How to start playing handpan on the streets (part 2)

Handpan player Malte Marten plays handpan on the street
Dear handpan friends
after giving you a short insight last week how I started playing handpan myself, today I want to give you some tips on handpan street music.

In general, I really recommend to try it to anyone who feels drawn to play in front of other people. It's a true miracle not only for your own development and introspection, but also for handpan playing skills.

Find the right flow and state of mind

Nowhere else could I imagine playing in "flow" for so many hours. Because there's no such thing as abruptly stopping on the street. No matter whether people are actively listening or just passing by - the feeling of being permanently visible and audible changes something. My entire play is shaped by this, because I couldn't practice heavy patterns on the street. I could just always play exactly at the level that was fluid and easily accessible to me. And from that, my whole approach to the handpan, and to many other areas of life and learning in general, has evolved. Keep things simple enough that you can repeat them over and over. Until it becomes second nature to you and you start to get bored. Then increase the complexity so that it engages your mind again. And the same pattern all over again. That way you're permanently in the game and you can gain a lot of playing experience while you're constantly evolving.

Today I rarely go out on the road. Because a lot of our work now revolves around passing on our experience in our workshops, organizing concerts and maintaining and building new projects.

Find the right place to play

Still, I remember all the places I played and now and then, when I can manage it, I sit in a quiet corner and play for people passing by. If you are wondering where is the best place to sit, here are a few suggestions for places where I have had good experiences playing handpan:
  • pedestrian zones in general
  • for the beginning sit in a quiet park, where only occasionally people pass by
  • avoid noisy and big streets (even if that's where the money supposedly is. It has always exhausted me very quickly and drained myenergy).
  • aesthetic places, such as museums or old, architecturally interesting buildings have often inspired my play
  • metro stations (here people are often grateful when they have missed a train, especially at night, and are allowed to listen to such beautiful music)
  • tourist places (tourists often go through the world with very big eyes and ears and are happy about every attraction)
I hope that my experiences have given you a little taste of what street music can do and maybe made you a little curious to try it yourself. I promise you - it's worth it!