How to find Free Full-Band Music Scores for your Steel Pan Band (Steel Drum Band)

      How to find Free Full-Band Music Scores for your Steel Pan Band (Steel Drum Band)Here's a great tip for steel band music directors looking for music scores.  We want to thank Mark Curry for this.  He's the Music Supervisor at Clarke County Public Schools in Berryville, VA. VistaPan sells a basic book with full master scores and all the instrument parts for steel pan bands, but many people have noted that there are very few such books available and reasonable in price.  A great free solution is to use SATB vocal scores.   If your steel band is four voice, SATB scores normally fit the ranges of the steelpan instruments perfectly. • Soprano = Lead (Tenor) steel pans • Alto = Double Second & Double Tenor steel pans • Tenor = Cello & Guitar steel pans • Bass = Bass steel pansThere are different websites that have free SATB arrangements. A good one to go to is, where you can find hundreds of scores absolutely free to print out.  In the search box … [Read more...]

How to Safely Hang & Move a Steel Pan (Steel Drum)

  How to Safely Hang & Move a Steel Pan (Steel Drum) The thing that you least want to do with your steel pan is to drop it, which is very bad for the instrument.   Notes can easily go out of tune when a steel drum is dropped and sometimes the pan will never sound as good as it did before being dropped.   What is the best way to put your steel pan onto the stand?  Hold your steel pan with both hands and with 4 fingers firmly under the rim so it can't go anywhere.  Then with your thumbs on top of the  rim, you can controll each of the 2 loops.  When you go to set the steel pan on the stand, it's very easy for your thumb to guide that loop onto the notch of the stand.  Guide the loop onto one side first and then the other and you will never have to worry about dropping the pan.  This is important to show any children in a steel drum band program if they are going to be allowed to handle the steel pans.  Sometimes, when there is not a lot of time, you might want to move a stand and … [Read more...]

How to Mute a Steel Pan (Steel Drum)

  How to Mute a Steel Pan (Steel Drum) A mute for a steel pan can easily be made from car door trim that you can find in any auto parts store or even at Walmart.  A lot of instrumentalists, like trumpet players,   use a mute to lessen their sound.  Sometimes they can save a gig for you if you are performing in a very small or especially loud space.  Also, you may need to practice and the neighbors are complaining or your own family  is saying it's too loud.  This is when a mute for your steel drum can be very handy.  Car door trim is a very good way to mute a steel pan because a pan has an edge on the bottom of the skirt and car door trim happens to fit right over it very easily.  There is a chrome looking trim for your chrome pan and a black trim that looks great on a black steel pan. There are two kinds, however. One has some glue in it and you may want to avoid that and get the kind that doesn't have the glue. You'll find it just basically snaps on the bottom edge of your steel … [Read more...]

Chrome Polishing Your Steel Pan (Steel Drum)

  Chrome Polishing Your Steel Pan (Steel Drum) One of the most basic things in maintaining your steel pan is to wipe the note area with a clean dry cloth after each time you play and to chrome polish your steel pan about twice a year.  Its really pretty simple but there are a few things to know.  Of  course you need the polishing product.  The two most common ones that you find are the Turtle brand chrome polish, which is very inexpensive and the Mothers brand in the red container, which costs a few dollars more but does produce a better shine on your steel drum.   You can use two different cloths, - one to apply the polish and one  to clean it off.    Cotton cloth works well.  If you don't have cloth available, you can buy a pack of extra large white undershirts inexpensively.   First, make sure to thoroughly shake the bottle.  Then squeeze out about the amount of polish that would equal about the size of a soda bottle cap onto the cloth.  Lightly rub the polish on your steel pan … [Read more...]

How to Make a Pair of Steel Pan Sticks (steel drum mallets).

  How to Make a Pair of Steel Pan Sticks (steel drum mallets). Here's an easy way that you can make a pair of steel pan mallets (also called steel drum sticks) for just a few dollars. Steel pan sticks are not that expensive but also are not normally available in your local music store, so what do you do when your dog chews the rubber tips off your mallets or maybe you lose a pair and you have a rehearsal or a gig to play that night? You will not want to use these as your main playing sticks because steel pan mallet makers make a great effort to choose lightweight materials and create balance and just the right feel with the mallets they make. However, you can make an acceptable pair of steel pan mallets that can get you through your gig or rehearsal. The materials you will need will be an ordinary but sharp pair of household scissors, a roll of Scotch tape, reusable latex rubber cleaning gloves that are usually yellow in color and that you can find in a dollar store. To make your … [Read more...]

How to Fix an Out of Tune Steel Pan Note

  A Magnet can be a Steel Pan Players Best Friend This is the first in a series of blogs and videos we are calling "Tricks and Tips for Steel Pan Players". One of the most useful tricks is for a steel pan player to carry an ordinary refrigerator type mallet. . This is the type of magnet your local pizza shop hands out for you to put on your refrigerator. What do you do when a note on your steel pan goes completely out of tune?  What if you have a performance tomorrow or you just want to be able to  practice your steel drum without hearing the annoying sound of an out of tune note?  You call your tuner, because you know never to attempt to tune your steel pan yourself.  One wrong hit and your instrument may never be the same.  But what if the steel pan tuner lives hundreds of miles away or is not available to tune your steel drum before you need to play it. Fortunately, more often than not, when a note goes out of tune on a steel pan, it goes sharp. This is where the magnet comes in. … [Read more...]