There are many ways to relax, and one increasingly popular way is by using a crystal singing bowl. Many people use singing bowls as part of their meditations, or they can simply be used when you need a moment of peace and tranquility.
The warm tones, vibrations, and harmonics provided by singing bowls offer numerous benefits for your peace of mind. They can be played with other music, solo or group meditations, and even in yoga studios and classrooms.
Today we are going to discuss how to play a crystal singing bowl for relaxation. Let’s get started.
Using Mallets and Cushions
Most singing bowls will come with a cushion and a couple of mallets. If you get a singing bowl without these tools and you have to purchase them separately, make sure you get the right ones for the bowl you will be using.
Mallets are made in specific sizes for specific bowls, and when you are using the right size mallet for your bowl, you will enjoy the best tone every time you use it.
If you are going to be striking the bowl with the mallet, it is best to use a wool-wrapped mallet. The wool end is ideal for striking the bowl without causing any damage, and the wooden end can be used for playing around the bowl’s rim.
Another option is a leather-wrapped mallet. These are ideal for playing around the bowl’s outer rim, or you can also use the wooden end.
How to Play a Singing Bowl
Singing bowls are basically bells in a different shape, and instead of having a ringer inside, you use a mallet to make the sound. The best way to get a great tone is to strike the side of the bowl, at the rim, with a mallet that has a soft end, such as wool or leather, as mentioned earlier in this article.
Or, you can play around the rim, which will give you great harmonics. Remember, each singing bowl is slightly different, and you will discover which technique is best for your bowl. Let’s take a quick look at both playing techniques.
Striking a Singing Bowl
Depending on the tone you want to achieve, you can strike the bowl with your mallet at the soft end or with the wooden end. Using the latter will give you more percussive tones and will help to put a greater emphasis on the harmonics.
Be sure to strike the bowl along the side at the rim to get the right tone. When you move away from the rim, you will find that you don’t get as much vibration as you should. If you strike above the rim, the vibrations will be even less.
You will need to practice how hard you strike the bowl. The harder the strike, the louder the tone is going to be. But, striking too hard will create a metallic tone that is not pleasing to the ear. With practice, you will find your bowl’s sweet spot and get just the tone you want.
Playing Around the Rim
You can use a bare wood mallet or one that is wrapped in leather to play a singing bowl around the rim. Using the wood will emphasize the high harmonics, while the leather end will bring out the lower tones.
Wool mallets can also be used, but they are meant only to be used for striking. You will find that you won’t get any sound when you try to play the rim with a wool-wrapped mallet.
It is essential to know how to properly hold your mallet. Hold it firmly against the rim while keeping the hand and wrist relaxed. Your hand should be near the bowl and low on the mallet. This will make playing the singing bowl much more manageable than holding your hand a few inches above the bowl.
Now, slowly rub the mallet around the bowl’s outer rim, making sure that you are using even and constant pressure.
The amount of pressure you use will determine the amount of sound you get. If you notice a rattling noise, this means you are moving too quickly. Slow down and keep the pressure even and constant.
Work the mallet around the rim of the bowl slowly, and the sound will begin to rise.
As long as the pressure is kept even, the tone should become stronger, and it will grow until you reach the highest possible volume your bowl will allow. Now, try using different speeds, slower for less intense tones and faster for bolder tones.
If you ease up on the pressure, you will notice that the singing stops. If this happens, simply start over and keep constant, even pressure, while playing the singing bowl. With practice, you should be able to get the hang of it in no time.