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Bringing Out The Musician In You Through Steel Pan Music

By Joshua Reed


Music speaks to us at a deep level it translates the messages inside our hearts into flowing melody and rhythm. Because this music can take hold of another person or millions of ears and share the same feelings as the musician does. But music does not only play about feelings and emotions. It also represent the culture and race that one belongs to.

For many oppressed races music was a form of escape. It helped people to cope with difficult and stressful situations placed on them by authoritative figures. That is why many cultures developed their musical instruments to accompany them like the Trinidad steel pan music.

The instrument originated from Tobago and Trinidad. Musicians referred to pannist because these were considered as percussion instruments. A pair of sticks with rubber tips are used to play the pan. And these were made out of drum gallons for oils and other substances.

Not many did not play the steelpan because it was often associated with outlaws. But after many years of development it has slowly found its place among other instruments. Also there are many other types of steelpan that have been developed over the years.

Notes differs depending on the size of the pitch. A lower tones are made through the larger oval while the higher tones with the smaller ones. Most pans are painted or in chrome while others are processed in powder coating, nickel plating, and hardening for the finish.

There are other notable people who have helped improve this line. But without the musicians who made it possible to play these things then it would not have been made. Instruments like these were usually played around the neck, which means a long strap that held this drum were placed near the neck to prevent it from falling.

Playing these were either done standing with the help of a strap or seated in one area of the stage. However standing up the musician must be at least 4 to 5 inches away from body and pan with hands inserted in the drum. Keeping it close to the surface is essential for accuracy and speed.

Always keep the elbows near the waist level and evenly distribute body weight with your feet. Never shuffle your feet, but if you are having trouble reaching for a note then pivoting from the waist, leaning, and bending are also acceptable. Having a good grip on the sticks used to produce the sound means holding the stick similar to a magic wand.

While the body should be four to five inches away from the skirt of the steel pan. This allows the musician to lean or pivot during play and will also help them bend their knees a little especially when reaching for hard to reach notes. There are other kinds of pans available such as the mid range and background types where the same positioning are used but the difference here is that the body must be allowed to move and never touch the drum.




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