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Hi everybody,

I know lead sticks started out as just sticks without rubber and then people started wrapping bike tire tubing around the sticks. One of the things I don't know though, is how did sponge balls for bass pans come to be. Were those mallets ever wrapped rubber too? I have done some experimenting with wrapped rubber so I am curious as to how the sponge balls became the norm.



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I will post one final point to this topic because I refuse to get caught up in the drama of a forum again. If you have something you would like me to respond to, please e-mail me directly at info@steelpanstore.com.

I apologize for anybody that read my comments and felt that I do not think the conversation of mallets vs. sticks should happen. My statement was supposed to convey that this is not the discussion for that. I asked a very precise question, and was disappointed that the topic switched to terminology instead of on the historical development I asked about.

Cecil - You're right, I figured it would go here. I decided that I wanted to make a statement though that this is the reason most other panists of my generation refuse to take part in this community.

Bertel - You know me, I am not somebody that is a foe to discussion over terminology. We have talked via Skype about stick/mallet in the past and you know that I mean no disrespect to anybody when I say mallet.

wmlpan - sorry you feel that way

Corey - Thank you for the response. Although not somebody that lived through the history (either in location or dates) I have made myself as aware as possible through personal stories and written accounts every chance I have. I am well aware of the struggle and bloodshed of the pan, and educate my audiences at every performance I do of them. I am not here to promote The Steelpan Store and try to win anybody over or any business prerogative. I am here as a panist that is reaching out to the elders of my chosen instrument. I would also like to thank you for taking the time to do some research on my store. Thank you for voicing your views on this and for the advice on how to handle any future questions I decide to post to the community.

I will now resume my role as casual observer of the community instead of contributor. I will continue to monitor the responses here so please feel free to continue to discuss. As stated earlier though, I will not respond any more so contact me through other methods if you would like a response.

I apologize to those contributors that feel as though I dismissed your information. All the information shared is worthwhile, I simply feel there is a better place (like a separate topic) for most of that to be shared. 

Matt, again, my question about Pansticks/Mallets has NOTHING to do with terminology! As one person on the thread quite rightly says,(I think it was Corey), when you love the Steelpan as I do, you love All of it!

Matt, we value your contribution to the forum, your decision to take your ball and not play anymore is juvenile, if you are into pan, it comes with a lot that don't have anything to do with it. 

Drama? Of course you meant to be disrespectful. Go back and read your post. There are people on this forum who are the originals. They are historical treasures. They were doing it before you were a thought. You have much to learn. But then again you are who you are. Matt your Columbus approach is disgusting.


Thanks for taking time to reply, Matt.  I respect the time and consideration you put into this response.  I thought your initial question was interesting, and do hope that you will continue to engage the community.  There is more to gain by remaining than by leaving.  Even if a conversation comes up a hundred times, and nothing is learned, maybe the hundred-and-first time there will be a new contributor or new perspective finding it's way into the conversation, and we will learn something.

Catt, I will try to find a link to where I read a great history lesson on the naming of pan types.  I found it very compelling.

I agree with you Corey.

Based on the responses to the question, there is obvious interest, so it was a good topic.

Some members do tend to get more personal than necessary at times, but that goes with the territory, and  a bit of disagreement shouldn't chase anyone away.

Of course, sometimes this forum reminds me of those old time Trinidad street corner "limes" where I hung out as a youth.

Back then you needed a tough hide if you wanted to stick around, so I can hqndle any type of give and take.

And, believe it or not, I learned a lot about life in those "limes"!

I know that a lot of people, including myself, have objected to "Steelpan Store", about calling a pan stick, a mallet, which, according to the dictionary, is a Hammer! I don't want to play my pan with a hammer! ( that, Glenroy, would be Beating Pan, anudder ting I doh like! ;-) )

So, Matt, you already know, we don't like to hear the term "Mallets", so, why come on a Trini forum, talking 'bout "Mallets" In de old days you would get 2 Mallet in yuh head! Do you call Drumsticks, " Drum Mallets"? Is it you who decided to call pansticks, " Mallets"?

I here you, Brian, but there is a big difference between using a "new fangled" expression such as "mallets" and an expression which is part of our history such as "beating pan".

I've head heard many of  our greatest calypsonians sing about 'beating pan"  in some of the best of all pan calypsos, and many of these calypsonians were also panmen.

I stand to be corrected, but I've never heard anyone sing about "playing pan".

(I remember back in the day, in band meetings Southern Marines captain , pan pioneer and master tuner Milton "Squeezer" Lyons always referred to the steelband members as "beaters", to differentiate from supporters and others who also considered themselves members of the band)

The expression "Beating pan" was uncontroversial and accepted terminology. No one had to explain that the expression didn't mean "slamming" on the pans.

"Deny it if you wish, but "beatin' pan" is part of the history and traditional language of pan, whereas  "mallet" isn't. 

You are correct Glenroy, and yuh know what, I might be wrong, but I believe "Playing Pan" came into the Pan vocabulary, as to suggest not abusing. Yuh know now-a days to beat anything, yuh could find yuhself in court! "Beating Pan" is still very much said in Trini tho!

Lmao, Glenroy, I appreciate what you're saying, bro.....I suppose it might be a problem that I alone have? But, having taught pan in schools for many years,...the first thing I used to tell the kids, is, not to "mallet" the pan, because, personally, when I hear somebody hitting a pan too hard. it makes me cringe,( for want of a better expression), and the kids used to do it a lot, not knowing any better!....even Boogsie, I find. gets carried away, in his soloing, and "beats up" de pan! I call it " pan abuse!"

I hope we can change that ONE expression in our pan terminology, and get used to "playing pan"? Unless anybody has any other ideas?

Yes, Brian, boi, buh yuh know ah try sayin "playin pan" over and over, and it jus' doesn't come out mih mouth right!

Aright, aright, ah know wha yuh mean, breds! Nice, Nice, Nice! We go leave it like that! :-))))

But, ah sticking to mih guns, 'bout de " mallets"!

Keep on posting all those old recordings, that only you seem to possess, hombre! Respect!


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