VibeDrums Feel The Good Vibes

About Drums

History and Terminology


These drums are relatively new as far as musical instruments go. Because of this there seems to be some confusion as to exactly what they are called which makes it difficult and confusing when doing an internet search. Thus we have seen a number of terms being used, including; Hang (drum), handpan drum, steel pan drum, slit drum, tank drum, steel drum, steel tongue drum and hank drum. So let’s demystify this by exploring the differences.


The VibeDrum is a Hank Drum also known as a Steel Tongue Drum which originated out of the Tank Drum. The first tank drums were made out of old propane or butane cylinders…they sound okay but they always have a hollow hard steel aspect to them. Our VibeDrum evolved out of this concept into it’s current form, which is far superior, and is a Hank Drum which is a combination of the words Hang drum and Tank drum. Because of the way that the notes are cut it is also known as a Steel Tongue Drum.


Hang drum, Handpan drum, Steel Pan drum

The Panart Company located in Switzerland is the innovator of the handpan drum they call it a ‘Hang”. It became very popular in Europe but some people feel that due to it’s price and availability it brought about a host of other Handpan  or Steelpan drum manufacturers. These drums borrow upon the Steel Drum concept but everything is basically turned inside out.


Steel Drums

Steel Drums are the ones you see in the Caribbean, traditionally made from an old 55 gallon steel drum. The notes are created by indenting the steel with a hammer although much more modern methods are used today. Handpan drums are based upon this principle its just that they inverted the drum and made it convex instead of concave and added a bottom shell to it to bring out the notes when played by hand instead of hard mallets.


Slit Drums

Although you may want to class a VibeDrum as a Slit Drum it really isn’t. A Slit Drum is traditionally made of wood in the shape of a rectangular box. The notes are cut into the top of the box usually in long rectangles.


VibeDrum Uses

The variety of uses of this unique instrument never ceases to amaze us.


Music:  Because of it”s beautiful sound and the ease in which it can be played it is very popular as a personal musical instrument, to facilitate a meditative or trance state. It is being used in bands ranging from Folk to New Age to Ost bands and even in a German Heavy Metal band.


Massage: Because of it’s light weight, slim design and smooth bottom it is being used extensively in Europe for Massage Therapy. In fact we were the first ones that invented and developed the “VibeDrum Massage” to help everything from back and shoulder pain to muscle cramps and more.


Other Uses: We know that it is being used in Alternative Medicine for energy work, Chakra clearing and energizing as well as meridian clearing and energizing. We have also seen it used in combination with Reike treatments. Because of it’s calming effect it is also being used by some psychologists to treat nervousness and anxiety disorders.



vibedrum logo