Music Theory for Handpan Players

Discover a new method of learning that’s accessible, fun and effective

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Put theory into practice and transform your creative understanding of your handpan!

What we all dream of

  • Imagine finding it easier to write your own music; to come up with new ideas, chords, melodies, and create different moods? Would you like to understand what you play, develop your patterns, and finally get around to completing all those half-finished compositions?
  • Imagine being able to play two or three handpans at the same time. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to combine new scales, change key, and understand how notes link together?
  • Imagine being at a party with other musicians and being able to join in and jam along with your handpan. It feels so good to play music with other people!

Your main obstacle

You’re happy with your intuitive playing style, but you’re tired of always falling back on the same ideas, the same songs and melodies. You would like to have a second instrument to open yourself up to more possibilities, but you feel a bit lost when considering what notes and chords go together and it all becomes a bit of a blur.

You’ve probably tried many times before to make sense of all the terms you hear in relation to handpans: third, fifth, octave, scale, semitone, mode, key, degree, etc.

Same old things

So, you’ve searched online. You’ve watched videos of other players, compared scales, and jotted a few things down. You’ve asked questions in forums or on Facebook pages, but often to no avail. It feels like you need to start from square one all over again, but you’re not too sure how.

In reality, all these questions relate to music theory.

Just a few years ago, these questions rarely came up. Players simply wanted to play. But, over time, there has been a real desire to compose more music. Given that buying a handpan has become less difficult, many players quickly acquire a second instrument. And so, all these questions based around music theory have suddenly emerged. The number of people interested in music composition and playing style is ever-increasing. Knowledge of music theory is becoming all-important in improving musical understanding and developing creativity.

What we really need

Learning the basics of music theory to enhance your playing style and expand your understanding of the handpan and its creative potential is the solution to finding your way out of the fog.

Together with Laurent Sureau, outstanding handpan player and music theory teacher at a music academy with over 20 years of experience, we had our hearts set on devising a video-based music theory course aimed at helping handpan players get to grips with the main principles of music theory. We wanted to write quality content that was specifically adapted for handpan players. Our aim was to save players time and make this knowledge accessible to others, in order to revolutionise your creative abilities in handpan playing.

The resulting course is the fruit of six months of labor. We are convinced that mastering music theory is the next step to take if you want to fast-track your playing style and music composition skills to the next level!

Dispelling the myths surrounding music theory

Music theory has often received bad press. Many of our notions about music theory are either based on bad memories of childhood music theory classes or are completely fabricated from general misunderstanding. As a result, many people have a negative view of music theory. Here are some of the common myths:

Myth #1 : Music theory is of no use to me

FALSE ! It will expand your vocabulary and knowledge base to give you a better feel for music and allow you to express yourself. Music theory will open the door to the creativity and wonder of music.

Myth #2 : Music theory is for maths geeks!

FALSE ! What if I was to tell you I got 5/20 in my Math Baccalaureate exam. Although you need to be able to count, you won’t have to do any complicated equations. You will see that music theory really is accessible to everyone, whatever your level or current knowledge base.

Myth #3 : Theory will stifle my creativity

FALSE ! On the contrary, music theory works to enable the creative process. You just need the tools to be able to put it into practice. Knowledge of theory will help you appreciate music when you are creating it.

Myth #4 : Music theory is difficult and boring

FALSE ! If you have a boring teacher, then the chances are that you will find the theory boring too. If not, you will be surprised at how interesting, fun, and useful it is. You will quickly see that there is nothing difficult about acquiring the basics of music theory. Plus, how can improving understanding of your instrument and enhancing your musicality and playing style be boring?

Myth #5 : Music theory is just a collection of abstract rules

FALSE ! Music theory is a set of concepts you can learn and manipulate to put into practice with your instrument. Mastering them will give you greater freedom. This knowledge is there to guide you, free up your style, and stretch your creativity, not to constrain you..

Who is this course for?

  • You’ve never really understood all this stuff about scales, major, minor, and key. This course will teach you all you need to know!
  • You’re going around in circles and keep playing the same melodies and patterns. This course is compulsory.
  • You would like a better understanding of your instrument. This course is for you!
  • You would love to explore all the possibilities available to you with your instruments and all the chords you can come up with. This course is crucial!
  • You are frustrated in your exchanges with other musicians and with your overall understanding of music. This course is a must!
  • You want to play several handpans at the same time and be able to change key at will. This course is essential!
  • You would like to start a band and work on music projects. What are you waiting for? Sign up for this course!

What will you learn in concrete terms on this course?

Behind what can sometimes appear to be ‘complicated’ words, you will find simple, useful concepts for understanding how to to get the best out of your handpan.
  • What do we mean by a ‘scale’? How do notes link together?
  • What is a minor, major, or relative scale?
  • What is a third, a fifth, an octave? What’s an interval?
  • How are chords formed? How do you come up with them and enhance them?
  • What is a key?
  • What is a reversed chord?
  • What is a mode (E.G. aeolian, mixolydien, etc)?
  • How do you find all the possible chords on a handpan?
  • And many other things besides…
Each video is accompanied by exercises to build upon your knowledge and make step by step progress.

How does it work?

We have made more than 30 videos between 5 and 10 minutes long, each one conceived to help you progress step by step. This collection of videos is in an easy to use format to which you have UNLIMITED access. This means you can work from home at your own pace with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

The course goes back to basics to start from solid and proper foundations.

Once you have signed up, you will join several hundred students on a specially dedicated Facebook group. I am often present to check out your progress, comment on your videos, and encourage you with exciting little competitions. The Master The Handpan community is a privileged place to exchange and progress amongst other lovers of singing steel!

Can I try this course for free?

Sure! This is actually a great idea. I have prepared a selection of amazing lessons so you can fully test this course : Click here to access the FREE trial music theory course.

What if I am not satisfied?

We really don’t want you to be disappointed! We want this course and its method to suit you. That’s why we will offer you a full refund if within 30 days you realise that it isn’t right for you.

3 reasons to go for it today!

  • It’s feels good to raise your game!
  • Laurent is a handsome fella!
  • Your other half or housemates will hear something new!


Your Instructor


As a multi-instrumentalist, I’m passionate about rhythms and melodies. In 2004, I discovered the handpan, a unique ‘sound sculpture’ with enchanting tones. My study of this instrument and my desire to compose have allowed me to share my music throughout the world. Whether as a solo artist, part of a duo, or with a bigger group, I love to show my passion and help people to discover this instrument.

Over the past few years, I’ve really enjoyed teaching the handpan. I often travel to other countries to give masterclasses and individual courses. I love seeing people introduced to the handpan and its infinite possibilities, and I love watching my students blossom in their musical journey.

In order to continue encouraging and teaching as many handpan enthusiasts as possible and to see its magic impact lives, in 2016 I created the online handpan school MasterTheHandpan. Its mission is simple: « Learn fast, have fun! »

Course Curriculum

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Try Music Theory and watch some lessons for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase of my handpan course, contact me in the first 15 days and I will give you a full refund.

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