Step-by-Step: How to Play a Crystal Singing Bowl

Crystal singing bowls are a popular tool for meditation, relaxation, and healing. If you're new to playing them, it can be intimidating to know where to start. This guide will walk you through the basics of playing a crystal singing bowl, including how to hold the mallet (wand), create sound, and use the bowl for different purposes.

Set Up Your Space.
Before you begin playing your crystal singing bowl, it’s important to set up your space. Find a quiet, comfortable area where you won’t be disturbed. Make sure your bowl is on an o-ring. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and prepare for your practice.

Hold the Mallet (Wand) Correctly.
The first step in playing a crystal singing bowl is to hold the mallet (or wand) correctly. The wand should be held lightly between your thumb and index finger, with the rest of your fingers gently wrapped around the handle. Make sure your grip is relaxed and comfortable, as you will be using this hand to gently strike the bowl and create sound vibrations. Practice holding the wand and getting a feel for its weight and balance before moving on to the next step.

Strike (Chime) the Bowl.
Once you have a very relaxed but secure grip on the wand, it’s time to gently strike (or chime) the bowl. With your dominant hand, bring the wand to the edge of the bowl and chime it gently, using a smooth and fluid motion. The goal is to create a clear and resonant sound that fills the space around you, while striking it very gently. Another way to chime is a soft "kiss" about 1/3 of the way down the bowl and about 1/3 of the way from the end of the wand usually produces a desirable result. Experiment with different gentle striking techniques and angles to find the sweet spot that produces the best sound for you.

Use Circular Movements to Create Vibrations (Singing).
After striking the bowl, you can also create vibrations by using circular movements with the wand (we call this singing the bowl). Hold the wand as if you were holding a pencil or a pen, with a relaxed and secure grip, then place the wand on the rim of the bowl and move it in a circular motion, applying gentle pressure. This will create a sustained and soothing sound that can help to calm the mind and relax the body. Experiment with different speeds and pressures to find the right level of vibration for your needs. Remember to keep your movements smooth and fluid, allowing the sound to flow naturally from the bowl. If the bowl and wand start to rattle you may want to reduce the speed and pressure.  Try practicing keeping the sound soft and subtle.  Of times people new to the bowls will play too loud, and in our experience can create agitation.

Great job! You are likely finding it easier and more accessible than you ever imagined! As you get to know your bowls you'll begin to hear exactly how they like to be played and create a beautiful relationship together.

For more instructions please contact us to set up a private session, check out our upcoming introduction to crystal bowls workshops, or see the extensive programs available at the Soul of Yoga Sound Institute.