Hapi Drum FAQ

1. Care for your Hapi Drum (pronounced like “Happy Drum”)

When using mallets do not use excessive force, this can cause a
slight shift in the tuning.  Hold the mallet lightly and let it drop
onto the note.  This creates the ideal tone.

When using your hands all that is required is a light touch, again
do not use excessive force.  For example, do not hit it as hard as
you would a djembe drum.

To clean your drum use a damp cloth with mild soap and water.

2. Is the HAPI Drum an easy instrument to play? Do I need to be a musician to play it ?

The HAPI Drum is one of the easiest instruments to play ever!

One of the beauties of the Hapi, is that players of ALL levels can start making great sounding rhythms or ambient and freeform sound textures right away. The Hapi Drum is also a great instrument for younger kids and kids at heart of all ages, as they can just explore it intuitively without having to know anything about formal music theory.

Our standard note layouts use pentatonic scales, meaning that there are NO wrong notes to be misplayed! Each note on the Hapi can be played in ANY order and it will sound musical. This intuitive exploration is also great for non-musicians of all ages, and of course, even skilled musicians will want to explore freeform play, as it is a wonderful way to relax and also can provide sources of unexpected inspiration.

Advanced forms of playing are as endless as your imagination. Experienced hand drummers, other musicians and non-musicians can incorporate all sorts of techniques into their playing, ranging from percussive effects, to chords, muting notes, natural wah-wah echo type effects, short or long sustaining notes, and beyond. So whether you are a musician or not, you’ll be making music in no time, as the Hapi Drum was created and designed in a fashion that makes it sound great no matter what your playing level is, or who is playing it.

3. What is the best way to play the HAPI ?

We recommend playing the HAPI with the pads of your fingers. A wide range of sounds can be created with different techniques. Playing by hand connects you with the drum in the way that traditional drums are enjoyed. A minimal amount of force creates a big sound on our drums. We also supply each drum with mallets designed to bring out the pure sound of each note. Our mallets are custom made just for the Hapi, and eliminate “head slap” creating a very clear tone. The arrangement of the notes make going up and down the scale very easy. Also one hand can reach two or three notes simultaneously for chord playing. The side of the of the thumbs (middle knuckle) are also great to play the Hapi, and produce a very clear tone as well. All it takes is a quick turn of the wrist to get the side of the thumb knuckle to tap a note. You can be playing notes near the top of the Hapi with your finger pads, and with a quick flick of the wrist, also play the notes that are closest to you, without moving you hand position. You can see all these types of play on our video demos.

Playing the Hapi Drum with it resting directly on a table or other hard surface, especially a wooden surface, will cause the Hapi to not sound very good. Since the resonating chamber of the Hapi also vibrates when it is played, the energy of the vibrations will be transferred into the playing surface, and the notes will be very short and you may hear some buzzing as well. Objects on the table and the surface itself may also vibrate from the energy transfer. To remedy this, simply place the Hapi Drum on a towel or other soft material before placing it on a table. If you are sitting on the floor and not playing the Hapi on your lap, it will also sound very good played on a carpet.

If you are playing seated or on the floor, and the surface below you is not sound reflective, or if you just want to pump up the volume a bit coming from the top of the Hapi Drum, you can place the Hapi so that the bottom Sound Port is fully or partially covered by your thigh, and you will notice a volume increase in the upward direction. You can also place the Hapi a bit sideways on you lap, and “cover and uncover” the bottom sound port with your hand to get wah-wah type echo and vibrato effects.

Experiment and have fun, you can mute a note or touch one of the vibrating steel tongues to stop a ringing tone, tap other areas for percussive effects, etc. Once you get the basics, just play freely and you’ll discover new playing techniques and sounds, and you’ll find your own way with the Hapi, and all it has to offer

4. I want to record my HAPI Drum or play it live into a microphone. Any tips ?

While we are also experimenting with the best way to record the Hapi, we have recorded it with a microphone above the Hapi with good results. We’ve also had good results with a microphone on a small floor stand pointing upwards towards the sound port, and also from above and below at the same time. You can also record with stereo mics and some have experimented with surround sound for more spatial effects. A microphone placed pointing upwards towards the sound port will give a little more “bass response” to the sound. It may also pick up a bit less “finger tap” sound. While this is neither good nor bad, you’ll want to try different things for the sound you want to get. If you want a very clear tone without any percussive finger tap sounds, try the mallets, or for a more percussive bite to the notes, tap harder with the finger pads.

Sound is produced by vibrating air, and our ears (and microphones) receive these vibrations. The Hapi produces strong energy vibrations, so placing a microphone too close to the bottom Sound Port or too near the top may cause the signal to overload on your recording or performance, so take care in mic placement and experiment with soft and loud tones to find a good balance. A signal overload is not damaging to you or the equipment, other than an overloaded signal is not a pleasant thing to hear. We’ve found that if placing a mic pointing upwards, placing it about 6 inches away from the Hapi and at a 45 degree angle towards the Sound Port gets a nice sound. So experiment with mic placement, and feel free to send us your recording or your own experiences and tips, and we will publish other Hapi owners’ mic placements tips in the near future 🙂

While a good condenser mic may be best in a studio recording environment, in a live situation where there may be a lot of noise, a dynamic microphone set up (like the trusty Shure SM-57) is a good mic for a live situation. Once a few different condenser mics have been reported on, we’ll let you know what others are finding works best.

5. What are the dimensions and weight of the HAPI Drum ?

The HAPI drum weighs 12 pounds (5.5 Kilograms).

The dimensions are 12 inches across and 8 inches high. (30 centimeters across and 20 centimeters high)

6. Are there any accessories for the HAPI Drum, like cases, stands, etc ?

There is now a custom carrying case for the Hapi Drum. It is a soft yet durable padded travel bag created just for the Hapi Drum. We are also developing Hapi Stands for playing the Hapi while seated and while standing. More details on the stands and other upcoming accessories will follow shortly.

7. What is the HAPI Drum’s impact on the environment? Is it earth-friendly?

The Hapi Drum is an earth and Eco-friendly product, made almost entirely from recycled steel. Our Mallets are made from natural fibers. The durable coating that we use on the outside (and inside) of your Hapi Drum leaves no waste and emits ZERO VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and contains no harmful solvents to be released into the air like common spray and liquid paints do. Any of the coating that is left over gets recycled again to help coat the next Hapi Drum.  🙂

8. Is there currently a waiting list to get a HAPI Drum ?

Hapi Drums are shipped within 3 business days of ordering (excluding weekends and Holidays)

Hapi Drums are not mass produced. Each Hapi Drum is hand tuned to perfection, and every one receives the time and care needed to make it sound and look the best it can be. Each Hapi Drum is a unique creation, and contains the personal touches and quality you’d expect in a professional musical instrument.

We sold our first Hapi Drum on May 15, 2008. We made what we thought to be the best sounding, best looking, most intuitive and easy to play steel tongue drum around. As soon as the word got out, Hapi Drum orders started coming in at a pace not even we could have imagined, after only being in the marketplace for a short time.

We have shipped Hapi Drums to all 50 states across the USA, and also to Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Iraq, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Uruguay, and even from high atop the Andes mountains, to the tiny Islands of Malta and Gozo.

9. Is my financial information secure?

Our payment processor is PayPal. You do NOT need to have or obtain a PayPal account to make a credit card or e-check purchase. When you click the Buy Now button to make a purchase, you will be taken to our Secure Purchase Page on the PayPal Partner website. If you don’t have an existing PayPal account, and would like to just make a one-time purchase without getting a PayPal account, after you click the Buy Now button, you may click the “continue” link where it says “Don’t have a PayPal account” to make a purchase.

PayPal protects your financial information with industry-leading security and fraud prevention systems. When you use PayPal, your financial information is NOT shared with us, so we NEVER see your credit card or financial information. Once your payment is complete, you will be emailed a receipt for the transaction. Shortly following, you will also get a personal confirmation email from us, verifying that your order and shipping information is correct. Once shipped, we’ll also send you tracking information for US and all International sales, so you can track your Hapi’s journey to your door.

If you would like to place your order over the telephone, please contact us for credit card phone orders, or payment by check or money order.

10. Do you have a return policy ?

Yes, the Hapi Drum and all of its accessories are 100% guaranteed to satisfy you.

Return Policy: Satisfaction Guaranteed. If not satisfied, return product(s) within 7 days of receiving your order.  Item(s) must be in new condition for an exchange or refund (less shipping costs incurred). Item(s) must be returned with all original packaging and accessories.  We’ll pay any return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item).

In the event of a return, you will receive your refund within three weeks of returning your package. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 business days), the time it takes us to process and evaluate your return once we receive it (5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).

If you need to return an item please contact us for instructions by e-mail at GetHapi@HapiTones.com

11. Can you give me information on your shipping policies and costs ?

For orders within the United States:
US orders ship with UPS delivery service. Shipping & Handling for orders within the continental United States is $28 ($33 for Hapi UFO). We ship within 1-3 business days (excluding weekends and Holidays) and when we ship your Hapi, the delivery time will be 2-7 business days. When you place your order, please let us know if you would like a Signature Required upon delivery. All orders are insured for damage. California residents add 7.75% sales tax. Shipping to Alaska and Hawaii is $52 ($57 for Hapi UFO).

For orders to Canada:
Shipping & handling for Canadian orders is $52 dollars US ($57 for Hapi UFO).  Orders to Canada ship either with the U.S. Post Office or with UPS and include insurance for loss or damage. When we ship your Hapi Drum (within 1-3 business days ) the delivery time is usually within 5-10 business days.  Your package then has to clear your countries Customs Department.  This may take additional time depending on how busy they are, which is beyond our control.  There is no Customs Duty tax on orders to Canada when shipped with the U.S. Post Office, but UPS charges between $80 – $100 (which includes brokerage fees and your local taxes). This amount is payable by you upon delivery of your order.  When shipping with the U.S. Post Office, Canada Post will charge you a $5 dollar processing fee for Customs Clearance, and also the GST/PST or HST tax that is charged for buying goods in Canada.

For ALL other International Orders outside of the US:
International Orders ship with USPS Priority Mail International. Shipping & Handling is $85 dollars. (For Australia – $99 for Hapi Drum and $115 for the UFO) When we ship your Hapi Drum (within 1-3 business days) the delivery time is usually within 5-15 days. Your package then has to clear your countries customs department. This may take up to 10-15 days depending on how busy they are, but usually only a day or two. International Priority Mail will include a tracking number so you can track where your package is online, and when it has reached your countries Customs Department, and when it has been released for delivery. You will also be subject to your country’s Customs Duty Import Taxes (see information below regarding Import Tax)

12. Can you tell me about Import Tax and Customs Duty charges for International Orders ?

Please note that importing goods from another country can mean that your national Customs authorities may charge you Customs Duty and/or other additional related taxes (for example a Value Added Tax or a Purchase Tax). YOU, as the buyer (importer) are responsible for paying any such taxes. We have no control over what taxes you may be charged by your own national tax authorities. We are not responsible for compensating you for payment of any such taxes. If you do not know how much, if any, import tax you might have to pay, please check with your local tax authorities BEFORE making a purchase.  Depending on your country’s Import Tax policy, the taxes may vary from as little as 1% (1 percent) to as much as 20% (20 percent) of your purchase price. We have no control over this, and unfortunately we cannot ship your Hapi Drum as a “gift” or reduce the value of the purchase price on the Customs form. Even though we are a very small business, we are bound by the law like everyone else.

The HS number for the Hapi Drum is: 920600 (9206.00) if you would like to research what Import Taxes your country may charge.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) of tariff nomenclature is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers for classifying traded products developed and maintained by the World Customs Organization and is used by more than 200 countries, customs and economic unions, representing more than 98% of world trade.

Import taxes do NOT apply to orders going to Canada, but you will be charged your normal goods tax (PST/GST or HST) Click here for information about shipping to Canada.