I looove hang drums. Bought a little one off the web but, as I expected, it was a POS…But the real ones are too expensive to buy experimentally.
It's been a while!
There is no need to buy el-cheapo hang drums on the internets when it is so easy to make your own steel drum at home
What could go worng with these simple doo it yourself instructions? Steel drum tuning and construction handbook
When I was sixteen, I fell in love with the sound of the steel pan, and decided that I was going to make my own. I knew they were made by hand-hammering the bottoms of surplus 55-gallon drums, and I assumed (with the brash arrogance only naive, precocious, slightly spoiled teenage boys can muster) that if it could be done by “island natives” in one of those smaller, lesser countries elsewhere in the world, it would surely be easy, for me, in my suburban backyard in Dallas, Texas, USA.
I spent much more time on this site than I care to admit, even though I have little interest in Calypso music when not compromised by gumbay smashes or whatever rum based intoxicant was the local favorite,
Rum and coke in the islands is mostly rum, as it is made there, while coke has to be imported. I ended up carrying a pregnant wife back to our room piggyback, after only one complimentary welcome drink! No wonder the kid was strange!
I was fascinated by the complexity of the steel drum organization. The complementary notes in the various scales/chords are closely associated physically on the steel drum-head to enhance favorable harmonics and discourage dissonance. If you think tuning your own piano is complicated and tedious, you should try tuning your beat out of tune steel drum with a large hammer and forge!