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Anyone here know a lot about Handbells (like Bell Choirs), and/ot Hand Pans?
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Anyone here know a lot about Handbells (like Bell Choirs), and/ot Hand Pans?

Looking for someone who nerds out aboot either of those two things like people here nerd out over whether the trim pot on the 303 is set right...

I'm looking to buy some Hardware, need a nerd to answer some questions to help make some (more)-informed decisions... as prices for these things go from $150 to $6000, and everything worth a damn seems to start around $3000 ea (one HandPan and one Set of Bells)..ugh. $6000? Maybe I can rent them for a month or two. Hmm.


I'm sure this thread belongs elsewhere but I trust you guys more, so please leave it here (mods).

Old 1 week ago
Gear Head

I have a RAV vast which I love dearly. It is its own instrument, so you'll have to practice hard and often. Percussion is hard, but the sounds is so soothing.
Old 1 week ago
Gear Head
spock's Avatar
Suzuki Tone Chimes

I've only once had the pleasure of playing a full set of handbells, which sound amazing. The bass notes are quite heavy to lift, let alone play, even for my big percussionist hands, so are not ideal for younger players. You need a long table covered in soft blankets to place the bells on (ideally in pitch order) so you can pick them up and put them down silently. A skilled player can hold one bell in each hand and swap one of them to another bell while the other hand's is decaying. But you ideally need lots of people to play any music requiring a decent amount of pitches, so it is as an ensemble that these things really take off...

I use Suzuki Tone Chimes, which are much cheaper and make a fine replacement for handbells, not quite as good sound but still magical in the right hands (listen to this demo to hear experts at work!). I have two standard sets that I found second hand, and am longing to purchase the extra octave sets (high+low pitches) soon - the huge ones are awesome!

Remember that we are spoiled with synthesisers being so cheap unlike most instruments (bass clarinet for £7000, etc.) so don't be scared to spend on quality instruments.

Not being an octopus, I draft others to do the playing while I stand in front directing them. ("Those who can't do... teach!") It is rude to point, but I play my merry band like a large human piano, and even unmusical amateurs can soon get the hang of their role in playing an ostinato, striking at the right time when their notes come around. Mistakes (there are many) can get hilarious, as everyone is standing on everyone else's shoulders musically speaking, so one error can crash the band.

I've not played them for a while but posting all this here has reminded me I need to reboot this and get out more...
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