How to use a singing bowl? It’s really not that hard, for most of the people, the answer is pretty intuitive and they are able to figure it out on their own real quick. However, there are a few details, that are always worth to mention and it can save some time to hear about them, so you can enjoy playing your bowl right away.
Moreover, there is not only one way you can play a singing bowl. There’s plenty of techniques and devices than you can use to achieve different effects. From tapping a bowl with the mallet, to rubbing the edge of the rim around with the wooden stick, to get the singing effect.
The other thing that can make a difference, when you’re trying to use a singing bowl is the kind of the singing bowl you use. Is this a small singing bowl or a large one? If this is a very large bowl, you may not be able to play it, by holding it in your hand and so on.
Another factor is what you’re using it for? You may meditate with a singing bowl, then it’s more to know, how to use the sound to benefit your meditation state. You may use it for healing, by just listening to the sound or also you can put the bowl on certain places of your body to let the vibrations spread in there, and all over body.
In the end you can just use a bowl as a decoration in your home. It will look definitely great. However, in my opinion, singing bowl loves to be played and the best is to use it for its sound qualities.
Most ways you can use a singing bowl are easy and accessible for anyone to learn, all you need is willingness. Actually it takes no time, a few details will correct itself within the practice later on and rather intuitively. To save your time I will mention about them anyway.
HOW TO USE A SINGING BOWL?
To learn the MOST BASIC TECHNIQUE of how to play a singing bowl follow this guideline:
1. Hold the bowl on the palm of your hand.
Singing bowl is a standing bell, so what vibrate and give a sound are the walls of the bowl. If you put the bowl on your hand, touch just the bottom of it, you will allow the sound to resonate freely.
Hence, important tip!
Don’t touch walls with your fingers, so the sound can freely vibrate!
2. Tap the bowl with the stick or a mallet.
This is the most basic way you can play the bowl, just tapping a bowl like a bell gives a fundamental tone of the bowl. It’s actually enough work to experience vibrations and to meditate, you may repeat that action as many times as you feel like.
You see, that’s really simple. Now it’s time to get to know a technique that is a little more complicated at the beginning, but still will become very natural with a bit of practice.
1. Hold the bowl on the palm of your hand.
2. Tap gently the bowl using the most basic technique.
This action is not really necessary. However, gently tapping the bowl, puts it into vibration, so when we will try to rub the stick around, it should help to get the singing effect faster and louder, already from the start.
3. Rub the edge of the rim with the stick, at an angle of 45 degrees.
You should do it gently and evenly, but with a solid pressure, so the walls start interacting with the stick and give overtones, what is exactly the singing effect.
If you do it too fast and inexact, the singing effect may stifle or the stick may interfere with the walls, giving an alarm clock kind of ringing here and there. To keep a pleasant sustaining sound you should avoid doing that.
If you do it too slow and without enough pressure again the sound may stifle.The most important tip here.
Keep the balance of the pressure and speed, and the stick always touching the edge of the rim.
That are two the most known techniques of how you can play a singing bowl. I think it’s quite simple, just get the feeling and soon you will be able to rock on with it.
DOES SIZE OF THE BOWL MATTER?
Yes, there are very scientific reasons behind it, but still it’s not like you need to learn completely different set of skills to play one bowl or another. It’s just all a common sense and basic physics, that determine of what you can do with one bowl, and what’s impossible with the other one.
Simply, it will be impractical to have a large bowl on the palm of your hand if it’s too heavy. You will need to use the cushion, that almost all the time is part of the set, whenever you buy a singing bowl from a decent seller. You see, in such case, this will require to put the bowl on the floor or the table first in order to play.
Again, when the bowl is too small, it will be very impractical not to use a hand instead. You will need to bend too much to play it, if the bowl is on the floor for example. It also may turn out, that it will be impossible to tap it strong, cause it may move easily, when not hold on the palm of your hand.
DOES A SIZE OF THE STICK/MALLET MATTER?
Again, yes. If you play a small bowl you need to have an adequate small stick for it. If it is too big, a mass of the stick will not put the bowl in a singing mode, as vibrations will not appear and will always be crushed at the start. Same if you use a large bowl, a small stick will be not enough to make a bowl sing.
Usually a seller will match the exact stick for your bowl, so you shouldn’t worry about. However, if you can’t make your bowl sing, check out if this is not the case, as this problem happened to people before.
When you purchase a bowl, you may get different kind of accessories with it. Most often, there will be a stick included. If the bowl is larger you may get some sort of mallet too.
Some sticks have a leather finish at one end. It does a change. By rubbing the rim with this end you will get lower and warmer singing sound of the bowl. If you use the wooden end, you will get higher singing tone. Interesting thing is that leather finish stick is not necessary working well with small bowls. It’s not making them sing in most cases. Don’t be disappointed then if you get just a wooden stick, when ordered a small bowl, it’s all you need to use its potential well.
Larger bowls sound much better when tapped by the mallet. The sound is more deep and low and vibrations spread all over the place. Still, you can tap such bowl with a wooden stick, what will give much more metallic sound.
HOW TO MEDITATE WITH A SINGING BOWL?
The most common use of a singing bowl is for meditation. Its soothing and relaxing sound have a very beneficial effect on our bodies and state of mind. You may learn more about this and about the healing effect, by reading my article on how the singing bowls work.
Basically, to successfully meditate with a singing bowl, all you need to do is to use one of the techniques, that I mentioned above.
To get the most out of a meditation practice is good to take care of the right set and settings. It’s’s good to have enough time for it, so you’re not in a hurry or anything. This way you know, there’s only this moment to focus on, and you will not need to think about what to do next during the day.
Which is absolutely natural by the way, so if it happens, there’s nothing to be worry about. All you should do is to gently bring focus back to your meditation practice. When, meditating with singing bowls it’s actually easier, cause the sound is bringing you back to the focus anyway, by constantly penetrating your whole being with the vibration.
That’s one of the reasons why to use singing bowls for meditation is a great idea. They are amplifying the experience meditation offers. That’s also the reason why they are so often used by sound healers.
Other think, that you should take care of, is your comfort. Sit comfortably, use meditation cushions or anything else that will help you to keep the comfort, so your body is not tired with the practice too soon. Meditation introduces you to your true potential, which is beyond your body and mind, that’s why not being hold by body sending discomfort signals is kind of important.
Playing a singing bowl and meditating is a beautiful experience. Singing bowls help a lot to keep the focus and go deep into a state of relaxation. It may seem like they take you on a journey to the place with no time, but full of contentment.
To play a bowl and meditate it’s not an effort. You choose how you use the instrument, you choose the frequency of tapping, and so on. The full control is on your side, you’re creating this experience, that’s why you may do it whatever way you prefer.
Just one thing I can say more, keep the posture right and let the body fully immerse with vibrations. It’s always good to remember about good posture, simply just for health reasons.
In case, you don’t have a singing bowl yet, here’s a selection of the compact size bowls I reviewed.
Still, you can try out to meditate with singing bowls, by using YouTube for example, where there are many meditation clips featuring singing bowls. Like this one for example:
It’s very interesting how some healers use singing bowls, they’re not just play them, but they simply play them on your body. The vibration works like massage, bringing cozy chills. You may look around your local area to book yourself private sound bath session, if you are interested by that.
For example, they can put the bowl on your head and play, this way the sound may help you with mental issues like anxiety, depression and lack of focus.
Sound healer may give you sound massage like this, by rubbing vibrating singing bowl all over your back or the body. It can have really powerful effects as good singing bowls have really intensive, strong and magical sounds.
The other thing is, singing bowls simply look good, hence, it’s always a great idea to display them somewhere in a visible place in the house. People visiting you, whenever they notice them, they will always want to play and it’s such fun for everybody, as it’s something new to many people.
JOIN THE UNIVERSE
To use singing bowls is always a real fun. They actually not magic or anything, but simply basing on the principle of the wave and vibration. Whole Universe is a sound, that’s what ancient people of the East believed, that’s what the Bible says, it’s also what modern science says too.
To learn how to play a singing bowl can simply enable you to directly participate with the vibrations of life. Just let yourself dive deep into your being, you may realize, that you were never separate from this eternal song!
I truly hope, this article is helpful for you and you know how to use a singing bowl now. In case, you have still some questions I’m here happy to answer. Just leave a comment or e-mail me at email@example.com. Any suggestions of what you would like to learn more about are also very much welcomed.
Cover picture by illu.illu.illustration. Thank you so much for that cool art!
All the best!
Founder of Sound And Bowl