The Dos and Don’ts of Playing a Singing Bowl

New to singing bowls? Haven’t gotten around to playing lately? Help is here for those who need a refresher course and a nudge in the right direction. Read our quick rundown of eight singing bowl tips.

DO begin with intention. 

We love how perfectly sized our singing bowls are for portability. It’s easy to whip it out for a grounding, centering moment in the middle of a hectic day. But it’s just as important to take the time to settle into some singing bowl sessions. Especially if you’re just beginning or want to play for a longer stretch of time.

Move to a quiet area and select a comfortable upright posture. Close your eyes, take a few deep belly breaths, and fully arrive at the present moment.

DO try different techniques.

Everyone at Silent Mind has a “default” way of playing. Some strike their bowls a lot, some quick play the rim clockwise, others slowly play the rim counterclockwise. Having a preference, or way of playing that feels natural, is great. Still, mix it up at times and try other techniques for playing. You’ll be amazed at your bowl’s range. 

DO stay close to the rim. 

Pay attention to where your arm is positioned before it meets the bowl. It’s best to keep it relaxed, down, held close to the side/rim of the bowl. Beginning by holding it far above the bowl or stretched out to the side to swing in might lead to rattling or inconsistent sounds. 

DO take proper care of your bowl. 

The daily environment and general long-term conditions a bowl is kept in will impact the sound. You should keep your bowl free of dust and prolonged moisture, and use only pure lemon juice and water to cleanse it. Brush up on our top ten tips for keeping your singing bowl beautiful for ages. 

DON’T let your fingers touch the sides. 

Dull sounds that don’t resonate? Make sure you’re not touching the sides of the bowl as you play. Even though you’re not striking that area, the sound comes from the entire bowl. It needs to remain free and clear of fingers in order to generate those good vibrations. 

DON’T lose your cushion.  

When we sit in meditation, we let our head balance or float effortlessly on top of an aligned spine. Think of your cushion as a spine for your singing bowl. Ours aren’t just decorative; they are designed to perfectly balance a singing bowl in the palm of your hand. This also helps moderate how rough we are with our instrument. 

DON’T grip your striker too tightly.

Speaking of rough, avoid tensing up as you grip your striker. A tight grip makes it more difficult to sustain the song as you play the rim. Plus, it’s not very relaxing. Unlike some other instruments, we do not need to hold tension anywhere in the body to play a singing bowl. 

DON’T forget to practice. 

People love how easy it is to play our singing bowls. But we understand that not everyone will take to it like a duck to water. There’s no shame in having to practice with your singing bowl. It helps refine technique and locate the best possible sound of each unique bowl.

Do you have any tips for beginners? Need advice on your singing bowl? Comment below!


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3 comments
  • Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

    cpbwszixym on
  • Do you have any advice on playing multiple singing bowls? I play a large number of bowls at a time I’m looking at different
    techniques to improve my playing.

    John on
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