How To Play Tibetan Singing Bowls
The "Around-The-Rim" Technique
- Hold the singing bowl on the palm of the left hand. For smaller bowls, seven inches and under, hold on your fingertips.
- Grasp the mallet about mid-length, with all the fingertips pointing downwards and touching the wood. (If you are using one of our padded mallets, the red wool should be on top.) Palm downward.
- Gently tap the mallet against the side of the bowl to "warm-up" the bell.
- With an even pressure, rub the mallet clockwise around the outside edge of the rim of the bowl. Use a full arm movement, just like stirring a big kettle of soup, and keep the mallet straight up and down! Again, it's not a wrist movement, but a full-arm movement.
Remember to apply pressure-- the friction of the mallet against the outer rim produces vibrations which result in sound. Experiment with your speed. Usually people go too fast! Let the sound build up slowly as the singing bowl picks up the vibration.
Breaking in Your Mallet
The mallet that comes with your Tibetan singing bowl is handmade of Himalayan hardwood. When you play the bowl, using the mallet-around-the-rim technique, the friction of the mallet produces vibrations which result in sound. In the beginning the mallet is relatively smooth, but as you continue to use it it will develop "micro-grooves", shallow grooves which help to grab more of the playing edge of the bowl. Allow about five minutes for initial break-in of a new mallet. As you use the mallet more the micro-grooves become impressed in the mallet and you will get better sound and easier playing from your bowl.