Simple Tips For Purchasing A Himalayan Metal Singing Bowl
For Meditation, Ceremony And Therapeutic Application
Table Of Contents
Metal singing bowls, are made all over the world, though most prominently made in the Himalayan region in India or Nepal. Metal singing bowls are made from many layers of thin metal, heated, molded and beaten together either by hand or machine. They can be used at the beginning, end or during a meditation to clarify attention, or can be used to amplify intentions. When struck, they sound like a large bell, pulsing multiple tones and binaural vibrations. Hearing these vibrations can cause an immediate response from the mind and body to relax. Thinking patterns pause, are interrupted, and attention opens up into spaciousness and clarity. Metal bowls are excellent companions to a meditation practice, either offering an immediate reset to one’s clarity, or providing an environment to go into deeper tranquility and spaciousness.
Metal singing bowls can as well be placed right on the body for energy work. Vibrations are sent directly into the body at intentional spots. A trained body worker can use these vibrations to affect the flow of energy through the body, relaxing muscles, easing strain on joints, and also at times releasing psychosomatic tension as well. The Therapeutic Line of Zen Singing Bowls have been particularly designed to transmit vibration into the body. We suggest anybody looking to use bowls on a body, to listen to sounds files of these bowls to see if there are any sounds they resonate with.
Metal singing bowls do not have a simple history. They have not been solely manufactured for spiritual purposes. These are multi-purpose tools, used for storage, food preparation, eating, offering bowls, as well for musical instruments and for the sound they make. It is incorrect to call them specifically Himalayan, nor Tibetan. They have been produced all over the world for many reasons. They do create a beautiful tone when rung, and have as well been used in meditation and ceremony. Over the last thirty years, due to globalized forces, there has been a large focus on these bowls as meditative instruments. Now there is a specific industry for producing these bowls for use in ceremony and meditation all over the world. Advancements have been made as well, with companies like Zen Singing Bowls, experimenting with specific shape and percentages of metals to produce very specific effects for different body work applications or for use meditatively.
It is always best to buy a singing bowl that you like the sound of. This is the clear and easy answer and it really doesn't need to be more complicated than this whether you are using the bowls for yourself, or in a therapeutic practice with others. Listen to the sound files we have on our site, and notice how your mind and body react to the sounds. Find a sound that is pleasing, and that you wish to work with, and can relax into. This is a bowl that you can benefit from adding to your meditations.
If you are buying multiple singing bowls, to use together, this can surely be a challenge. Metal singing bowls in general play three different notes when struck, a low note, a midrange note and a high note. There can even be up to 5-6 notes in a single metal bowl. They are multi-tonal instruments. If you are looking for two bowls to play in harmony, you need to hear how the low, mid and high range aspects of each bowl work with each other to create a coherent and unified whole. We often have clients reach out to us, who want to buy a set of metal bowls but need help with their selection. We are happy to help put together a custom set of metal singing bowls. Please click the link below and fill out the form, and we will get back to your shortly to start the conversation.
Metal singing bowls are generally made between 3 and 24 inches. Read below to understand the differences between the sizes.
Small metal singing bowls are between 4 and 7 inches, and play from the higher end of the 3rd octave, up through the 5th octave. These bowls are typically less expensive, play higher notes, and produce less vibration than larger bowls. When you strike them they do not have many layers of sound. Typically they produce a more singular high pitched tone that has a relatively short sustain. One benefit of these bowls is that they are generally easier to make sing around the rim that large bowls can be. They are a great place to start for someone who is looking for the benefits of a metal singing bowl, but do not want to pay the price of a medium to large bowl. Or they are great for people who especially enjoy high pitched sounds.
Sound File For 6 Inch Metal Singing Bowl
Medium metal singing bowls are between 8 and 12 inches, and play down to the 2nd octave. These are our top recommendation for singing bowls for multiple reasons. With a 8-12 inch bowl you’ll receive a low toned bowl with both mid range and higher harmonics, so within each bowl there is a good range. As you strike the bowl, you will hear a good balance of these three low, mid and high range tones. Hearing this range of tone is quite penetrating and soothing to the mind. There can also be binaurals within these bowls as well, either in the low, mid or high range, which are an special plus. With a 8-12 inch bowl (especially with a 8-9 inch size) you can still hold the bowl in the palm of your hand without the bowl getting too heavy. So, you can get an excellent sounding bowl, and place the bowl around your body, feeling the pulsing of the vibrations. The 8-12 inch range is not drastically more expensive then smaller metal bowls (and definitely less than bowls that are 16 to 24 inches large). A medium sized bowl then is great for any practitioner looking for a great tone, in a bowl that is not too large, heavy or expensive, that can be used in many different therapeutic modalities.
Sound File For 10 Inch Metal Singing Bowl
Large bowls are between 14 inches and 24 inches. At this size they become a little difficult to hold in your palm, and so are generally used on the floor. These bowls are even lower in tone than bowls between 8 -12 inch bowls. There are many more layers of sound in a large metal bowl. Instead of just 3 tones, many of these bowls you can hear 5-6 different notes, lower to higher, which the mind entrains to. The effect of this can be quite intoxicating, as for that moment your mind can let go of thinking and may naturally surrender into tranquility. In this way, buying a larger metal singing bowl is very much like buying a larger gong. You will spend more money, and perhaps it is heavier to deal with, but you’ll receive a much richer note, with more depth, greater harmonics and binaural oscillations, that can be more powerful to work with than small metal bowls.
Sound File For 18 Inch Metal Singing Bowl
What singing bowl should you buy? Consider what you will use the bowl for. If you will need to hold the bowl in your hand, or place it on someone’s body then get a bowl around 8-10 inches. If you just need a bowl that will sit on the floor, and want the vibrations to just permeate the room, get a larger bowl. The most important aspect is if you like the sound of the bowl or not. Listen to sound files and find a bowl that you find resonates with you, and that you will want to play and enjoy.
Generally, there are three types of mallets for a metal bowl. There is a pure wooden mallet, that comes with many smaller bowls. Because there is no wrap around the wooden stick, they produce a loud sound from the bowl, and as well produce a high-pitched tone from a bowl. These are really useful in very small bowls. Any padding on a mallet can slightly dampen the sound of a metal bowl, and for a really small bowl the wooden mallet will bring out the loudest tone.
To get a lower tone from the bowl, you can buy a suede mallet, which is a wooden mallet with a strip of suede wrapped around it. The suede allows lower tones from a bowl to come through more prominently, so you get a more full chord from the bowl than with a pure wooden mallet. The suede also makes it easier to sing a singing bowl around the rim. A suede mallet comes in many different sizes, each designed to use for small bowls up to giant bowls. All our Himalayan bowls come with a free suede mallet, and are the simplest way of getting a good multi tonal chord from the bowl.
To get the lowest tone from a bowl, you need a gong mallet or a really soft mallet. There are two mallets in particular that we would recommend investing in, depending on the effect you want. No matter what, gong mallets don't work well on bowls that are smaller than 8 inches, and are best for bowls that are 8 inches are larger. The gong mallet will dampen the higher tones of the bowl, which will also create a quieter sound in general. So the bowl needs to be large enough, or it will be like no sound is coming out of the bowl at all. They are great for mid sizes to large bowls.
The first gong mallet we suggest is the Dragonfly Percussion Himalayan Bowl Mallet Small - 8" Bowls And Larger . This mallet is a wheel wrapped in a soft felt like cloth. The mallet was actually designed by a Gong percussionist playing professionally in orchestras. The mallet will produce a really good balance of low, mid and high range tones, but will focus more on the mid and low range tones. The mallet helps ensure more than a suede mallet you are getting a soothing and balanced note from the bowl.
The second gong mallet we suggest is a Dragonfly Percussion Himalayan Bowl Mallet - 10" Bowls And Larger. This is for people who are really looking just for the deepest tone of a bowl to come through. This is for people who want to sink into the bass note of the bowl, and don't want to hear much of the high or even the mid range note of the bowl. These mallets are definitely best for bowls that are 8 inches or larger, but are even better for bowls in the 12 inch range or larger. The mallets will mute higher tones, so will mute most of the volume of the bowl. Your bowl will be quieter, as the bass note is typically the quietest part of the bowls tone.
There is a story, generated from somewhere, that metal singing bowls historically were made with 7 precious metals, and that there is still a tradition of doing this somewhere. This is largely myth. Metal singing bowls are and have been made of bell metal, or bronze. It is a mixture of copper and tin. There can be trace minerals as well in the bronze that work there way into the production, though generally not intentional. There are as well some aluminum singing bowls. Though, if you buy a metal singing bowl around the world where it is new or antique, chances are it is made of bronze.
There have been, in fact, many scientific studies exploring the relaxing effects of metal singing bowls. Study after study show using metal singing bowls correlate to a reduction in stress and a overall increase in sense of wellbeing. Metal singing bowls are multi-tonal. As you strike one, the multi-tonal vibrations cascade over you. Your mental patterning is disrupted as you adjust to the sound of the bowl. If you breath into the sound, it is really quite simple to then breath out and feel tension become released. You can use this new space to generate feelings of happiness, compassion, empathetic joy, spaciousness or other wholesome inner states. We really believe in getting a deeper sound singing bowl that is going to be about 8 inches or larger. Small singing bowls can be quiet high pitched, and can be more difficult for people to work and relax into.
Crystal singing bowls are louder, easier to play, and can be droned longer than a metal singing bowl. If you plan on using a singing bowl for a longer meditation where you want to continuously produce sound, a quartz crystal singing bowl is probably a better investment. However quartz crystal singing bowls are singular in tone. Metal singing bowls are multi-tonal. The multi-tonal quality of metal singing bowls is more immediately effective upon the mind, and so if you are using the metal singing bowl for a reset, or the clear out, or in a therapeutic space where you do not need to use it for a long time, it is a highly effective tool.
You can play a metal singing bowl by striking it, or by running the mallet around the rim “singing it”. When you strike the bowl, it plays a multi-tonal note. If you strike the bowl soft, it will bring out more of its lower tones. If you strike the bowl harder, or with a harder mallet, it will bring out more of the higher notes of the bowl. If you “sing” the bowl, it produces one tone, generally the higher harmonic of the bowl. Some metal singing bowls can not be sung. We suggest actually purchasing a quartz crystal silicon striker as the best tool to sing a metal bowl with.
Metal Singing Bowls are primarily made in Northern India and Nepal. Our Himalayan Metal Singing Bowls are generally from two different collections, from makers in Norther India or Nepal. Though metal singings bowls are made elsewhere in the Himalayas and Southeast Asia as well.
Antique metal singing bowls are collected from all over the Himalayan region, and there is no real way of dating each bowl. There are no receipts of original purchase or documentation from they were originally made. It is safe to say though that the antique singing bowls are 30 years or older.
Zen Singing Bowls have created a line of therapeutic singing bowls. Specifically, the ZT900 or ZT1250 are great bowls for body work. The difference between the two is the weight of the bowl, either 900 or 1250 grams. The bowls have been made with a lot of weight on the bottom, which helps transfer the vibration down into the body.