor:  F3 C4 Db4 E4 F4 G4 Ab4 Bb4 C4 Db5
E minor:  E3 B3 C4 D#4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 B4, C4
D minor:  D3, A3, Bb3, Db4, D4, E4, F4, G4, A4, Bb4
C minor:  C3 G3 Ab3 B3 C4 D4 Eb4 F4 G4 Ab4


The Melog scale has 5 notes of the major scale, which give this drum a full sound, and is easy access for beginners. It has octaves of all the notes allowing for the creation of some pleasant over-tones. Full, Broad, Confident.



E Major:  E3 G#3 A3 B3 D#4 E4 G#4 A#4 B4 D#5
D Major:  D3 F#3 G3 A3 C#4 D4 F#4 G4 A4 C#5
C  Major:  C3 E3 F3 G3 B3 C4 E4 F4 G4 B4


The Onoleo is an exotic minor scale that is warmer, and less spooky than the Hijaz, and there is a lot of potential for exploration in this scale.   It is fun to play, but can be difficult for beginners to work with.



C E G Ab C E F G Ab C
B D# F# G B D# E F# G B

Major Pentatonic

The Major pentatonic Scale steps are: 1-2-3-5-6. These drums are great for beginners or if you are looking for a Steel Tongue Drum to match a particular Major key you are wishing to play in. Our most popular scale. Warm, Bright, Harmonically Solid.



C Major:  C4 D4 E4 G4 A4 C5 D5 E5
F Major:  F3 G3 A3 C4 D4 F4 G4 A4 C4 D5
E Major:  E3 F#3 G#3 B3 C#4 E4 F#4 G#4 B4 C#5


The Pygmy scale is a minor pentatonic scale, with a yearning quality. Use of the Pygmy scale has grown in popularity since the invention of the Hang (instrument) in the year 2000, handpan’s such as the Halo and also steel tongue drums. All of which have been made using sound models based on the Pygmy scale.  Searching, Yearning, Flowing.


D minor:  D3 E3 F3 A3 C4 D4 E4 F4 A4 C5



The Renaissance scale is a Dorian Mode which is a minor type scale (it has a b3) and is most commonly used for jazz and blues improvisation. It is usually the first choice for playing over an unrelated minor chord (meaning a minor chord not obviously in a particular key). Our most popular minor scale. Powerful, Deep, Magic.



F minor:  F3
E minor:  E3
D minor:  D3 G3 A3 Bb3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4


The SaBye is a warm and bright scale that is feels very lively and upbeat while still being quite soothing.  This is a great major scale variation to choose if you are looking for something that is not as common as a Major Pentatonic.  Great for all levels of players.


E Major:  E3 A3 B3 C#4 D4 E4 F#4 G#4 A4 B4


The Aeolian mode is a the natural minor scale.  It is transformative and very soothing, with closely connected intervals allowing for smooth transitions and tension.  It is a very popular scale for yoga classes and meditation, where more expressive music is desired. Reminiscent of classical piano, beautiful musical forms can be created within its note range.  Our second most popular minor scale, and one of our favourites.  Soothing, Transforming, Eloquent.



F minor:  F3 Ab3 C4 Db4 Eb4 F4 G4 Ab4 Bb4 C5
E minor:  E3 G3 B3 C4 D4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 B4
D minor:  D3 F3 A3 Bb3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4


The Kurd scale is a very popular scale for handpans.  Landing in close proximity to the Annaziska, Dorian Integral.  Slightly different intervals give a warmer resolve to this instrument.


D minor:  D3 E F A Bb D E F A Bb
E minor:  E3
F minor:  F3

Double Sided Instruments

Double-Sided Instruments Explained

Our Double-Sided Drums generally combine two scales:  A 10 note Major scale, and its 10 note relative minor.  With our double-sided scale combinations you get a more versatile instrument in terms of scale variety, and a more layered sound profile.  The double-sided instruments have a sound that is reminiscent of being underwater, ethereal and other-worldly, and it is quite beautiful.  There is a slight loss of over-all volume as adding tongues to the bottom of the instrument to add more notes removes some of its ability to hold resonance.  Most people find this to be an acceptable trade-off for the increase in sound-quality and versatility, and with our added pick-up system, this is easily rectified.

Scale Combinations:

Annaziska and Major Pentatonic