Caribbean folk instrument
Many players and administrators within ‘The Steelband Movement’ are striving to achieve a level of recognition for the instrument. That level would, consequently, place it on a par status-wise with instruments that were developed many centuries ago. Without reservation, we applaud their efforts and support their goals. Nevertheless, whilst I wouldn’t want pan players (and yes, the term is preferable to ‘steel drummers’ and the awful ‘pannists’ in my humble opinion) to remain as eternally marginalised as bagpipe players, for instance, we have to be realistic. In other words, we need to understand that the ‘steel drum’ or ‘steel pan’ is still a folk novelty for many people outside of Trinidad and Tobago its pan-loving diaspora. Hence, it will take some time yet before this is likely to change.
However, excellence in the playing and sound of the steel bands together with a progressive view in terms of the music chosen to play on steel pans can only help to move things forward in this respect.
Playing steel drums and music professionally
Solid Steel’s steel pans are quite typical and would be instruments played in any steel band, but our musicians select only the finest and most beautifully tuned steel pans worthy of professional steel band entertainment.
We are fully committed to exclusively using steel pans/drums in our band on request. But, if you hire us as a larger steel band we augment them with some other non-steel band instruments as and when you might require that.
Generally, our musicians play a second instrument at a professional level. This therefore enables us to deliver varying formats offering vocals and other instrumentation.
Is the size of our steel band important? Well, basically only a minimum trio size offers all the elements of music necessary for a full sound. Thus all the elements of melody (provided by the tenor pan, mainly), harmony (provided by the second pan, mainly), bass and rhythm (provided principally by the bass pan player who also plays maracas, tambourine and assorted hand percussion) are included here.
Given these points, whatever the size of the format we can provide you, our steel band is unique. This is on account of us having both the history and passion to play the traditional Caribbean songs authentically and the progressive approach that embraces all genres of popular music where great melodies can be found.