How to play:

There are many different ways to play these drums, and many different styles of connecting with them.  Fast or slow, you can play with mallets, thumbs, palms, finger-tips, anything that you see fit.  They are incredibly versatile!

It is more in the “Release” than the “Attack”:

When playing with the thumbs and finger-tips specifically, it is not in the down “strike” that creates the note but in the speed that the digit is pulled up and off the tongue to prevent it being muted.  Any strength of stroke with this “quick-release” technique will give you a clear and crisp note.

I have also found that soft Timpani mallets sound very nice, as well as true Caribbean Steel Pan mallets.
The best way to learn is to explore!  Enjoy.

Here is a list of tutorial videos to help you amplify your drum playing experience: