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HPD-20 Hand Drum

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  • HPD-20 Hand Drum

    Hello, new forum user here. I was wondering if anyone familiar with the HPD-20 can answer a question.

    I was wondering if it is o.k. to use drum sticks with the HPD-20. I purchased the HPD-20 and I'm waiting for it to arrive. I figured I could have the best of both worlds, hand drumming and stick playing, with the HPD-20. Can anyone address this? Is it not recommended? I don't want to damage the HPD-20 but I'd also like to use sticks to play. Thanks.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum, rfromp!

    I've seen the HPD-15 (...one of the predecessors to the 20) played with (light) drumsticks. So it's save to say you won't damage anything, and it's possible.

    Happy Drumming!

    Last edited by hairmetal-81; 03-10-14, 08:53 AM. Reason: spelling

    "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"



    • #3
      Originally posted by hairmetal-81
      Welcome to the forum, rfromp!

      I've seen the HDP-15 (...one of the predecessors to the 20) played with (light) drumsticks. So it's save to say you won't damage anything, and it's possible.

      Happy Drumming!
      Thanks hairmetal-81, I've also e-mailed Roland with the same question and I'll post their answer when they reply.


      • #4
        I just bought an HPD-20 about a week ago, and I can't put it down. Sold my SPD-20 on eBay since I wasn't really using it. I've never been into hand percussion, but this thing is fantastic! I now have an outlet for all that tapping we drummers do around the house.

        I have read somewhere that Roland recommends you don't use sticks. I think it has something to do with prolonged stick use affecting the pressure sensors. Instead, they recommend the use of mallets which spread out the impact and prevent damage. I bought a pair of cymbal mallets and will give it a try.

        However, I'm guessing your question is because you want to use it with your kit. I currently have the HPD to the left of my eKit and have been using the two at the same time. This setup totally changes my game. I play sticks on the eKit, and when I need hand percussion parts (in a bridge, an intro, or for a ballad), I play the HPD-20 with my left hand (tuck the stick under my right arm.) It's a little awkward, but works. I could have used the SPD-20 for this with sticks, but it's just plain more fun to play hand percussion WITH MY HANDS. The Handsonic is so much fun to play, I don't think I'll ever NOT own one going forward.

        Last edited by jpsquared482; 11-10-18, 02:29 PM.
        Pearl Mimic Pro, eDRUMin 10, ATV aDrums, DIY Conversion kit, Roland Handsonic HPD-20, EFNOTE 5 Module (for hi hats), SD3, Porter & Davies Throne


        • #5
          Hello All,
          I just received an answer from Roland Support. I asked, "Hello, is it o.k. to play the HandSonic HPD-20 with drumsticks? I am worried about damaging the pads. Thanks,

          Here's their reply:
          Hi Randy,
          We do not recommend this, since using sticks may damage the delicate "sheet" sensor that is underneath the rubber playing surface.

          Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.
          Kind regards,
          Roland Product Support
          That makes sense because the HPD-20 is made for hand drumming. Because I can't have a full kit right now, I was hoping for something I could hand drum and also practice some stick work. But that's o.k., I'm still happy with my purchase and can't wait to get it, hopefully this week!


          • #6
            You will love the HPD-20! Have fun. As you may know, it also has a single input that I'm hoping can be split. It also has a hi hat controller input. This allows you to make a mini-kit that is intended to be played by hand. I have a splitter so I'll try to split the input so I can set it up as a kick and snare (no rim however). Unfortunately you'd have to use mallets instead of stick but playing by hand for me adds a new dimension to playing that I'm REALLY getting into. I myself wondered why roland didn't add at least one more input to provide for a separate snare and kick. It's clear they don't want users to play it with sticks so a kick input is all you really need to make a kit. That said it would have been nice to be able to use two pedals. i'm not complaining though. The thing is great!
            Pearl Mimic Pro, eDRUMin 10, ATV aDrums, DIY Conversion kit, Roland Handsonic HPD-20, EFNOTE 5 Module (for hi hats), SD3, Porter & Davies Throne


            • #7
              I just got my HandSonic HPD 20 and have had 2 weeks to practice and adjust the parameters of this insane percussion device. I play percussion in 3 bands around the Denver Colorado area. I've been involved in electronics since the 80's in many bands so incorporate that with a set of congas, cajon and 2 sets of bongos. I also have been using the granddaddy of hand - finger electronic drumming since the 1990's which is a ZENDRUM. Since playing the handsonic and training my hands to use all 10 fingers, palms, side and edge of my hands, I can't believe how deep this instrument is and what is possible. Because of endless years of miking my congas and bongos, dealing with feedback and limitations with that, and using a Cajon with a simmons trigger for a kick, I'm now going all digital for all my projects. My bandmates are blown away at how expressive and the simply stunning amount of textures this product has. My current set up is now the handsonic hpd 20 (13) pad controller, a drum kat (10) pad midi trigger, zendrum (22) pad midi percussion controller, kat ktmp 1 percussion controller, 2 mesh pads and 1 cymbal trigger. I also use a DW electronic kick pad and Roland hi hat pedal. I can now play convincing percussion, drums and sound efx at the same time with this setup. Crazy amount of snares, percussion, cowbells, explosions, chimes, taiko and war drum type of ultra-low frequencies for the subs etc and you get the idea of complete chaos and nirvana! It all attaches to an old Simmons SPD 5

              drum rack. I'm putting all this through a 20181106_122931.jpg20180921_100521.jpg
              Mackie VLZ 1604 mixer, Alesis DM-PRO sound module, Lexicon reverb then into a MaxxCom BBE compressor/expander to the mains. Roland killed it with this device!!! I'm including a before and after photo of my current setup. I'll post videos soon of me playing this rig...

              Mitch in Fort Collins, Colorado
              Attached Files


              • #8
                I've been performing on an HPD-20 in church for a few years now. Leading up to that was an obsession with micro kits, the last and smallest one was an Alesis Octapad MIDI'd to a TD-9.

                On the HPD-20 I made some kits that allow me to simulate what a full drum kit does with no pedals, just fingers. Here is a youtube video review:
                Review and demo of my new Roland HandSonic HPD-20 when used as a full drum kit substitute. I show hi-hat and cymbal swell examples along with basic rhythm g...

                The HPD-20 isn't the best sounding module when used to emulate a full drum kit, but I can MIDI it to a MIMIC pro in theory. That's a $2k upgrade however so I haven't done it yet. I did get cymbal swells to work well, and basic hat. The sensitivity of the snare is enough to do ghost notes with fingers which is kinda cool. When Mimic pros get down in used price it's something I want to do.

                Another joy of electronic drums is I can dedicate pads to tambourine and egg shaker (both of which I use a lot in worship music).
                Mini-kit: TD-9 + Alesis Control Pad + Alesis Sample Pad + PDX-6 snare
                Micro-kit: Handsonic HPD-20 + an old pair of hands.
                Speakers: QSC-K10 "thumper", DBR-10 "little thumper"