Ed and I have travelled across North America sharing about Sound Wellness in speaking engagements and participating in Trade Fairs. One question we get from many people is, “how to I play a Tibetan singing bowl.”
Here are a few key pointers in getting the best sound from your Tibetan singing bowl.
Hold the bowl in your non- dominant hand.
That is, if you are right handed, hold the bowl in your left hand. If you are left handed, hold the bowl in your right hand.
Hold your hand flat as you hold the bowl.
It is the walls of the bowl that vibrate and create the sound. If your fingers are touching the walls of the bowl, it will muffle the sound.
Rings you are wearing can rattle the bowl.
As you hold and play your bowl, if you are wearing a ring, the metal of the ring will create an unpleasant rattling sound as it touches the bowl. Cup your hand slightly so your ring does not touch the bowl.
The right size of playing stick will bring out the best sound in your bowl. If the stick is too small, it can be difficult to get the bowl to resonate to its potential. If the stick is too large, the same thing can happen. When you are choosing a Tibetan singing bowl, try out several sizes of playing sticks to find the one that creates the best sound.
Keep your stick at about a 45 degree angle to the edge of the bowl as you move it around the rim.
2 ways to move the stick around the rim
- with a smaller bowl, you will likely produce a better sound if you move the stick around the rim by moving in a circular motion from the wrist. Like stirring a pot of soup.
- with a larger bowl, you will likely produce a better sound if you hold the wrist straight and use the whole arm to move the stick around the rim.
- add more pressure to the stick as you move it around the rim
- move the stick slower.
Use a mallet.
For larger, handmade Tibetan singing bowls you can also use a mallet. As you tap the mallet on the side of the bowl, it will create a gong like sound. There are many healing applications in tapping the bowl in this way.
The best thing to do with your Tibetan singing bowl is to play it often.
Check out our You Tube video to watch these tips in action at the following link: https://youtu.be/mKtnE6aXPHI
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