Steel Pan Drumming

      Steel Alchemy Community Steelband at York Valley Fest

Playing rolls on steel drums

Instruments that go along with steeel pans
These instruments provide the timing and rhythmic drive for the entire band and are an important section in most steelbands.
This section may not be necessary for all genres of music, but it is a MUST when playing popular Caribbean genres, especially calypsos. They are waht is known as unpitched instruments.


  • A pair of conga drums tuned in a standard fourths or fifths tuning, played with rubber tipped sticks.
    Pair of Congas
  • Drum kit
    Drum Kit
  • Scratcher (metal guiro)

    Scratcher (metal guiro)
  • One or more irons of different relative pitches and tonal colors.
     Originally discarded car brake drums played with metal beaters were used as irons.

    Today, irons players prefer to get their irons specially made and “tuned” to their specifications.
  • Toc-Toc (claves)
    Toc-Toc (Claves)
  • Cow Bell and/or Jam Block struck with a beater
  • Jam Block

  • Other percussion instruments such as tambourines, shak-shaks (maracas) and cabasa

Listen to the following audio clips to hear the difference between vintage and contemporary steel pans

Vintage Steel Drums (Steel Pans) 

Song Title: Dalin
Style: Caribbean Folk

( soon to complete)

Contemporary Steel Pan Music / Steel Drum Music

Song Title: That's What Friends are For
Style: Pop
Performer: Church of the Ascension Steel Band,
1a Daisy Avenue, Kingston 6, JAMAICA,
(876) 977-4743
Composer: Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager
Type of steelband: Conventional steelband

( soon to complete)

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