What is a HAPI Drum?
Our HAPI steel drums use tongues cut to different sizes and shapes to produce musical tones, similar to wooden tongue drums. The steel is about 2mm thick. The original concept of using steel came from Dennis Havlena who began cutting tongues into steel tanks in 2007. These types of drums are called Hank Drums. Starting with his concept, we began experimenting with different custom made musical steels and our own unique note layouts to build on Dennis' original idea. We have also created our own molded shapes to make our HAPI Drum line of percussion instruments. The HAPI Origin and Slim and Mini use eight note pentatonic scales arranged around the top. The HAPI Omni uses a nine note scale in either G Major or F Major. The HAPI UFO uses eleven notes in the C major scale. It has a center note that is musically in the middle of the scale. The HAPI Bell is a combination of tongue drum, bell, gong, and singing bowl. All of the HAPI Drums can be played with your hands or our specially designed mallets and can be used in your lap. We have also added sound isolating rubber feet to the bottom of our drums. These feet allow you to play the drum on any surface.
Our HAPI Steel Tongue Drums are ideal for jamming and playing percussive beats. Anyone
who wants an easy to play intuitive instrument can learn to play one.
You don't need a musical background to enjoy it. The note layout of the
HAPI drum makes it easy to jump right into grooving rhythms. Enjoy
creating a soothing harmonic journey with your HAPI drum. You will love
being able to add a melodic component to your beats. An intuitive
arrangement to the notes makes it easy to explore new musical horizons.
The strong meditative tones are calming and great for relaxing anytime.
Its compact design allows you to take it outside and enjoy it in nature
or on camping trips too. As well as a great musical percussion instrument, HAPI Drums are also being used in
How is the tone created? The
unique tone of the HAPI is created by a tuned vibrating tongue of
steel. The concept is similar to a wooden tongue drum. When a tongue is
quickly and lightly struck with the finger or mallet it vibrates
creating sound waves. By changing the shape and length of the tongue
optimal vibration and perfect tone can be achieved.
the notes in our unique way each note when struck excites surrounding
notes that are musically compatible with it. This adds to the harmonic
spectrum of the tone. Rather than just one tone we can now create a
spectrum of supporting sound for each note. The tone is similar to
singing bowls or musical bells which create multiple harmonic overtones.
body of the drum acts as a resonating chamber adding depth to the note.
We have carefully chosen an opening port in the bottom of the drum that
serves three functions. The bottom hole allows the sound to escape and
increases the volume. It releases the tone from the body so that the
notes do not overlap each other too much. This is especially desirable
for faster playing. It allows the player to open or close the port with
their lap and chose different resonance levels for a different effect.
dampening of the notes and drum body is required to keep the drum from
becoming discordant and “ringy”. We have developed a breakthrough
proprietary technique built into each drum which provides excellent
resonance while supplying the correct amount of dampening.
How is it played? We
recommend playing the HAPI with the pads of your fingers. A wide range
of sounds can be created with different techniques. Playing by hand
connects you with the drum in the way that traditional drums are
enjoyed. A minimal amount of force creates a big sound on these drums.
We also supply each drum with mallets designed to bring out pure tone.
Our mallets are designed to eliminate “head slap” creating a very clear
tone. When using mallets, hold the mallet lightly and let it drop onto the note. This creates the ideal tone. When using your hands all that is required is a light quick touch from the pad of your finger.
with your hands takes some practice. Use the pad of only one finger to
strike the note. Hit the note at the top of the tongue, your target area
is towards the top, in the middle of the tongue. Index or middle
fingers or the side of your thumb are all ok too. Do not use the tip of
the finger but rather the full pad of your finger. Your finger should be
about level with the drum before you start the motion and two to three
inches above the drum. Use a wrist motion to slap the finger off of the
note. Do not move your elbows, it’s all in the wrist. Let your finger
lightly bounce off the note like the mallets do. Start learning on the
largest notes and then once you have good technique, move to practicing
on the smaller notes. Most people take a few days of practice to get
good at it. Have patience, as with any new instrument it takes time and
practice to learn.
arrangement of the notes make going up and down the scale very easy.
Also one hand can reach two or three notes simultaneously for chord
Why choose a HAPI Drum? You can only get the original and best sounding steel tongue drums from HAPI Drum. We created the HAPI Drum back in 2008. Over the years we have added many new features that enhance our drums. You won't find these features with other drums on the market:
- Musical Steel. We tested many different alloy compositions of sheet steel to find one that is perfect for steel tongue drum sound quality. We only use this musical steel when producing all of our drums.
- Rubber Feet. Installed on our drums is a set of sound isolating rubber feet. This allows the drum to be played in your lap or on any surface for enjoyment. If a drum does not have rubber feet installed it will sound dull and flat when set on a surface to be played.
- A Bottom Sound Port. We have carefully chosen the size of the opening port in the bottom of the HAPI Drums. It allows the sound to escape and increases the volume. It also releases the tone from the body so that the notes do not overlap each other.
- Dampening System. Additional dampening of the notes and drum body is required to keep these drums from becoming discordant and “ringy”. We have developed a breakthrough proprietary technique built into each HAPI Drum which provides excellent resonance while supplying the correct amount of dampening.
- Mallets. We supply each drum with mallets designed to bring out pure tone. Our mallets are designed to eliminate “head slap” creating a very clear tone. With a little practice, you can also play HAPI Drums by hand.
- Instruction Booklet. Each HAPI Drum comes with a complete instruction booklet on how to play the drum.
- Pentatonic Scales. The word "pentatonic" comes from the Greek word pente meaning five and tonic meaning tone. It is a musical scale that consists of five notes within one octave. Because of their arrangement, pentatonic scales are often used to introduce beginners to music. You don't need a musical background to enjoy a HAPI Drum. There are no wrong notes. You can play any note in any order and the drum will sound great.
Reliability. We offer fast reliable shipping with delivery capabilities worldwide via UPS and USPS.
Satisfaction Guaranteed. Your satisfaction is very important to us. We guarantee satisfaction on every product we sell.
HAPI Mini Steel Tongue Drum
Our smallest and most compact drum.
Dimensions: 8" wide x 5.5" high. Weight: 3.4 lbs.
Available in: C Major or D Akebono
Click here for more details.
HAPI Slim Steel Tongue Drum
Slim and sleek design.
Dimensions: 12" wide by 6" high. Weight: 7 lbs.
Available in: C Major, A Minor, A Akebono, G Minor, or G Major.
Click here for more details.
HAPI Omni Steel Tongue Drum
An innovative tongue drum shape with a great sound!
Dimensions: 15" wide by 5" tall. 7.5 lbs.
Available in: G Major or F Major.
Click here for more details.