Just like any other instrument, Idiopans allow you to play in a range of different styles and techniques that you can make suit your playing needs best. If you've never been exposed to drums quite like Idiopans (tongue drums, handpans, etc.), it may be hard to know where to start on how to play one. There are two primary approaches when it comes to playing an Idiopan; That is being played either with your hands/fingers or with mallets.
Mallets are included with every Idiopan and is probably the easiest and most accessible playing method, especially as a beginner. To hold the mallets properly, hold it between your thumb and index finger, about three-quarters of the stick down, away from the ball end. Once holding the mallets like this, you can start to get a feel for the responsiveness and bounce the ball end has against the tongue when striking it. We have put in the style mallet we think is best suited for the sound of the model drum that it is included with, but other styles and ball densities are available if you feel a different mallet will get you a sound you desire more.
Though playing with your hands takes a little more precision and technique, it is a hugely popular way of playing drums that are similar to Idiopans. It also allows much more diversity in your playing approach. The best place to strike the tongues with your hands is on the side of the knuckle on your thumb and the pads of your fingers. With developed practice you can incorporate finger rolls, and even chords that involve more than two notes at a time, which is a limitation when playing with mallets.
In conclusion, if you're a beginner, playing with mallets is much more accessible and will allow you to easily get the hang of the Idiopan. Though, playing with your hands/fingers is more advanced, I encourage every player to play the style that is most comfortable for them, and to experiment and try new things. If you have any suggestions or new techniques, PLEASE feel free to share them with us, whether it be with a video or contacting us directly here on the website. We're always excited to see the Idiopan Community approach playing our drum in new and diverse ways. To give you some visual examples and some instruction, I've posted a couple videos below.
Here is a short video of me playing a simple melody on a Lunabell with mallets
I have made an instructional video on how to play with your hands:
Here is a video of YouTube Personality, Rob Scallon, playing a Dominus with his hands. Notice the range and different techniques he uses that showcase the range of that drum!
I hope you could find this helpful and I wish you happy playing,