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Singing Bowl Tones and Frequencies: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

Singing Bowl Tones and Frequencies: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

Have you ever wondered what tone or frequency a singing bowl emits when played? In this post, we explain everything you need to know about singing bowl tones, notes, frequencies. Let's get started!

Introduction

Tibetan singing bowls are unique for several reasons but one of their most outstanding qualities is the special and calming sounds they emit when played. Singing bowl sounds can be categorized in several different ways and can be measured and sorted by their frequencies, notes and octaves. Antique singing bowls, newly manufactured metal bowls and crystal bowls all possess different frequencies and tones due to their size, weight and composition.

This guide includes answers to the following questions: 

  • How do singing bowls create sound? 
  • What are singing bowl frequencies? 
  • What is singing bowl resonance and harmony? 
  • Can singing bowls produce different octaves? 
  • Can singing bowls produce different notes?
  • How do singing bowl frequencies differ between crystal and metal singing bowls? 
  • How do different frequencies affect us? 
  • Why would you want to know the frequency or tone of your singing bowl? 
  • How can you measure the sound of your singing bowl? 
    • Apps to Measure Sound Frequency 

How Do Singing Bowls Create Sound?

All musical instruments, including Tibetan singing bowls, rely on friction and vibration to create the sound we hear. According to Acoustics.org, singing bowls are idiophones. An idiophone is an instrument that “produces sound primarily by physical vibrations of the actual instrument.” In other words, the vibration of the bowl as it is being played is what produces sound. As you strike the bowl or rub the rim with a mallet, the friction that results is what creates the vibrations. We can both hear, and feel, these vibrations. The sounds produced by singing bowls can contain multiple harmonics or dominant tones, which we will discuss below.

For a more detailed discussion explaining how singing bowls create sound, see our blog post on the science of singing bowls.

What are Singing Bowl Frequencies?

Singing bowls can produce several different frequencies. ‘Frequency’ is the number of cycles, or “speed”, of vibrations undergone during one unit of time. Sometimes, frequency is referred to as “pitch.” To determine the frequency of a singing bowl, you must measure the vibration of the bowl while it is being played. Frequency is typically expressed in the unit Hertz (Hz). For a little perspective, the range of human hearing is from about 20 to 20,000 Hz according to Scientific American. Singing bowls have a frequency range anywhere between 110 Hz and 660 Hz but can reach up to the 800s or even 900s.

Generally, Hz readings for singing bowls are approximate due to the complexity of their sounds and changing frequencies as they switch between different tones and octaves. The areas of the singing bowl that are being played also change the measured frequency. A tap high on the side wall will create different waves than a low tap on the side wall. Playing the lip of the singing bowl will create different vibrations than playing the side of the bowl. Furthermore, the physical environment can also complicate a frequency reading because extreme temperatures can affect the reading.

Because of these circumstances, assigning a singing bowl a completely accurate static frequency is pretty difficult. However, there are a few general guides when it comes to identifying a singing bowl’s frequency. For example, a bowl that creates slow vibrations will have a low frequency/pitch. A bowl that has faster vibration cycles will have a higher frequency/pitch.

The frequency of a singing bowl can be influenced by several factors which include: the bowl’s diameter, density, shape, what it is made of and the thickness of its sides. There are a few general rules when it comes to guessing a singing bowl’s frequency when it comes to the previously mentioned factors. For example, the larger the bowl’s diameter, the deeper the pitch will be. Additionally, the thicker the bowl is, the higher the pitch will be. 

What is Singing Bowl Resonance and Harmony?

Source: Shanti Bowl

As you rub the rim of the bowl, the continued friction keeps the sound going, which is known as ‘resonance’. Resonance is the sound that carries even after the player ceases contact between the singing bowl and the mallet. It is the built up sound of many trips around the lip of your singing bowl with your mallet. A singing bowl’s resonance is pretty complex because it comes to be via a relationship between three factors: vibrational frequencies, amplitude and time. Resonance can be experienced with almost any bowl. However, larger singing bowls, like Jambati bowls, experience resonance most easily.

Different harmonies, or chords, however, cannot be produced by every singing bowl. Once struck, a singing bowl produces a chord. A chord is a group of notes sounded together, while the harmony is the combination of different chords played together. Many bowls are tuned to a specific chord, like the flatted fifth interval. Crystal bowls, on the other hand, generally produce a third interval harmonic. Depending on the chord produced by the singing bowl, you will produce different layers of overtones. Generally, singing bowls can produce the following overtones: the fundamental, the female overtone and a mid-tone.

The fundamental tone of a singing bowl is its lower, or deeper, tone. The fundamental is the sound made when rubbing a leather mallet around the outside wall of the bowl. A singing bowl’s female overtone is its highest tone. The female overtone can be heard when rubbing a wooden mallet along the bowl’s outside lip. Medium and large size bowls have a mid-tone. This mid-tone is created once the bowl has been warmed up and follows after the female overtone is played. Small bowls, on the other hand, generally do not have a mid-tone. These harmonics make up the differing, yet beautiful sounds of Tibetan singing bowls.

Can Singing Bowls Produce Different Notes?

Singing bowls can be associated with different notes. There are seven notes belonging to the C major scale, which is the scale most singing bowl practitioners work with. These seven notes are: C, D, E, F, G, A and B.

Singing bowls, specifically crystal singing bowls, can be tuned to one of these specific notes. One might want to purchase a singing bowl that plays one specific note, either for personal preference, when purchasing more than one singing bowl or to play it with Western instruments. However, there is one more important reason why singing bowls with specific notes might interest you: they correspond with the seven major chakras! Each of the seven major chakras correspond with the seven notes on the C major scale. Using these singing bowls, you can meditate and realign or heal your chakras. To read more about the connection between singing bowls and chakras, check out our complete guide on chakra notes and singing bowls.

Source: Thai Crystal Lover

Can Singing Bowls Produce Different Octaves?

The distance between two notes is one octave, as shown in the below example using the keys of a piano:

Source: Study

Just as singing bowls can produce different notes, they can also play different octaves. An octave is a musical interval, or the distance between two notes. Frequency measures pitch, but an octave identifies the pitch. Octave and pitch increase concurrently; as the octave increases, the pitch gets higher. In Western music, there are many octaves, but, with singing bowls, you will generally only hear the third, fourth or fifth octave. The octave you hear generally depends on the size of the bowl or its composition (for example, metal versus crystal).

The third octave is generally the lowest octave a singing bowl can have. The fourth octave is in the middle, while the fifth octave is generally the highest octave of notes found when playing a singing bowl. Occasionally, sellers will describe singing bowls according to what octave the singing bowl plays. 

How Do Singing Bowl Frequencies Differ Between Crystal and Metal Singing Bowls?

Source: Shanti Bowl

Overall, crystal singing bowls are known to produce clearer, smoother and steadier frequencies. Metal singing bowls tend to have rich and full competing overtones, known as the fundamental, female overtone and mid-tone. These three tones appear at different times when playing a metal singing bowl. On the other hand, crystal singing bowls produce one smooth, steady note. And just as metal singing bowls can create different frequencies, so do crystal bowls.

Crystal singing bowls are not manufactured to create a certain frequency or note but they do vary depending on what kind of crystal bowl is being played. Frosted crystal bowls, for example, which have very thick walls, lead to a lot of fast vibration and therefore a high pitch as well as a high amplitude (a sound’s loudness). Additionally, a thicker bowl will also produce a higher note. A clear bowl, on the other hand, will possess a lower pitch and lower octave than a frosted bowl of the same size. 

How Do Different Frequencies Affect Us?

One of the reasons singing bowls are considered especially healing instruments is due to their unique frequencies.

According to many singing bowl practitioners and sound therapists, our brains and bodies operate on specific waves, or frequencies. These waves are known as Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta and Gamma. The vibrations created when playing a singing bowl are similar to the frequencies of the brain’s alpha waves. Playing singing bowls, and therefore creating these frequencies, can entrain the brain, allowing it to relax and become more focused as it transitions to a theta wave state. While in a theta wave state, you will experience a greater feeling of relaxation, openness and creative thoughts. These different frequencies, which we can create by playing a singing bowl, can affect us in very powerful and beneficial ways.

Using singing bowls to create these frequencies is a practice known as vibrational healing or sound healing. Sound healing utilizes instruments like singing bowls or tuning forks or gongs, to entrain the brain and soothe the body. According to Eryn Johnson, a guest writer for Zenned Out, this type of vibration healing has the following benefits:

  • Allows you to access to a deeper state of meditation 
  • Provides physical pain relief 
  • Lowers stress and anxiety 
  • Stabilizes extreme moods and mood swings 
  • Improves sleep 
  • Improves creativity 
  • Creates clarity 

Any type of frequency can help alleviate general pain and emotional issues as well as improve your overall mindset. However, some practitioners point to specific frequencies which can target and heal specific problems. According to The Daily Meditation, when the following frequencies are played they can affect these organs, systems and bodily ailments:

  • 586 Hz - Circulation and Sexuality 
  • 492 Hz - Adrenals and Thyroid
  • 330 Hz - Kidney 
  • 198 Hz - Liver
  • 352 Hz - Bladder
  • 281.6 Hz - Small Intestine 
  • 220 Hz - Lungs 
  • 176 Hz - Colon 
  • 330 Hz - Gallbladder 
  • 117.3 Hz - Pancreas 
  • 110 Hz - Stomach 
  • 492 Hz - Spleen 

While we do not suggest replacing traditional treatment for serious illnesses with sound healing, we do encourage sound healing as an additional treatment for any type of disease and sickness. Adding sound healing to pre-existing treatments can help lessen the stress and pain caused by modern treatments and medicines by helping you achieve greater states of relaxation and peace.

Before partaking in a sound healing session, speak with a healthcare professional. You might also want to read our blog post about the Dangers of Singing Bowls to ensure singing bowl healing is right for you.

For a more detailed discussion of sound healing or therapy, see our complete guide to sound therapy.

Why Would You Want to Know the Frequency or Tone of Your Singing Bowl?

There are a few reasons why one might want to know the frequency emitted by their singing bowl.

Although traditionally singing bowls were not created with their frequencies, tones or notes in mind, many find it important that they know this information about their singing bowl. For example, if you are wishing to purchase another singing bowl, knowing the frequency of your current bowl can help you add another bowl to your collection that pairs nicely with the bowl(s) you already have.

Another reason to measure the frequency of your singing bowl is if you play it with Western instruments. Western instruments are tuned to specific scales and are manufactured to emit specific frequencies. Even though singing bowls are not manufactured in a similar way, knowing the frequency of your bowl will allow you to mix and match instruments that flow nicely together. 

How Can You Measure the Sound of Your Singing Bowl?

In order to determine the frequency of your bowl, you will need a frequency counter or a spectrum analyzer. Sound wave frequency meters/counters use a microphone to convert sound waves into electrical signals. The peaks and valleys of the sound waves are counted in order to determine the frequency. These devices do not need to be anything fancy nor will you need to go to your local music store. In fact, there is an app for that!

Several sound frequency measuring apps are available today on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Although your smartphone’s microphone is sufficient for measuring singing bowl frequencies, researchers have found that using these apps in conjunction with external, calibrated microphones greatly improves the overall accuracy and precision of these apps.

Measuring the frequency of your singing bowl is as simple as downloading a free app, playing your singing bowl and reading the results on a graph. To measure the frequency, you must isolate it. To do this, glide your mallet around the singing bowl, letting the sound build. Once the sound peaks and starts to decay, check the reading on your app. This number should present a “snapshot” of the bowl’s frequency. Assigning “the most accurate pitch possible” to a singing bowl is pretty difficult and almost impossible. Your singing bowl generates multiple frequencies throughout the time it is being played. However, with this method, you will get a snapshot of the moving waves, which translates to an average frequency reading.

By compiling reviews and online research, we have found the Top 5 Free Sound Meter apps available today. These sound analyzing apps can be used to measure the frequency of your singing bowl.

Apps to Measure Sound Frequency

1. Spectroid


Source:
Google Play Store

Spectroid is an app, developed by Carl Reinke, that is available on the Google Play Store. With over one million installs, this app has an average rating of 4.6 stars based on 7,000+ reviews. What gives Spectroid its many positive reviews is its easy to read interface and accurate measurements. Spectroid is a real-time audio spectrum analyzer that will be able to give you the frequency/pitch, as well as the sound’s amplitude, or strength of the sound wave (measured in dB). By using this app while playing your singing bowl, you will be able to measure the bowl’s frequency.

2. Audio Spectrum Analyzer dB RTA


Source:
Apple App Store

The Audio Spectrum Analyzer dB RTA app for the Apple App Store is our top pick for iOS users. This app is targeted towards sound and music professionals but it is an accurate spectrum analyzer that is equally suitable for amateurs. This real-time analyzer is a precise sound meter which measures both frequency/pitch and strength. With nearly 2,000 ratings giving it 4.6 stars, this is the highest rated spectrum analyzer app in the Apple App store! Some reviews complain of the frequent pop-up ads to download the premium version; however, if you are only using the app to measure the frequency of a singing bowl every now and then, this app should suit your needs quite well!

3. Sound Spectrum Analyzer


Source:
Google Play Store

The next app on our list is another one available on the Google Play Store. Sound Spectrum Analyzer, developed by PC Mehanik, has over half-a-million installs and a 4.4 star rating. This app detects the frequency spectrum in real-time. It is a simple app with easy to read results and many useful features not found in other apps. This is a great option for measuring the frequency of your singing bowl(s).

4. Sound Spectrum Analysis


Source:
Apple App Store

Next, we have the Sound Spectrum Analysis app by Dmitry Kharutskiy on the Apple App Store. This is a less popular option available on the App Store, possibly due to its less user-friendly interface; however, it will get the job done! Like the other apps on this list, it is capable of analyzing any sound spectrum in real-time with your phone’s built-in microphone. 

5. SpectrumView


Source:
Apple App Store

Our last free app for measuring your singing bowl’s frequency is SpectrumView by Oxford Wave Research Ltd., which is available to download via the Apple App Store. This high-quality, real-time spectrum analyzer measures both frequency/pitch and strength. This app also includes many different features, including Soundcloud and Playback support, which could come in handy if you need to save audio recordings of your singing bowl(s). 

Conclusion

Understanding the differences and complexities of singing bowl frequencies, notes and harmonics can be difficult, especially if you do not have a particularly strong musical background. However, do not let terminology like “Hertz,” “perfect pitch” or “interval” deter you from investing in a singing bowl. Traditionally, singing bowls were not manufactured with these concepts in mind.

What matters most when it comes to selecting a singing bowl is finding one that connects with your spiritual self. Your physical and spiritual connection to the bowl is what allows its frequencies to heal and relax you.

We invite you to get your own Tibetan singing bowl or crystal singing bowl today!

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Best 6 Singing Bowls for Sale

Best 6 Singing Bowls for Sale

We think you would agree with us when we say that there are a lot of different singing bowls available for sale online and in stores. But which are the best singing bowls? In this post, we outline the best 6 singing bowls for sale along with their pros and cons. Let's get right into it!

Introduction

When shopping for your first or even fifth singing bowl, there are lots of options. While it might seem rather difficult to choose a singing bowl online rather than in person, there are many respectable businesses that sell their high quality Tibetan bowls online. In case you are still overwhelmed by the amount of choices you have when buying a singing bowl, we have created this guide to the six best singing bowls for sale on the internet today. These singing bowls vary in price, size, type and style so there is something for everyone! Whether you are buying a singing bowl to practice meditation or yoga, improve your overall well-being or partake in holistic healing, any of the singing bowls on this list will serve you well.  

The Six Best Singing Bowls for Sale Online

1. Shanti Bowl Tibetan Singing Bowl 

The first and best singing bowl on our list is this gorgeous handcrafted metal alloy bowl by Shanti Bowl. Made using traditional techniques by skilled Tibetan artisans and consisting of a five-metal alloy of copper, zinc, iron and traces of gold and silver, these singing bowls are special for several reasons.

First, bowls made out of many metals such as this one tend to have a more complex soundscape. The high quality of this bowl also makes it very easy to play for both beginners and seasoned singing bowl practitioners. When played, the sound is rich, warm and smooth. The tone carries beautifully and has a long-lasting resonance. Each singing bowl is tested to ensure they meet the highest quality control standards so you can rest assured you will be receiving a high quality singing bowl.

Not only does it sing beautifully, it looks amazing and will look gorgeous displayed when not in use. Given its aesthetic and high quality, it is surprising that this singing bowl is priced so affordably. Considering it’s quality, this is one of the most affordably priced singing bowls on the internet. Shanti Bowl keeps the price of their singing bowls affordable simply because they want to make high quality singing bowls and their benefits accessible to everyone.

The Shanti Bowl Tibetan Singing Bowl is available in two sizes - 5.5 inches and 8 inches. The smaller bowl has a diameter of 5.5 inches with a height of 4 inches and weighs approximately 1.25 pounds. When reviewing this singing bowl, satisfied customers have said:

2. Authentic Antique Tibetan Singing Bowls 

While there are numerous great options for high quality singing bowls that are either machine made or recently handcrafted, you may still be drawn to purchasing an antique singing bowl like this 19th century Thadobati bowl. Thadobati bowls are characterized by high walls, straight sides, flat bottoms, with plain, undecorated lips. Thadobati bowls are some of the most commonly found antique bowls.

Antique singing bowls range in age but most are at least one hundred years old. There are both advantages and disadvantages for buying both older and newer bowls. One of the biggest obstacles you will face when buying an antique singing bowl will be ensuring its authenticity, age and quality. Often times, bowls will be made to look old with convincing patinas so it is very important that you buy your singing bowl from a trusted source that sells Master-quality® singing bowls.

Master-quality® singing bowls are those that have passed rigorous tests for authentic antiquity, harmonic balance of sound, volume and ease of playing. As long as you do your research and are prepared to pay a higher price (for example, the bowl above retails for $800 USD), you will not be disappointed by your antique Tibetan singing bowl.

Singing bowls such as the authentic antique singing bowl above tend to have richer, warmer tones than newer bowls. Some practitioners also say that older bowls tend to have a specific energy about them that differs from newer bowls or that they have “gained character.” Antique singing bowls may not be the best beginner bowl but they are certainly an impressive and meaningful instrument to add to your collection or meditation routine. Satisfied customers who have purchased authentic antique singing bowls have said:

3. Shanti Bowl White Quartz Crystal Singing Bowl 

crystal singing bowl

Crystal singing bowls are relatively new types of singing bowls which emerged in the late 20th century to accompany sound healing treatments. Sound therapists and yogis tend to prefer crystal singing bowls because they produce a higher pitch, which causes the vibrations to travel even deeper into the body, leading to more intense healing.

Crystal singing bowls like this eight inch heart chakra bowl above produce pure, sharp and clear sounds. The sound may even come off as “airy”, making crystal singing bowls great for clearing the mind or chakra opening and cleansing. In fact, many crystal singing bowls, this one included, are often tuned to specific notes that correlate with each of the seven primary chakras.

In addition to being able to choose a crystal bowl based on its note, crystal bowls are often available in a range of beautiful pastel colors or are infused with healing gemstones. The colorful aesthetic that crystal singing bowls offer can brighten any room. Similar to metal bowls, larger crystal bowls produce lower notes and smaller bowls produce higher notes.

Crystal singing bowls are played with a rubber mallet or wand and should be placed on a rubber o-ring. Crystal singing bowls tend to weigh the same amount as metal bowls or even less. This eight inch bowl, for example, weighs almost four pounds. High quality singing bowls do tend to be a bit more expensive than newly made metal bowls, though. For example, crystal singing bowls typically cost a few hundred dollars. However, Shanti Bowl has released an affordable crystal singing bowl for under $150. When reviewing crystal singing bowls like the one above, satisfied customers have said:

4. 3” Brass Tibetan Singing Bowl 

If you are at a point in your life where you cannot afford a high quality, newly made singing bowl or an antique singing bowl, there are many cheaper options on the internet. Of course, as with anything, what you save on the price correlates with what you lose in quality. However, if you are still interested in trying out a singing bowl before committing to a better quality bowl, this Tibetan singing bowl set is an option. The set comes with a  3.2 inch Tibetan singing bowl, a silk cushion and a wood striker.

Notable features of the bowl include its ease of playing and its convenient and portable size. This singing bowl weighs only 9 ounces and can sit in the palm of your hand. According to the manufacturer, this is a brass singing bowl composed of an alloy of several metals. Cheaper singing bowls are often made with brass as it is easily mass-produced. Brass bowls tend to ring higher though the notes may not hold for as long. The sound is duller and quieter compared to the other singing bowls on this list and the vibrations emitted when playing this bowl are considerably less.

If you are looking for a super inexpensive introduction to singing bowls, this may serve your purposes. Beyond that, consider adding another $15 - $20 dollars and investing in a higher quality bowl like the Shanti Bowl singing bowl. Satisfied customers who have purchased this bowl have said the following: 

5. Engraved Om Symbol Tibetan Singing Bowl 

If you are looking for a singing bowl with more of a distinctive appearance, perhaps you would like this engraved Tibetan singing bowl. Engraved bowls come in a variety of designs, most of which feature important Hindu or Buddhist symbols. Engraved bowls, depending on how they were made or the detail involved, can vary dramatically in price. This bowl in particular features deep engraving of the Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra on its outside and along its interior. The Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra is a Sanskrit mantra related to the bodhisattva of compassion. The inside of the bowl is the Tibetan Om symbol, a Sanskrit mantra and the sound of the universe.

This bowl plays easily and emits long-lasting, rich tones. The set includes the 6 inch singing bowl, a wooden striker and a silk cushion. The bowl is made of a mixture of metals including copper, lead, tin and iron. It weighs about two pounds and costs almost $100. Customers who buy engraved singing bowls are often drawn to the significance of the engravings or the overall aesthetic of the bowl. These bowls look incredible on display or when in not in use in a yoga classroom or healing space. Customers who have purchased this engraved singing bowl have said:

6. Handcrafted 4.5” Tibetan Singing Bowl Set

This highly rated Tibetan singing bowl is made from an alloy of seven different metals including copper, iron, tin, lead, zinc, silver and gold. The bowl, which is handcrafted in Nepal, also features an engraved design. The bowl, like the one listed above, is inscribed with the Tibetan Om Mani Padme Hung mantra. It is also features an engraving of the Eyes of Boudhanath Stupa, which represents wisdom, on the inside.

The bowl produces harmonic, long-lasting sounds and is great for meditation, yoga or chakra cleansing of the highest primary chakra, the Crown chakra. The set includes the 4.5 inch Tibetan singing bowl, a silk cushion, a suede covered mallet and a protective bag. The bowl is relatively small and lightweight at 1.51 pounds. Some customers have complained of a mildew smell upon receiving this Tibetan singing bowl set, which you might want to keep in mind. Additional complaints have focused on the bowl’s ability to sing. The bowl can be tricky to get to sing at first, however, it will produce a lovely resonance with practice and patience. It is suggested to rim the bowl with a mallet very slowly to get the bowl to sing. Happy customers who have purchased this singing bowl have shared the following:

What to Keep in Mind 

We hope that you will use this top list as a guide to help you choose your next Tibetan singing bowl. Though we consider this list to have something for everyone’s tastes, if you are still searching for the right singing bowl for you, here are a few things to keep in mind while research and shopping:

  • Try to find websites that provide a video recording of their singing bowl, like Shanti Bowl. This way you can experience the harmonic tones of the bowl and get an idea of what it will be like to connect and heal with the bowl. 
  • Decide how you plan to use your Tibetan singing bowl. If there is a particular purpose you have in mind for your singing bowl, then perhaps there is a specific kind of singing bowl you should purchase. If you would like further guidance on this matter, please refer to our How to Choose a Singing Bowl post. 
  • Make a list of what you want in a singing bowl. Characteristics to keep in mind might include size, pitch, composition of the bowl, bowl type and price. Prioritize what is most important to you, which may help in narrowing down your choices. 
  • Read the reviews! Reviews are a great way to learn about the singing bowls you are interested in. Perhaps the reviews will offer greater insight to the bowl, give tips on how to make it sing or even warn you of any problems, defects or false advertisements. 
  • Lastly, breathe. Choosing the right singing bowl should never be a stressful process. Trust your instincts and take your time—you will find the perfect Tibetan singing bowl for you. 

We invite you to get your own crystal singing bowl or Tibetan singing bowl today! Happy playing and happy healing! 

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Best Tibetan Singing Bowl Music

Best Tibetan Singing Bowl Music

We think you'd agree with us when we say that singing bowl music can be very relaxing. But what are the best kinds of singing bowl music and what are the best places to find it? In this blog post, we reveal the different kinds of singing bowl music and outline our list of the top 11 free singing bowl recordings available online. At the end of the post, we will also explain why playing an actual singing bowl can have greater benefits than simply listening to recordings. Read on!

Introduction

Tibetan singing bowls, sometimes called Himalayan bowls or simply singing bowls, are known for their harmonic, calming sounds. As such, this instrument has been used for hundreds of years in Buddhist temples accompanying chants and meditations. Today, Tibetan singing bowl music can be enjoyed by anyone seeking calming, meditative sounds. Whether you are studying, working, meditating or preparing to sleep, Tibetan singing bowl music can be enjoyed in your day-to-day life. Singing bowls have also become very important instruments in sound baths, which are increasing in popularity.

Finding free singing bowl playlists and videos online is easy but can be potentially overwhelming due to the sheer number of videos and playlists out there. What are the best playlists? Are there different kinds of singing bowl music for different occasions? Do you enjoy the sounds of only singing bowls or do you enjoy them along with other instruments and sounds? These are the questions we hope to answer in this guide! Whether you are new to singing bowls or have owned one for years, keep reading to discover some of the best Tibetan singing bowl music on the internet. 

This guide includes the following:

  • What are the different kinds of Tibetan singing bowl music? 
  • Why should you listen to singing bowl music?
  • What are the best available singing bowl music recordings found online for free? 
    • Top 11 List of Free Tibetan Singing Bowl Recordings
  • What is the best way to enjoy singing bowl music?

What are the Different Kinds of Tibetan Singing Bowl Music?

There are several different types of Tibetan singing bowl music, and as such, some types may serve you better than others. Today, most Tibetan singing bowl music is produced by Western practitioners or sound healers.

Traditionally, singing bowls were only meant to be struck by a mallet to mark time or accompany meditation in Buddhist temples. There is no proof that singing bowls were used beyond that in their early years. However, when singing bowls started to appear and become popular within Western societies in the late 20th century, music with singing bowls started to be recorded and shared. Now, you can find hundreds of videos of singing bowls being played on the internet.

Some artists and groups prefer to play the singing bowl accompanied by other percussion or string instruments. Others accompany the singing bowl with their voice. For example, one artist, Ashana, is a New Age vocalist known for combining the sounds of crystal singing bowls with her angelic voice as she sings or chants in Aramic, Arabic, Latin or Gaelic. 

Ashana Sings “Ong Namo” Live at Sat Nam Fest (Crystal Bowls) via Spirit Voyage on YouTube

Singing bowls are frequently seen in mainstream culture today as instruments used in videos for “sleep sounds” or “study sounds.” In this case, singing bowls and their transcendental tones are used because of the intense focus and concentration they can bring about.

In these examples, singing bowls are often paired with other traditional “sleep sounds” or “study sounds,” such as rainfall, birds chirping, thunderstorms or bubbling water sounds. Some of the most popular sleep and study music on YouTube features singing bowl sounds!

More traditional singing bowl music may include songs that are made up of only singing bowl sounds. These songs may include the sounds of only one singing bowl that is either struck or played by rubbing a mallet around the rim of the singing bowl. Often times, it is a combination of these two methods of playing that make up one singing bowl song.

Sometimes, artists may play many singing bowls at one time! There are many instances of singing bowl concerts where multiple singing bowls are played by the artist or a group of players. Other instances of singing bowl music where more than one singing bowl is used is chakra cleansing. The seven primary chakras located in your body correspond to specific musical notes. There are singing bowls that are tuned to these specific notes. In a chakra cleansing meditation, seven singing bowls are used one at a time to cleanse each of the seven chakras.

Tibetan Singing Bowl Concert and Meditation with Mark Handler, a Tibetan Bowl Master, via YouTube

Why Should you Listen to Singing Bowl Music?

Now that you are familiar with a few of the different types of singing bowl music, we want to share the benefits of listening to it. You may already be aware of the benefits of playing a singing bowl, which include everything from feeling relaxed, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure to improving your immune system. Listening to singing bowl music can also lead to these great benefits and more!

Because singing bowls are often paired with other powerful instruments or relaxation sounds, certain singing bowl music, such as the music used in sound baths, can provide an even greater level of relaxation. Sound baths are relaxation techniques most often used when meditating. Sound baths and singing bowls have been proven to lessen anxiety, stress and depression. The vibrations emitted from singing bowls have the ability to heal and calm the mindreduce the perception of painlower blood pressurereduce tension, anger and fatigue, as well as improve feelings of inner peace and relaxation while improving the symptoms of depression.

In summary, enjoying the sounds of Tibetan singing bowls can greatly improve your health and well-being!  

What are the Best Available Singing Bowl Music Recordings Found Online for Free?

In the modern age of the internet, there is no scarcity of free music to enjoy online and finding singing bowl music recordings is no different! Because there are so many options available, you may wonder which videos and recordings are the absolute best. We have done the work for you and compiled a list of the Top 11 Free Tibetan Singing Bowl Recordings. This list is a great introduction to singing bowls if you are new to them. But if you are a seasoned singing bowl practitioner, we are sure that there is something new for you to enjoy, too! 

Top 11 Free Tibetan Singing Bowl Recordings

6 Hour Powerful TIbetan Bowl Music: Chakra Healing, Meditation Music, Relaxation Music 

This six hour long video by Yellow Brick Cinema on YouTube can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether you are wishing to meditate, fall asleep or study, these calming sounds are here to help. Unlike many meditation videos on YouTube that mix many meditation sounds together, this video contains only the transcendental tones of Himalayan singing bowls. 

According to Yellow Brick Cinema, this particular track was influenced by Japanese, Indian, Tibetan and Shamanic meditation music. They suggest this track for anyone wanting to cleanse the chakras, meditate, relax, sleep or concentrate. The video features different images of nature as well as Buddhist and Hindu cultural sites and symbols. With over 3 million views since it was uploaded in 2015, this video is one of the most popular singing bowl videos on YouTube and for good reason!

528Hz Big Tibetan Singing Bowl Music for Healing & Meditation

This recording by Meditative Mind on YouTube is said to be based on one of the six main Solfeggio frequencies. Solfeggio frequencies, if you are not familiar with them, are said to make up an ancient musical scale that is used in most sacred music. Each of the six frequencies are said to contain the power to balance and harmonize your energy. The 528 Hz frequency in particular is associated with transformation and miracles as well as DNA repair.

Meditative Mind also suggests this track for anyone needing to balance and tune their Solar Plexus chakra. A little different from the previous recording, this one can best be described as a low, steady droning sound. This sound is known as the singing bowl’s resonance and is the sound you hear when a singing bowl is struck but the tone continues even after the mallet makes contact with the bowl.

This video has over 2 million views and is waiting for you to enjoy it! If you are interested in additional singing bowl videos that are based on the other Solfeggio frequencies, Meditative Mind has more videos that use all Solfeggio frequencies in one recording, as well as 417 Hz and 396 Hz frequencies. 

Sleep Music: Peaceful Music with Tibetan Singing Bowls for Relaxation and Chakra Balancing

This recording by BuddhaTribe on YouTube combines the peaceful tones and resonance of Tibetan singing bowls with gongs and bubbling water sounds. This is the first recording on the list to feature water sounds and as such, we would like to make an important note on using water sounds in relaxation music as sometimes it appears to be a polarizing choice.

In particular, some people express a strong dislike for the inclusion of water sounds in music like this as sometimes it creates the urge to urinate, interrupting meditation or even sleep. If water sounds do not have a negative effect on you, there are many benefits to combining water sounds with meditation and other meditative sounds.

According to Jenny Marchal on Lifehack, listening to water and even looking at it can put our minds into a “relaxed and hypnotic-like state,” which leads to more “calm and creative states” and improves overall well-being. The sound of waves in particular has been found to actually alter the brain’s wave patterns. This alteration leads to a meditative, relaxed state which results in increased mental clarity, improved sleep patterns and decreased levels of depression, stress and anxiety. This combination, if it works for you, can truly create a peaceful and calming environment that can be used as sleep music, for meditation and sound therapy. 

1 Hour of Chakra Balancing Tibetan Singing Bowls by Binaural Atmospheres

If you are a Spotify user (it is free to create an account!), there are hundreds of singing bowl songs, albums and playlists to discover. One album we think is great is by Binaural Atmospheres. Released in 2019, this album consists of 26 songs, each of which are inspired by things found in nature. Many of the songs on this album combine singing bowl sounds with other meditative sounds such as soft bird chirping, rainfall, bubbling water and thunder.

With song names such as “Mystic Bird Song,” “Musical Nature,” “Pulsing Rain & Chill,” this album can help connect you to nature whether you are relaxing, resting or meditating. As the album name states, this is a chakra balancing album. If you are looking for a playlist that contains separate songs for separate chakras, keep reading! This album can be used on all seven chakras, and therefore is considered to be a more a general chakra balancing “tune up” recording.  

Quick 11 Minute Chakra Tune-Up with Himalayan Singing Bowls

If you are interested in singing bowl music that balances and cleanses chakras, here is another great recording! This video by YouTube user TempleSounds has over 3.5 million views and is very special for many people. Similar to the album above, this recording is meant for a short chakra tune-up. Different from the previous recording, however, is that you can focus on specific chakras depending on which bowl is being played in the video.

This 11 minute version of a chakra tune-up is a fast and effective way to balance and cleanse your seven primary chakras. Seven singing bowls are used in this video, one for each chakra. He begins with the largest singing bowl and decreases in size with each chakra. The first chakra to be adjusted in this meditation is the Root Chakra. The singing bowl is struck three times and then resonates. Once the resonance fades, it is struck one more time before moving on to the next chakra. This meditation ends with the highest chakra, the Crown Chakra. If you are looking for a longer version of this type of meditation, you are in luck! Check out the next recording on our list.

70 Minute 7 Chakra Meditation with 21 Antique Tibetan Singing Bowls

Created by the same user as above, this recording is a 70 minute version of the previous chakra balancing meditation. In this video, 21 Tibetan singing bowls are used to clear and harmonize each of the seven primary chakras. Once again, the meditation begins with cleansing the Root Chakra. He plays a number of different bowls and uses different techniques for each bowl. The video will indicate when it is time to focus on the next chakra but, if you prefer to listen rather than watch, each chakra cleansing lasts 10 minutes. 

Tibetan Bowls for Meditation, Natural Sounds, Pure Positive Vibes, Relaxation

This recording by Music for Body and Spirit on YouTube is excellent for someone looking for a video made with only Tibetan singing bowl sounds. The recording, which lasts for over two hours, was created with seven Tibetan bowls and four microphones. The singing bowls in this video produce a very relaxed, almost quiet resonance which is broken infrequently by the striking of one of the bowls. It is peaceful, calm and relaxing. Just like singing bowl sounds should be!

Tibetan Bowls Playlist by Spotify

This Tibetan Bowls playlist is Spotify’s own! With over 70,000 followers, this is the most popular singing bowl playlist on this music streaming platform. Spotify’s own description reads: “A variety of soothing tones for healing meditation.” This variety includes water noises, other sound bathing instruments like tuning forks, chimes and gongs and different singing bowl playing techniques.

The playlist, which includes 28 songs lasting over 2.5 hours, features a mix of singing, resonance and striking at a variety of high to low pitches. A few artists that make up the playlist include: Elof Sunflower, Dakpa Nepali, Satorio, Dhayāna One and Phil Thornton. The variety found in this playlist would make it a great introductory resource for anyone wanting to incorporate the sounds of Tibetan singing bowls into their lives!

Singing Bowl Meditation Music Playlist by Sounds True

The Singing Bowl Meditation Music Playlist by Sounds True, the last Spotify playlist on our list, includes 17 songs for a total length of 2 hours and 48 minutes. The playlist has over 3,000 followers on Spotify and features music by artists such as Diane Mandle, Tryshe Dhevney, Ashana and Satorio. According to Sounds True, this “soothing mix of infinite rhythms” provides the perfect environment for a meditative practice. In addition to singing bowl sounds, some of the songs of this playlist include chanting, OM vocalizations, birds chirping and string instruments. Some of our favorites from this playlist include: “Expand 2”, “Breaking Light” and “Sounds of the Bowl.”  

Tibetan Bowls Relaxation Music for Stress Relief, Meditation, Yoga, Studying or Sleep 

The longest recording on our list, clocking in at 10 hours, was made by YouTube user Relaxing White Noise. According to the recording’s description, this video is perfectly suitable for clearing your mind and finding peace with the soothing tones and rich harmonics of the Tibetan singing bowl. With its long length, this video is great for studying or sleeping! The singing bowl sounds in this video can best be described as soft, subtle striking sounds of different pitches alternating between high, medium and low tones. The playing patterns are repeated ensuring a steady, peaceful background noise for meditating or studying. 

Qi Music Meditation for Balance Himalayan Singing Bowls

The last recording on our list is a little different from the others but, with almost 2.5 million views on YouTube, it certainly deserves to be mentioned!

Perhaps you have heard of ASMR, also known as autonomous sensory meridian response. According to Sleep.org, ASMR describes a “feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation that can come over someone when he or she watches certain videos or hears certain sounds.” There are thousands of ASMR videos on the internet but one YouTuber, WhispersRed ASMR, has started making ASMR videos with Tibetan singing bowls. She describes the video as a “massage for your mind.”

The video is a combination of ASMR speaking and music meditation using singing bowls and other instruments like a Tingsha (small cymbal), a Kabolonga Waterfall Nut Shaker and a wooden ball shaker. This is definitely a different kind of singing bowl recording but it is worth listening to as the effect it has on you may be surprising! If you are interested in only the musical sounds, skip to 4:09 to bypass the softly spoken explanation she gives at the beginning of the video. 

What is the Best Way to Enjoy Singing Bowl Music?

Although we have identified the top 11 singing bowl music recordings available online, it is important to note that there is no better way to benefit from the wonderful sounds of the singing bowl than to have your own bowl. Owning your own singing bowl or having access to one is the best way to experience the transformational effects and good vibrations that singing bowls emit.

Robert Lee, owner of the meditation company Human Activation, says that listening to recordings of Tibetan singing bowls is “nowhere near the same experience as hearing [them] live.” So even though online recordings are a great option in a pinch or while traveling, the best way to enjoy a Tibetan singing bowl is to have your very own bowl. Having your own bowl gives you control over the type of sounds you hear and how long you want to hear them. Additionally, with a physical singing bowl you will be able to feel the vibrations of the bowl on your body which leads to even greater relaxation and healing.

Even though owning a singing bowl is the best way to enjoy their transcendental tones, we hope you have enjoyed our guide and added some new songs to your everyday listening or meditations. 

We invite you to get your own Tibetan singing bowl or crystal singing bowl today! Happy playing and happy healing! 

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Dangers of Singing Bowls

Dangers of Singing Bowls

While there are far more benefits to using a singing bowl than there are disadvantages, it is important, as with any other method of treatment or healing, to know when singing bowls should be avoided or their use limited. In this post, we explain the dangers of singing bowls and sound therapy and identify cautions and warnings which you should be aware of. Let's get started!

Introduction

Before investing in your own personal singing bowl or attending a sound therapy session where singing bowls are used, there are several cautions and warnings to be aware of. It is important to keep in mind that a Tibetan singing bowl is not a toy and not just an instrument. It’s a powerful tool for meditation that has been used in religious practices for thousands of years. Singing bowls and their ability to influence our minds and mood should be treated as any other method of healing or medication.

In this article we answer the following questions:

  •     When should singing bowls be completely avoided?
  •     When should singing bowls avoid certain parts of the body?
  •     When should you limit access to singing bowls?

When Should Singing Bowls Be Completely Avoided?

There are certain illnesses, conditions, and circumstances that might require completely avoiding singing bowls or participating in sound therapy where singing bowls are used. If you find that you have one or more of these conditions but are still interested in the healing effects of singing bowls, you should consult your doctor before use. 

Certain neurological disorders will foreclose the use of singing bowls. For example, if you have epilepsy, you should not attend a sound therapy session where singing bowls are used. If you wish to do so, it is necessary to get your doctor’s permission as well as be prescribed the correct anti-epileptic medication. If you have Parkinson’s disease and have a deep brain stimulation device (DBS) to treat your illness, you should not use singing bowls. If you have a neurological disease other than these, please contact your physician to be sure that you can receive sound therapy with singing bowls. 

In addition, singing bowls should not be placed on your body if you have a heart pacemaker, coronary stent, cardiac shunt, artificial heart valves, implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), metal inserts, metal implants, or metal staples. Placing a vibrating singing bowl on your body if you have any of these inside of you is very dangerous. As the singing bowl is played and the vibrations pass through your body, there is a chance that the vibrations could shake and disturb the metal inside of you, causing it to move or malfunction, which could result in pain or death. 


Source: 
Massage Around the World

You should also avoid singing bowls if you have other clinical disorders such as polyneuropathy or hemiparesis. It may be necessary to also avoid sound therapy with singing bowls if you are currently being medicated for severe depression or anxiety. While singing bowls may help with mild cases of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, it is important to receive permission from your doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist before going forward with sound therapy. 

During your sessions, please keep in mind that singing bowls place people in meditative states that allow individuals to reflect on themselves and their thoughts. If you suffer from mental illness, it may become uncomfortable if the singing bowl aids in bringing out strong emotions or painful memories. After a session, you may feel the need to cry or need a break--that’s okay, it’s all part of the healing process. Take it slow afterwards. 

If receiving sound therapy with singing bowls for things such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression, it is important to find the right teacher--someone who is professional, knowledgeable, and capable of understanding and sympathizing with the trauma that may be resurfaced in your sessions. Reliving trauma can be incredibly difficult so it is important that you expect and prepare yourself for some traumatic experiences to resurface during your sessions. If you are not ready for this type of healing, singing bowls and sound therapy should be avoided until a later time. 

When Should Singing Bowls Avoid Certain Parts of the Body?

Sometimes you can have access to singing bowls but still limit where the bowls are placed on your body. Often, in sound therapy, singing bowls are placed on certain parts of the body. If any of the following applies to you, you may still play or listen to singing bowls but must avoid placing them on your body. 

Some skin disorders and diseases will prevent a person from benefiting from sound therapy when it involves placing singing bowls on the body. In particular, if you have an inflammatory skin disorder, such as hives, psoriasis, eczema or its variant weeping eczema, singing bowls should not be placed on your body or touch your skin. Additionally, singing bowls should not be placed on heavily scarred areas. 

Source: Klook

Certain artery diseases or blood clots will limit where you can place a singing bowl on your body. For example, if you have carotid atherosclerosis, singing bowls should not be placed in the area around the neck. Singing bowls should also not be placed near diseased or clotted veins. In cases of thick vein thrombosis, singing bowls should not be placed on top of the affected vein or near it. 

There are other cases where singing bowls cannot be placed on certain parts of the body. For example, they should not be placed directly on or near acute inflammations, tumors, implants, screws, artificial joints, and inflamed joints and veins. 

When Should You Limit Access To Singing Bowls?

There are certain times or situations where you should limit access to singing bowls. This does not have to mean completely cutting singing bowls out of your life. Instead, these are times when you should either avoid singing bowls for a determined amount of time or only use them for a specific amount of time. 

For example, during pregnancy, singing bowls should not be placed on the body. If you receive sound therapy or are interested in attending a session, and are pregnant, it is important that the bowls are not placed on your body, especially within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. You may be able to still attend sessions or use a singing bowl while pregnant but you should consult your doctor before playing or hearing a singing bowl. If your doctor approves the use of singing bowls during your pregnancy, it is vital that you do not play the singing bowl too loud near your belly or place the bowl too close to your belly or back. 

If you are not pregnant but do have young children, it may be necessary to limit the use of singing bowls in your home. As children are very curious and might think your singing bowl is a toy, it is important to keep it out of reach or ensure you supervise them while they are playing it. Loud singing bowls can cause damage to hearing if played incorrectly and your child may want to see how loud the singing bowl can be. For the safety of your children, as well as your singing bowl, it would be best to ensure the two remained separated or closely watched when together.

Some illnesses or conditions that may come and go will limit your access to singing bowls. If you are experiencing a fever, have severe inflammation or have open wounds, singing bowls should not be used until these symptoms and conditions have passed. Additionally, after surgery, singing bowls should not be placed on the body before the sutures have been removed and the scar has fully healed and closed. If you are suffering from whiplash, you should not seek sound therapy treatment until at least three days after your injury. 

Finally, if you are a singing bowl beginner, it may be necessary to limit how long you play your singing bowl per day. According to alternative health practitioners, it is possible to play your singing bowl for too long, resulting in a “healing crisis.” Your singing bowl gives off vibrations and energy and, as such, too much energy, or playing too long, can overly affect your body. You might find that your symptoms worsen instead of improve. 

If this is the case, it is suggested that you limit yourself to a maximum of 5 minutes a day. These 5 minutes of playing should preferably be done at night before bed so that you have the night to sleep and process the energy from the singing bowl. As you adjust to the energy of your singing bowl, you can increase the time you spend playing it but remember less is always more so it is important to not over do it. 

Additionally, as a beginner, it is not recommended that you place singing bowls on your body for sound therapy yourself. You should seek a professional or undergo training in order to carry out singing bowl sound therapy appropriately. 

Singing Bowls and Cultural Appropriation

We are sometimes asked if singing bowls can be dangerous in another way - namely, whether their use in western societies amounts to cultural appropriation. This is a thoughtful question, and it deserves a thoughtful answer.

In our view, singing bowls were created for everyone to use and enjoy. We believe everyone in the world should be able to access the incredible healing potential of Tibetan bowls, regardless of the society in which they live.

Accordingly, in our view there is nothing wrong with using a singing bowl, provided that the user does so in a manner that is respectful to the cultural significance and heritage of singing bowls in Eastern culture.

This would include ensuring that those who sell or profit from singing bowls do so in a respectful manner and at a price point that is accessible for those who wish to use them. It is precisely for this reason that we make our singing bowls very affordable (which ensuring that they are of the highest quality) and donate a significant portion of our profits to charity

Singing Bowls, the Bible and Christianity

We are sometimes also asked if singing bowls are compatible with the teachings of the bible and Christianity. This is also a thoughtful question, and it deserves a thoughtful answer. 

Although most people believe that singing bowls are foreign to Western and Christian traditions, it is important to remember that singing bowls are essentially metal bells which are positioned and played differently than the metal bells that are so common in the Western world.

In particular, bells have a long history in Christian tradition and have been used for hundreds of years in churches across the world. Bells have been used as a call to worship and to remind us to open ourselves to the presence of something greater (regardless of what that something greater is according to our particular religion or faith).

While the sound of a bell may differ from that of a singing bowl (also known as a "standing bell"), the science behind singing bowls is essentially the same. In addition, the bible contains scripture which encourages the use of bells and approves of the sound made by them. For example, Exodus 28:33-35 states as follows:

Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die.

The bible also frequently encourages meditation, which can be aided with the use of a meditation aid such as a singing bowl. For example, as stated in Proverbs 15:28, “the heart of the righteous one meditates before answering.” This is connected with Proverbs 16:23, which indicates that meditation gives us soulful depth, peaceful reserve, and moral strength, which together add insight and understanding to our beings and make us better neighbors. By using a meditation aid, we can more easily achieve such insight and understanding.

In our view, there is nothing problematic from a religious perspective about using a singing bowl. While singing bowls may have their origin in Eastern culture, there is no reason why a person cannot use a singing bowl merely to assist them in meditating or as call to worship, like any other bell you would see in a church. After all, a singing bowl is merely a bell that is resting on its back.

Conclusion

We hope this article was informative and helpful! As with any therapy or medication, it is important you know the side effects and precautions--singing bowls are no different. Singing bowls and sound therapy can be a great tool for healing and meditation but it is important to know that in certain cases they can actually have the opposite effect. Remember to always practice caution before using your singing bowl or attending a sound therapy session. As long as you know the risks associated with these treatments and are healthy enough to receive the sounds and energy of the singing bowl, you will be able to enjoy them!

We invite you to get your own Tibetan singing bowl or crystal singing bowl today and experience some of the amazing benefits!

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Singing Bowls for Beginners: The Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

Singing Bowls for Beginners: The Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

If you are new to singing bowls, then you have come to the right place! In this post, we offer the complete guide to singing bowls for beginners. Read on to learn everything you need to know about singing bowls, including how to use them, their history, how they work, their beneficial health effects, and which singing bowls are best for beginners. Let's get started!

Introduction

Chances are that you are already familiar with singing bowls. Perhaps you’ve heard them in yoga classes or in recordings of Buddhist chants and prayers. For those interested in learning more about singing bowls, we have created this ultimate guide for singing bowl beginners. From their history, to their scientific properties, to their powerful healing effects, there is a lot to learn when it comes to Tibetan singing bowls. 

In this article we discuss the following:

  •     What are singing bowls?
  •     History of singing bowls 
  •     Singing bowls today
  •     How do singing bowls work?
  •     How do singing bowls work on our minds and bodies?
  •     What are the benefits of using singing bowls? 
  •     How do you play singing bowls? 
  •     My singing bowl sounds like this…what should I do?
  •     What are the best singing bowls for beginners? 
  •     What do beginners absolutely need to know about singing bowls?

What Are Singing Bowls?

First, let’s briefly introduce singing bowls. Singing bowls, also called Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowls, are ancient bowls that produce sound and vibration when played with a mallet or striker. These ancient, multi-harmonic instruments are often linked with Buddhism or other spiritual practices due to their use within meditation practices. Used by monks for thousands of years, singing bowls are now more popular than ever! They are used in everyday meditation, yoga classes, sound therapy, classrooms, hospitals, and more. 

These versatile, healing bowls are generally made from an alloy of various metals. Five to seven different metals can be found in a single singing bowl. Singing bowls also come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. Different singing bowls can also have different tones and pitches, and even correlate with specific chakras. When first learning about singing bowls, this may seem like an overload of information. However, learning how to play a singing bowl and incorporating it into your life can be very easy!

History of Singing Bowls

Most original singing bowls come from Buddhist areas such as Tibet, Nepal, and India

Much of the history of singing bowls remains unknown or unclear due to the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the 1950s. However, oral traditions date singing bowls to the time of the historical Buddha Shayamuni (560 – 480 BCE). Some singing bowls during this time were used for strictly religious purposes within monasteries and temples, such as leading chants or prayers, guiding meditation, or acting as an offering or begging bowl.

Other times, larger bowls were used for grain storage and smaller bowls used to eat from. As the use of singing bowls spread throughout Asia to places like Japan, Korea, China, and Mongolia, their uses expanded as well. For example, Japanese and Vietnamese Buddhists have traditionally used singing bowls to perform funeral rites and to worship their ancestors. 

Singing Bowls Today

For hundreds of years, however, what has remained constant is the calming, meditative state singing bowls can create. Singing bowls are useful to Buddhist practitioners and anyone else who is wanting to experience a greater amount of peace and intuition in their daily lives through meditation.Today, singing bowls are found far outside the temples and monasteries of the Himalayan mountains. They are used as tools for meditation or alternative treatment for various illnesses like chronic pain or depression, just to name a few!

Frequently, singing bowls are associated with sound therapy and sound baths or massages. For human beings, sound is a vehicle which can help us arrive to a healthier state of being, both physically and mentally. It also allows us to explore and express the feelings we keep inside of us. For this reason, singing bowls are becoming increasingly popular to treat anxiety disorders, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. The vibrations work throughout our bodies massaging, cleansing, and purifying, while the calm meditative state allows individuals to search within and find what ails them. 

Source: LoveToKnow

When researching the benefits of using a singing bowl, you are likely to find it linked with cancer treatment. While the use of singing bowls is not a scientifically-backed treatment for diseases such as cancer, they have been noted to greatly improve the symptoms of the illness and treatment for cancer patients who have used Tibetan singing bowls as a part of their healing process. In a case such as this, singing bowls are not intended to heal the body of the cancerous cells but rather provide relief and balance to other parts of the mind and body. Using a singing bowl in this way is similar to drinking fluids and resting when sick—it does not cure you of your sickness, but it alleviates the symptoms and helps your recovery along the way.

How Do Singing Bowls Work?

What exactly do singing bowls do and how do they do it? The science behind singing bowls is actually quite simple! In fact, this ancient instrument can best be compared to playing wine glasses filled with water. Singing bowls “sing” by creating vibrations. They are played with mallets or strikers. When a mallet or striker makes contact with the side of the singing bowl, friction occurs and vibrations are created. These vibrations are heard through beautiful sounds that are felt within our bodies and energy fields. Changing the speed and pressure of the mallet or striker can then change the sounds that are created. Sticking to the same pressure and speed leads to resonance, which is the note that we can hear even after the player moves the mallet away from the singing bowl. 

How Do Singing Bowls Work on Our Minds and Bodies?

Singing bowls can have very powerful effects on our minds and well-being. Many of those who use singing bowls and believe in their strong, healing and meditative powers say that singing bowls and their notes have the power to influence our brainwave patterns through a process called “acoustic entrainment.” This acoustic entrainment is a feeling of deep relaxation and focus as the vibrations of the bowl move throughout our bodies, restoring balance and peace. 

Singing bowls can also be incorporated into chakra healing. Singing bowls are able to open and balance chakras. Some say that different chakras can specifically respond to different frequencies of sound produced by singing bowls. Different bowls can be tuned to different notes. Just like an instrument such as a guitar can have different tunings, so can singing bowls! When it comes to differently toned singing bowls, some have found that specific tunings impact specific chakras.  The following tunings are matched with the following seven chakras:

  • Root Chakra: C Note
  • Sacral Chakra: D Note
  • Solar Plexus Chakra: E Note
  • Heart Chakra: F Note
  • Throat Chakra: G Note
  • Third Eye Chakra: A Note
  • Crown Chakra: B Note 

 
Source: 
Jevon Dängeli

What are the Benefits of Singing Bowls?

There are numerous benefits to playing a singing bowl. Singing bowls have the power to heal sickness, improve overall well-being, or target specific issues one might be experiencing. Here’s a general list of benefits that can be realized through playing a singing bowl. 

  • Chakra cleansing 
  • Promote relaxation 
  • Soothe illnesses and pain
  • Aid in reducing the pain caused by cancer treatment 
  • Reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Improve blood pressure and flow
  • Tool for anger management 
  • Create peace 
  • Improve the immune system
  • Boost overall well-being and contentment 
  • Remove negative energy from your home
  • Enhance sleep
  • Cleanse and charge crystals
  • Heighten clarity of mind and intuition

How Do You Play Singing Bowls? 

Playing a singing bowl can cause a rush of varying emotions from feeling invigorated to relaxed. But how can you achieve such blissful and calm moods? Luckily, there are several different ways to play a singing bowl, ranging from very beginner to advanced. 

As this is a guide for beginners, we’ll focus on the two most popular ways to play a singing bowl: striking and rimming. Other popular techniques, such as the “Wah Wah” Method or filling the singing bowl with water may be difficult for some people when they first start experimenting with singing bowls. Therefore, we suggest beginning with striking and rimming. In order to use either method, you will need a singing bowl, of course, but also a mallet or striker and an appropriate resting spot for your singing bowl.

The striking method is pretty self-explanatory. Using a wooden or felt-padded striker, you will take your singing bowl and hit its side. A wooden striker will create a high-pitched, metallic tone. On the other hand, a felt-padded mallet will create a rich, gentler, warmer tone. When striking, it is important to not hit your singing bowl too hard. Hitting it too hard might cause the bowl to crack or fall. To prevent this, some people prefer to use a cushion, ring, or mat underneath their singing bowl to keep it steady. You can also use your non-dominant hand to hold the singing bowl. If holding your singing bowl, be sure to place it on top of your flat palm. If wearing rings, remove them or avoid making contact with them and the bottom or sides of the bowl as this contact can create unwanted vibrations. 

Source: Refined Massage Therapy

The rimming technique, which may be a bit more difficult than the striking method, involves what’s usually a leather-wrapped or wooden mallet. When it comes to how to hold the mallet, you should find the way that feels most comfortable to you. However, most people find it best to hold the mallet at an angle as though writing with a pen, while others grip the mallet with all five fingers and act as if they are stirring something in a pot. This is the technique that really lets your singing bowl sing! When starting out, be mindful of your patience. You many need to circle the bowl numerous times before it starts producing sounds but this is okay—it will all improve with practice! Apply even pressure and move the mallet clockwise around the rim of the bowl. Pace yourself and don’t rub too quickly. Allow the sound to build over time instead of all at once. This should create a beautiful, peaceful sound to meditate to. 

As with any new skill, you cannot become a master overnight but remember to keep it up. Frequently playing your singing bowl will not only improve your overall well-being, but also improve the singing bowl’s ability to sing. As you play your singing bowl more, the singing bowl will create grooves in the side of the mallet. These grooves actually help the mallet get a better grip on the singing bowl’s rim, which will make it easier to play. Additionally, as bowls age, their tones mature and become mellower and deeper. 

My Singing Bowl Sounds Like This…What Should I Do?

As a beginner, it is likely you will run into issues playing your singing bowl. We’re here to help and guide you!

My Singing Bowl is “Chattering” 

A “chattering” or rattling singing bowl is one that sounds high-pitched with uneven, unequal sounds. If your bowl is chattering, you will know—it’s not very pleasant or relaxing to hear! The chattering sound is caused by uneven or not enough pressure. To stop the stick from bouncing off the bowl, slow down and apply more even pressure.

My Singing Bowl is Too High Pitched 

If you feel that your singing bowl is too high pitched, it could be one of two things. The first cause might be that you purchased a bowl with high-pitched tones. While smaller singing bowls are likely to be higher-pitched (which does not have to be a bad thing, as higher pitched bowls are often used in driving out illnesses or pain), it is possible you prefer a lower pitched bowl. In this case, we suggest looking for a larger or medium-sized bowl, which will have much lower notes.

The second reason why your singing bowl might be too high pitched is that you are using the wrong mallet. A wooden mallet rimming or striking a singing bowl will give off higher pitches which may be unpleasant for some. If this is the case, try rimming your singing bowl with a leather-wrapped mallet or striking it with a wool-padded striker. 

My Singing Bowl Sounds Fine but Sometimes the Sound Feels Overwhelming 

It is possible to be overly affected by your Tibetan singing bowl. As a beginner, this will likely be your first time being around and playing a singing bowl. If you find that the singing bowl negatively affects you, try cutting down the time spent playing the playing to a maximum of five minutes a day. It might also be useful to practice in the evening before bed so that you can process the vibrations and energy emitted by the bowl while sleeping.

Another reason why your singing bowl might feel overwhelming is the bowl’s loudness. Crystal singing bowls, for example, are known for their incredibly loud tones. If you find that your singing bowl is too loud, apply lighter, gentler pressure and slow down the rotation. 

What Are the Best Singing Bowls for Beginners? 

Just as singing bowls vary in size, shape, and style, they also vary in price. As a singing bowl beginner, you may not be interested in spending hundreds, perhaps, thousands of dollars on a genuine, antique bowl. While antique bowls are super high quality and special bowls to play, a beginner may have better luck learning on a small to medium sized machine-made bowl.

Because machine-made bowls are often smoother than their hand-beaten counterparts, you might find that they are easier to play and give off a cleaner, steadier, and more even note when struck. Their smoother surfaces also make it easier to make them sing. A quality, machine-made bowl is a perfect, affordable singing bowl for many beginners!

In particular, you should consider purchasing a singing bowl from Shanti Bowl, which was founded in 2015 to spread awareness of the beauty and health benefits of singing bowls. These bowls, which are of the highest quality, are intentionally priced well below their market value in order to ensure they are accessible to the most people possible. In addition, Shanti Bowl donates significant proceeds to non-profit organizations that work to provide meditation and mindfulness practices to at-risk communities.

Check out our complete guide about how to choose a singing bowl.

What do Beginners Absolutely Need to Know About Singing Bowls?

While this post has been comprehensive and thorough for those newly acquainted with singing bowls, we want to end on some pretty basic pointers that you should definitely take away from this post. These are things that every beginner needs to know! 

  1. Practice! Playing the singing bowl is like learning any other skill: practice makes perfect. You have to be consistent in playing your singing bowl and avoid getting discouraged when you struggle. 
  2. Related to Number 1, Number 2 is a reminder to be patient, both with yourself and your bowl. Playing a singing bowl is supposed to be a relaxing experience. If you are tense or trying too hard, it takes the enjoyment out of the tranquil sounds the singing bowl can produce.  
  3. It’s important to have the correct accessories to play your singing bowl. The wrong mallet can hinder the singing bowl from playing to its best ability. A larger bowl will require a mallet with a greater mass and surface area while a smaller bowl will require the opposite.
  4. Find your bowl’s “sweet spot.” A singing bowl sweet spot is the place where the vibration is most stable and smooth, free from chatter or interference. The sweet spot will also sound its harmonic tones at an equal volume. Finding your bowl’s sweet spot is a combination of effort, patience, speed, pressure, and angle.
  5. Lastly, it is necessary to experiment and find the method or mallets that work best for you and your needs. The best way to get to know your singing bowl is to listen to it and experiment with drawing out its many different tones and harmonics. 

We hope this was an illuminating guide on the wonders of singing bowls! Anyone can play and enjoy the vibrations and sounds the singing bowl creates. We invite you to get your own Tibetan singing bowl or crystal singing bowl and experience newly found peace and tranquility for a lifetime. 

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