FAQ...

 

Why do your Tankdrums sound different than other hank drums and steel tongue drums online?

Our Tankdrum was born through understanding the acoustics of our medium and deciding which frequency arrangements compliment its base resonance best, our goal being to maximize the constructive interference of the notes to increase volume, sustain, and clarity… Each notes individual placement on the tank, and the placement of the notes that surround it are critical to the sounds that come from our Tankdrums… The things we may do differently are, 1. Give our tanks an intense heat treatment which tempers the steel allowing rich overtones and harmonious atmosphere- this also helps hold the tuning longer, and allows for a higher tuning… 2. We do not paint the tongues (although we paint the waist of the tank for protection)… 3. We begin our scales with an isolated (middle) root note which gives a nice ambient bass and serves as a passive resonator, helping project the sound of the other notes…

 

How do you play a Tankdrum?

A Tankdrum can be played with hands or soft mallets…i prefer hands because i have more tone control holding the tank and i can dampen (soften or silence) the pads i am not striking, this is key for me to achieve the cleanest tones…. i use the inside of my thumbs or the tips of 3-4 fingers to strike the bass pads and i use the tips of my fingers for all the other pads…The key is a soft and precise touch with a little “whipping” action in the wrist… It took me several weeks of practice to develop the touch…If your fingers hurt you are hitting it too hard, the touch is light enough to tickle a baby… It does take a little time to dial in the precision need to activate the tongues to their full potential, but the learning curve is relatively small compared to most musical instruments…As you develop the touch there are many other ways to bring out unique sounds while playing. For example,  i can get different tones by touching the tank in different places with one hand, as i strike a pad with the other,which dampens the other notes to various degrees… Chords can be played by striking more than one pad at a time… i think a Tankdrum sounds best sitting in a lap, this again adds tone control, it also allows the player to feel the vibes more which usually enhances playing… The best advice i can give is to practice, it comes to most people in a relatively short amount of time…

 

 

How do i buy a Tankdrum?

You can purchase a Tankdrum here on the website by clicking on the picture of the drum you want and selecting “Buy This Tank””… This will route you through Paypal for a safe transaction (you can use a credit card via Paypal)… For any other method please contact me (Chase@Tankdrum.com)… You also have the option to have symbols engraved and can choose from any of the sets of symbols on the site under the “Symbols” tab at the top of the homepage…As of now the symbols are not integrated into the order process so you will need to email me and let me know which set of symbols you have chosen…

 

 

 

When i order a drum how long should i expect to wait?

At this time, you can expect to wait 5-6 weeks for us to complete your Tankdrum order… This changes often due to the amount of orders, and our schedule… Our drums are all made as they are ordered and are tested by tankdrummers for quality assurance… Some do not resonate as we plan and have to be reworked into a different key, which means if  i could not dial it into the correct tuning, or the correct tuning has dead spots, then i may need to start from scratch on a new tank which could prolong the process, but know i will send your Tankdrum ASAP… And if at any point in the process you feel you have been waiting too long you can request a refund and one will be given immediately…

 

 

 

What other options are available after i decide which drum i like?

1. You can choose to have symbols engraved… we began engraving symbols on the tongues to help identify each note when looking at the Tankdrum… view symbols here

2. We can also do custom symbols engraved on the pads for the same price, but the symbols need to be simple…  Send me pictures of each symbol you would like engraved and i will syncopate each symbol with a frequency on the Tankdrum it best represents…

 

 

 

What do the symbols on your Tankdrums stand for?

The symbols i use are only meant to visually represent a note they may resemble, for example a triangle resembles the letter “A” so i use it for the a note… i have no religious affiliations whatsoever and am in no way trying to promote anything but my Tankdrums…

 

 

 

Can you tune my Tankdrum to A=432hz? 

Yes i can set my tuners to A=432, A=444, or the standard A=440 (or any other custom request)…. However i do tune a touch sharp for various good reasons concerning the nature of the idiophone, and the fact that so many are all vibrating on one body together competing for sound space, being a touch sharp allows for a little friction… Also, the tongues are not accurate down to a specific frequency with every strike, it can vary a small degree depending on the velocity and where you strike the tongue, as with any organic instrument…

 

 

Do you sell bags or carrying cases for the Tanks?

We no longer have the connection for the carrying bags, sorry…

 

 

 

 

How do i maintain and preserve my Tankdrum?

i used to recommend coconut oil because it is a non toxic oil that is safe to put on your skin but i recently learned of a better solution for protecting your Tankdrum- a product called Froglube (the liquid type) which is made for protecting guns, and work to protect any raw steel, like a Tankdrum… i would recommend wiping the drum with a soft rag and a light dab of alcohol to clean any grime from the surface first before applying Froglube… We used to paint them to prevent rust and realized that layers of paint changed the pitch over time when exposed to heat so we no longer do this… We also prefer the tone of the raw metal…

 

 

 

Can my Tankdrum ever go out of tune?

Yes any steel drum, steel tongue drum, or hand pan can go out of tune…  It can happen from extended use or from extreme heat exposure (left in a hot car), or a combination of the two… We have made many Tankdrums and have had a few reports of tongues going out of tune and have also witnessed it on a personal drum… If your Tankdrum ever were to go out of tune, which it could, and you do not want to tune it yourself, then contact me, send it in, and i will tune it for no cost if you will pay all shipping fees…

 

 

Can i paint my Tankdrum?

Yes you can paint your Tankdrum… We do paint the waist (not the playing surface) as an added protection measure against the elements and oxidization over time, but the only reason i paint an entire Tankdrum is for tone… Sometimes i will paint an 11 note drum to tame the tone, because when many notes are close together, as with the  11 note, it can be beneficial to add some layers of paint to dampen the space between notes, giving them each more clarity….If you do decide to paint your drum it is crucial that you tape off the pads completely so that no paint gets on them, this will affect the tone and pitch of the tongue…. Paint should not even get on the edge of a tongue….Know that the more paint you add, the more it deadens the reverb-ish high pitched overtones of the raw steel that characterize the way our drums sound… With this all said, we will paint an entire drum around the tongues, most any color, if you request, and we charge 100$..

 

 

Can you make a drum with all 12 notes on it?

i do not put all 12 standard western notes together on one drum because it muddies the resonance … Even when separated into different scales onto the top and bottom of the tank… Due to the nature of the instrument (all the tongues are connected) when one tongue is vibrating they all vibrate together a small degree, especially those closest to the tongue being played on…This why pentatonic scales and the layout of the drum is crucial for constructive resonance…

 

 

What if i get my Tankdrum and do not like it, can i return it?

If you are unhappy with your drum please return it within 3-4 weeks of receiving it and i will refund you for the cost of the drum, not for shipping… Please look carefully at the drums on this site, also watch and listen to the videos demonstrating your drum of choice carefully so that you will know what you are getting when you buy it… When watching us remember we have been playing on Tankdrums for years, it takes most people significant practice to develop the touch needed to bring a Tankdrum to life and enjoy the potential …

 

 

How do i pay and know i am making a safe transaction?

If you are uncertain of the website, Paypal etc.. then please email me, chase@Tankdrum.com, and i will give you the info you need to send a payment… i have never had any issues with Paypal payments… You may also send a certified check/money order,wire money, or contact me with an another idea…. i also post drums on ebay for another security measure and option for you….

 

 

Do you offer discounts for multiple purchases?

Yes, if you buy more than one drum you get a 10% discount

 

 

Do you make custom Tankdrums?

For a custom Tankdrum please fill out our custom Tankdrum form or email me with your ideas and i will contact you shortly after and tell you what i can do for you… Custom orders may take a little longer to complete and may cost a little more, but not always…

 

 

How much do you charge for shipping?

Inside the U.S. (AK, HI) i charge a flat rate of 40$ …

Most anywhere else in the world it is a flat rate of  95$….

 

 

I cannot afford a Tankdrum are there any other options ?

Check out our “Drum Makers Choice” option…

 

 

Will you trade?

Rarely, but you are always welcome to make a proposal…

 

 

What if i choose the “drum makers choice” option and i am not happy with the drum i get?

You will have 3-4 weeks to decide if you like the drum, if you decide you are not happy with it then you return it to me, and i will trade it for a different drum or refund you the cost of the drum…

 

 

Do you do Tankdrum demonstrations?

Yes. email me for more information, Chase@Tankdrum.com…

 

 

Why is it on your website you refer to it as a tank drum and a Tankdrum?

We named our version of this new  ‘steel tongue drum made from propane tanks’  a  Tankdrum, so when i am referring to our instrument specifically i say Tankdrum, as a name, and in general you can refer to the instrument as a tank drum, but they are more commonly known as a hank drum or a steel tongue drum…

 

 

 

“future primitive percussion...”
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