The Pan Page FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
I get a lot of mail with questions on subjects that I either already have answered on my Pan Page or don't know the answer to. Here is the beginning of a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and my answers to them. Please scan this page for an answer to your question before you mail me. This will save me a lot of time and give me some time left to keep the Pan Page updated. Thanks!
- Where can I buy your book on Steel Pan Tuning?
- Sorry, but you can't purchase the book in print anymore. It's out of print. But fortunately, you can download the full book as a free PDF file from The Pan Page's section about pan tuning.
- Please don't send me any money or checks. I don't sell the book or have any copies of it.
- Can you give me some advice on building and tuning?
- No, sorry. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time for that. All I know (or even more...) about steelpan building and tuning is in my book: "Steel Pan Tuning", which is published in full extent on the Internet at the address: http://stockholmsteelband.se/pan/tuning/. You may also download PDF files of the book for printing at address: http://stockholmsteelband.se/pan/tuning/pdf/
- Can you add my steelband to your list?
- Sure. Drop me a mail at adress ulf [dot] kronman [at] gmail [dot] com with the name and address of the band and give me some time to put it up on the list. If you have a web page, please give me the URL, so I can put a link to it. If not, I tell me if I may put up your mail address, so people may be able to contact you.
- Can you add my assembly band to you list?
- I'm sorry to say, but I've taken the decision to only include traditional "pure" steelbands on my page. This does not mean that I think you are less important for the development of the steelband culture, but I have to draw a line somewhere. As I'm only doing this as a hobby on my spare time, it would be far too much work to keep track of every pan player. As a matter of fact, the steelband list is already off track, because the main focus of my page is the Pan instrument as such.
- Can I build my own steel pan?
- If you have to ask, you can't. Steel pan tuning is a skill that takes years of practice and lots of (wasted) drums to master. I have tried to make about five pans myself and none of them was usable.
- Can I make a steel pan out of a kerosene or coffee can?
- Depends on what you mean with a "steel pan". You may get one or two sounding notes out of a coffee or kerosene can, but you can certainly not make a playable steel pan.
- Where and how can I buy a steel pan?
Depends on where you live. The best way to do it is to find a good tuner and order a pan directly from him. Hot Pans
Steelband, here in Sweden, buys most of our drums from the tuner,
arranger and master player Rudy Smith, who lives in Denmark.
If you live in the USA, check with Panyard Inc, or a tuner or a tuning company from my list.
If you live in Switzerland you are well off, there are at least two factories there - check the list.
- How much does a good pan cost?
- My guess would be around a $500-$700, much depending on the quality of the instrument, skill of the tuner, type of finish, transport, quantity, etc.
- Are you selling steel drums, and what's the price?
- No, I'm not making and selling steel drums. Today, I make my living as a research analyst and bibliometrician.
- Where can I join a band?
- Dunno. Depends on where you live. Check my list for bands.
- How can I learn to play the pan?
- Join a band. As an alternative, PanYard is selling a beginners' book on pan playing, named "Beginning Steel Drum". It features Othello Molineaux and teaches scales, playing technique and includes a CD with song samples.
- Is there a book I can read to learn how to play?
- There are some books for beginners, but sorry; I don't know the titles.
- Who are you?
- I'm a Swedish physicist, today (2015) in my sixties, nowdays working as a bibliometric analyst at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
- Why are you doing this?
- Well, I was playing tenor (soprano) in the Stockholm steelband Hot Pans for over 10 years, and since I have a physicist education, I started to do some hobby research in the acoustics of the pan and wrote a book in 1992 to document the tuning techniques as a part of this research. In the nineties, I used to work as a web developer, and therefore I decided to put my material on the net and try to create an electronic forum for the instrument. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do research any more, since I now have a family to care for and a highly interesting and demanding profession.
- What is your e-mail address?
- You may send e-mail to me at the address: ulf [dot] kronman [at] gmail [dot] com
- What is your snail mail address?
If you want to write to me in the old fashion way, my address is: