Getting less of a song and more of a rattle? Has your singing bowl stopped singing altogether? Our troubleshooting guide to singing bowls that aren’t hitting all the right notes should help.
If you’re a complete beginner wondering how to play the singing bowl or how to use a singing bowl, visit our post on that. And don’t forget - when you shop with Silent Mind we offer a comprehensive User’s Guide and ongoing customer support.
Here are the primary reasons why your singing bowl isn’t singing.
The singing bowl is cracked or dented.
The truth is that it’s pretty hard for a metal alloy Tibetan singing bowl to sustain this level of damage when used properly. Singing bowls can be played and displayed for decades (or more) without a crack or dent. But if it is dropped and hits the ground at a particular angle, with a good amount of force, it can happen.
Inspect your bowl carefully. Cracks or hairline fractures may be very difficult to see. If you notice any blemishes or scratches in the finish, understand these are quite normal and usually don’t affect the sound of the bowl at all. Dents that aren’t part of the design, however, can impact the sound.
Always be careful with your singing bowl. It may be sturdy, but it isn’t designed to survive being run over or tossed around. Its shape and construction combine the art and science of sound - a tradition for thousands of years.
You need to relax.
So, you’re unbelievably tense and figure a singing bowl can help. You’re absolutely right! But your tension can affect whether or not the singing bowl sings in two ways.
First is the striker or mallet. If you are gripping it tightly and putting large amounts of unsteady pressure on the bowl with it, you won’t get the song you deserve.
The same goes with how you hold the bowl itself. As we explain in The Dos and Don’ts of Playing a Singing Bowl, letting your fingers come up around the sides of the bowl dampens the sound-making capabilities.
Instead, take a deep breath, exhale out of your mouth, drop your shoulders, and go limp for a moment. Hold the striker with the same amount of pressure as it takes to hold a pencil. Place the singing bowl on its cushion in an open palm, or atop a flat, solid surface.
Revisit your tools and techniques.
The striker that came with your singing bowl is partnered with it for a very good reason - they’re a pair that were made for one another. Using a different striker or mallet, especially one that is much larger than the one that came with your singing bowl, can make your singing bowl sound flat or hollow.
Next, think about how you play. It’s not just about that aforementioned tension; playing a singing bowl, even a small one, requires the participation of a lot of your upper body. Your arms, shoulders, and core are part of the song. Strike the bowl and proceed to seed the sound by running the striker along the rim. Note what your arms are doing, and aim for consistency as you play.
Hopefully, this helped. If you still don’t know why your singing bowl stopped singing, Silent Mind is always here.