How to Play a Steel Tongue Drum
Each purchase of a Manastone comes with two hours of free video lessons to help spark your creativity. After watching, you'll better understand the different dynamics of the instrument, the differences in technique for playing with hands vs. mallets, and have a foundation for exploring your own voice and style on these instruments.
Covering the Basics of how to play:
We like to hold the Manastone in our laps with the "bass" tongue nearest to us. Using mallets or your hands, strike the drum in a right hand, left hand, right hand alternating sequence while moving up the drum towards the higher notes, and back down again.
Important note for playing with your hands:
The best and most beautiful tones are made by bouncing a soft object off of the tongue drum. Notice how the mallets are made with rubber tips, so they bounce immediately and allow the sound to resonate without being dampened. The same rule applies for playing with your hands. Using either the soft pad of your pointer fingers, or the bony inside knuckle of your thumbs, try to flick the drum in a way that allows your finger or thumb to bounce right off of the tongue. If your finger does not bounce, what happens is it ends up muting the sound a bit and note letting the note ring out. This can be a cool effect when used intentionally, but for the purposes of learning basic technique, it is good to practice letting your finger or thumb bounce off.
This video is an example of beautiful playing style accessible to players of all levels.