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Which Instruments? - How many pans do I need?

A typical steel percussion orchestra has a balance of melody, rhythm and bass instruments.

You can set up a steel band with as few as five instruments adding more later.
CultureMix offers an ideal five piece starter set made up of a six bass, a cello or guitar set, a double second and two tenors with all the accessories including stands, sticks, cases and covers. We will also deliver and set them up for you.
Contact us for more info.

A larger budget will get you a set of ten to twelve steel percussion instruments plus a drum kit and percussion.

For example:
• 4 x tenor pans (melody)
• 3 x double seconds (melody and/or rhythm)
• 2 x guitar pans (countermelody and rhythm)
• 1 x cello pans/treble guitars (countermelody and rhythm or bass)
• 1 x tenor bass
• 1 x six bass.

The drum kit, congas and a selection of hand percussion creates the engine room, vital for keeping the beat.

For more on the steel pan family click here

View images of the steel pan range.
Where can I buy steel pans?
Buy a starter set of steel pans

The double seconds play the harmony and chords.

The double seconds play the harmony and chords.

Hand Percussion


The drum kit, congas, scratchers, scrapers, shakers and cowbells provide the heart beat for the steel band. The drum and percussion section in a steel band is known as the Engine Room.