Techniques on How to Produce Sound Through Tibetan Singing Bowls
Learn the basic techniques on how to produce sound through Tibetan singing bowls and get ready to play the music your heart desires!
One of the most common techniques on playing Tibetan singing bowls involves the around-the rim technique. Below is an elaborated step-by-step guide on how to properly do it:
- Using the palm of your left hand, hold the Tibetan singing bowl firmly. For smaller singing bowls such as those that measure seven inches and below, hold in using your fingertips.
- For unpadded mallets, take the singing bowl’s mallet and make sure to grasp it just about its mid-length. Hold the mallet with your fingertips pointing downwards while touching the wood. For padded mallets, make it certain that the portion where the red wool is located is always on top. Your palms should be positioned downward.
- With a gentle stroke, tap the mallet against the side of the Tibetan singing bowl’s surface to “warm-up” the singing bowl itself.
- Use an even amount of pressure to rub the singing bowl’s mallet on a clockwise direction around the outside edge of the singing bowl’s rim. Do not hesitate to move your arms around the singing bowl fully. Your motion should be similar to stirring a big kettle of soup. Always remember to keep the singing bowl’s mallet straight up and down.
- Maintain the full-arm movement around the Tibetan singing bowl’s rim. To keep the desirable sound the singing bowl produces, do not ever use a wrist movement.
- Do not forget to apply pressure as the friction between the mallet and the Tibetan singing bowl’s outer rim produces the vibrations which consequently can be heard as sounds.
- Learn to experiment with your own speed. Most of the time, people get to play the singing bowl too fast. Let the singing bowl’s sound build up slowly as the vibration gathers.
The Wah-Wah technique is one of the advanced techniques in playing the renowned Tibetan singing bowls. This technique makes use of the natural wah-wah sound singing bowls produce which amplifies and bends it to yield a more desirable tune.
- Get the singing bowl warmed-up by playing it using the around-the-rim technique described above.
- Pull the mallet away from the singing bowl while still allowing its sound to play.
- Raise the singing bowl up to the level of your mouth while still holding it using your hand. Elevate it in a way that the outside rim of the singing bowl is just 1 inch away above the opening of your mouth.
- Mimic the wah-wah sound by opening and closing your mouth. Note that you are not making any sound through your mouth. By changing the shape of your oral cavity, you are not only modulating the sound, but also you are allowing the sound waves produced by the singing bowl to bounce around the inside of your mouth and reflected back to the singing bowl itself.
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