It is a difficult and sometimes daunting task to decide on a scale given the diverse selection. There are literally hundreds of scales to choose from, let alone the subsequent variations there of.
For this reason, Celestial Sound has chosen a diverse range of some of the best and most popular scales to narrow it down and help simplify your choice. These can be found on the Standard Scales page with many links to videos and further information.
The most important thing in choosing the right scale is that you find the one that resonates with you the most, one that calls to you. This, in our experience, is far more important than selecting a scale that will have all the notes, or that will collaborate in the same scale as another instrument or another player etc. When you've found the right scale for you, it will be very hard to put the instrument down.
There are other factors to consider when selecting a scale, David Charrier from Master the Handpan has summarised it very well in this blog post, we recommend reading it HERE.
One of the best ways to select a scale is to try some out and feel into which one resonates with you. You may do this by getting involved with your local handpan community and attending any meet ups. There will invariably be a selection of different makes and scales there and you can ask the owners if you can try them. A good resource for this is PanOz Festival, Handpan in the Round and the Sydney Handpan Community.
Another more accessible way to research different scales is to watch as many videos as you can on YouTube. Using the common name variations of each scale, you can find an array of videos made by all sorts of people of these scales. This will give you a broader idea of what each scale has the potential to sound like, as each player will be able to bring something different out of the scale. For example if you're interested in the Cerridwen scale, you would search "D Celtic Minor Handpan" or "C# Amara Handpan" in YouTube.
The more you listen, the better you will train your ear to become familiar with what is calling to your heart. Eventually it will become obvious which scale resonates with you the most.
Remember, at Celestial Sound we are very passionate about sharing our knowledge and experience with our customers. So make sure to pick our brains while you wait on our waiting list, we may be able to help steer you in the right direction!
Unfortunately due to the sheer number of enquiries we get, we can only share scale advice to our customers. Therefore we require an initial deposit before scale discussion and advice can be provided.
It is quite common for our customers to want to expand their handpan family by adding more to the collection. Therefore we get asked a lot about matching scales. It's a difficult question as there are countless possibilities and it ultimately comes down to the intentions of each individual and what they want from a 'matching' instrument.
We've tried to highlight below some of the more common ways that you might go about matching a pair, but understand that with the vast array of scales out there, possibilities to match are in no way limited to these 3 categories. There may also be some cross over and variation within each category so use this as a guide and feel free to consult with us while you wait on our waiting list.
We've made some videos below to show examples of some matching scales and how they can be used.