Tuning the Pantam – #3

It this blog post, which is the third in our “how to build a Pantam” series, I will guide you through the basics of how to tune a Pantam.
If you didn’t read our first and second chapters in the series, then now is a perfect time.

Tuning is an art form. It will take years of trial and error to find the best way which works for each individual to tune his steel with his own shaping process.
I can say that my aim when tuning is to achieve the most stable and esthetic note I can get to. This without hammering too much and thus weakening the note.

The tuning room

Pantam tuning room

There are many guide books to help you find your way in the tuning stage. But I believe that the best way to create your own language with the steel is by trying it yourself and working with your hands, eyes, and intuition.
It’s a journey that requires a great deal of patience and willpower.
You will fail many times, but never give up on trying again and again, until you start to understand the steel.
There might be some YouTube videos that can get you a general visual idea of the process.

Once you have finished tuning your first round on your soon to become Handpan, I would suggest burning your shell again at a lower temperature. That will help to release the newly made hammer strikes from the tuning process.
It is most likely that after you’ve tempered your shell again, the notes will detune a bit from the heat. Be sure to check them once more before gluing your instrument.

That’s it for this chapter.
I hope it helped you to understand a little more about the process of tuning a pantam.
See you in our next post, when we will share with you how we glue the shells together!

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