Singing Bowls For Beginners

Brass Singing Bowls

If you are new to singing bowls, then you have come to the right place. Chances are that you are already familiar with singing bowls. Maybe you’ve heard them in yoga classes or in recordings of Buddhist chants and prayers. Singing bowls, also called Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowls, are ancient bowls that produce sound and vibration when played with a mallet or striker. These ancient, multi-harmonic instruments are often used with meditation practices. These versatile, healing bowls are generally made from an alloy of various metals. Singing bowls also come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. Different singing bowls can also have different tones and pitches, and even correlate with specific chakras. They are used as tools for meditation or alternative treatment for various illnesses like chronic pain or depression, just to name a few.

Frequently, singing bowls are associated with sound therapy and sound baths or massages. For human beings, sound is a vehicle which can help us arrive to a healthier state of being, both physically and mentally. For this reason, singing bowls are becoming increasingly popular to treat anxiety disorders, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. The vibrations work throughout our bodies cleansing and purifying.

What exactly do singing bowls do and how do they do it? The science behind singing bowls is actually quite simple. Singing bowls work by creating vibrations. They are played with mallets or strikers. When a mallet or striker makes contact with the side of the singing bowl, friction occurs, and vibrations are created. These vibrations are heard through beautiful sounds that are felt within our bodies and energy fields. Changing the speed and pressure of the mallet or striker can then change the sounds that are created. Sticking to the same pressure and speed leads to resonance, which is the note that we can hear even after the player moves the mallet away from the singing bowl.

Chakra healing with singing bowl

Singing bowls can also be incorporated into chakra healing. Singing bowls are able to open and balance chakras. Some say that different chakras can specifically respond to different frequencies of sound produced by singing bowls. Different bowls can be tuned to different notes. When it comes to differently toned singing bowls, some have found that specific tunings impact specific chakras. The following tunings are matched with the following seven chakras:

  • Root Chakra: C Note
  • Sacral Chakra: D Note
  • Solar Plexus Chakra: E Note
  • Heart Chakra: F Note
  • Throat Chakra: G Note
  • Third Eye Chakra: A Note
  • Crown Chakra: B Note


How to use a singing bowl

As this is a guide for beginners we suggest beginning with striking and rimming. The striking method is pretty self-explanatory. Using a wooden or felt-padded striker, you will take your singing bowl and hit its side. A wooden striker will create a high-pitched, metallic tone. A felt-padded mallet will create a rich, gentler, warmer tone. You can use a cushion, ring, or mat underneath your singing bowl to keep it steady. You can also use your non-dominant hand to hold the singing bowl. If holding your singing bowl, be sure to place it on top of your flat palm.
The rimming technique, which may be a bit more difficult than the striking method, involves a leather-wrapped or wooden mallet. When it comes to how to hold the mallet, you should find the way that feels most comfortable to you. When starting out remember to be patient. You many need to circle the bowl numerous times before it starts producing sounds, but it will all improve with practice. Apply even pressure and move the mallet clockwise around the rim of the bowl. Pace yourself and don’t rub too quickly. Allow the sound to build over time instead of all at once. This should create a beautiful, peaceful sound to meditate to. 

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