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Singing Bowl Help Page

Read more about striking a singing bowl, gently playing around the rim and the different mallet & bowl sizes. As you develop a technique with your own bowl, you’ll learn how to play it masterfully and enjoy the sounds even more.

Why Play Singing Bowls?

Singing bowls are very enjoyable to play. The experience is both invigorating and relaxing. Take time out to play a singing bowl every day, either as part of meditation or just to enjoy a few minutes of peace. Sound is very beneficial to our our health and well being. The warm tone, gentle vibration and subtle harmonic overtones provide many subtle benefits. Give yourself this little gift every day. It is also a wonderful opportunity to share with others. You can play them in group mediation, with music, in the classroom or yoga studio. There are many uses for sound. Even if you don't have a reason, it's always a nice treat. For Buddhists, singing bowls offer a way to renew the Bodhisattva vow every day or can be used as part of your daily offerings. Think of the sound as an offering for the benefit of all living things. The following guidelines will help you learn to play your Himalayan Bowl with skill and ease.

How To Play Singing Bowls

Strike the singing bowl with a soft mallet, like our wool wrapped mallets. Our large beaters are for larger singing bowls, 8 inches and above. You can also strike the bowl with bare wood to get a more percussive tone and to emphasize the higher harmonics.

Strike the bowl from the side, but at the rim. If you strike it too far down the bowl, it will not vibrate fully. If you strike it from above, it will not vibrate much at all. The harder you strike it, the louder and more powerful the tone will be. If you strike it too hard, the tone can become metallic and unpleasant. Find the middle ground where you give it a firm strike, but not too hard.

About Mallets & Cushions

It is important to have the correct size mallet for your singing bowl. We have a wide range of mallet sizes made for our singing bowls because the size and thickness of the mallet has a big effect on the sound of the singing bowl. Each singing bowl includes a cushion and two mallets. We select the correct size and include it with each singing bowl.

Wool Wrapped Mallets are best for striking a bowl - the wool end of the mallet is for striking the bowl. The wood end can be used for playing the bowl around the rim.

Leather Wrapped Mallets are best for playing a bowl around the rim - both the leather end and the wood end can be used for playing around the rim.

Preparation For Meditation

To begin, sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor. You do not need to sit any special way. Your comfort is most important. In your mind's eye, scan through yourself and feel your different parts: feel your feet, legs, hips, spine, ribs, shoulders, arms, hands, and head. Go up and down your spine, imagining that you are like a blade of grass, growing straight but soft and movable. Notice your breathing. Allow your breath to come and go without pushing or holding.

Hold the bowl in both hands for a few moments. Feel its shape, weight and temperature. Feel the shape of your hands as you hold the bowl. Try to reduce the effort in your hands, wrists, shoulders, ankles and feet. Sit calmly and contact the bowl and the ground gently.

Playing Singing Bowls Around The Rim

Himalayan Bowls can be played around the rim with bare wood or a leather wrapped mallet. Wood emphasizes the high harmonics. Leather emphasizes the low tones. The wool mallet is for striking only. You cannot play around the rim with the wool side - only the bare wood or leather.

Hold the mallet against the rim of the bowl. Hold it firmly, but with a relaxed hand and wrist. Keep your hand low on the stick and close to the bowl. Many people hold their hand several inches above the rim of the bowl which makes it more difficult to play.

Large Singing Bowls

Large singing bowls (8 inches or larger) can be heavy to hold, so leave it sitting on the floor or on a table. If placing a bowl on a hard surface, use a cushion to prevent friction. Large bowls have a wonderful grounding quality. The deep and slow vibrations are very calming and instantly relaxing. You can also hold a large bowl flat on your hands at a level in front of you where it feels easiest for you - around the level of your heart, solar plexus, in front of your belly or resting in your lap. Experiment holding it at different levels and notice how the vibration feels. A person can lay on the floor with bowls surrounding them for a sound healing session.The traditional way to use singing bowls in meditation is to play a large bowl to begin meditation (as a calming influence) and a small bowl to end meditation (as a signal and wake up call).


Medium Singing Bowls

Medium singing bowls (6-7.75") offer the best balance of small size and full vibration. They are the ideal choice for an all around personal bowl. Hold a medium bowl on your fingertips, or flat on your palm. Be sure not to touch the sides of the bowl, which will dampen the sound.Try lying down and putting the bowl on your torso. Couples love playing the bowls for each other. For professionals, large bowls are best on the floor around the client but medium and small bowls can go directly on the body.


Small Singing Bowls 

Small bowls (under 6 inches) are the ultimate for portability and produce the highest pitches. Small bowls are lightweight, so be careful it doesn't fly out of your hand when you play it. Hold a very small bowl on your fingertips with the fingers spread slightly for easier balance. When singing a very small bowl, it helps to press the bowl against the mallet as you press the mallet against the bowl - as you go around the rim both hands can move.

Tips To Remember

Hold your hand close to the rim. If your hand is several inches above the bowl, it's difficult to make it sing.

It is the pressure that produces the tone - not the speed. Slow down and apply even pressure. Sometimes there is one spot where the pressure is lessened - make sure to apply pressure constantly all the way around.

If the bowl rattles, apply more even pressure. That rattling sound is the stick vibrating against the bowl.

Ready To Choose Your Himalayan Bowl and Strengthen Your Meditation?

Shop our New Singing Bowls or Antique Singing Bowls below – and choose what resonates with you. Your singing bowl from Himalayan Bowls is a treasure that will last for hundreds of years!