woman playing crystal singing bowl for blog post on a guide to crystal singing bowls

Guide To Singing Bowls & Sound Healing (Beginner Friendly)

What is a Singing Bowl?

A singing bowl is like an upside bell that produces a rich sound and vibration when struck or circled with a mallet. Some frequencies produced by playing a singing bowl will have a soothing effect on the mind, body, and soul. Other frequencies are so high pitched that they can be unpleasant to hear if played alone.

Singing bowls are typically made of metal (Tibetan bowls) or quartz crystal silica sand material. These instruments are crafted to take on the shape of a bowl and create a unique tone and or note when played correctly—hence the name “singing bowl.”

What are Singing Bowls Used For?

The uses for Singing bowls include sound baths, sound healing, meditation, ritual, cleansing, musical enjoyment, healing, and spiritual practices. For thousands of years, humans in Eastern cultures have used primarily metal singing bowls ceremonially, for sound therapy, energy healing, or in places of worship.

Singing bowl history is very rich, as it was considered a sacred instrument in many ancient Buddhist practices.

Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls are a more modern creation beginning with the invention of the Quartz crystal oscillator in 1918 Now, the uses of singing bowls both metal and crystal are more culturally widespread, and people around the world incorporate these unique instruments into their daily lives for wellness, energy cleansing, and ritual purposes.

How Do Singing Bowls Work?

The design of singing bowls is specially crafted to produce a unique frequency and note when played. When struck or rubbed by a mallet, the free-standing bowl vibrates in a way that creates resonance, producing frequencies and notes that when played properly can have a soothing effect on the mind and body.

Our Sound Healers Collection Set includes everything you need to get started with your singing bowl practice. 

When certain notes or tones are played together the resonating sounds emanated by multiple singing bowls are said to sync the left and right sides of the brain together, creating a feeling of peace, wellness, and serenity within. 

Tibetan Singing Bowl Background

The metal singing bowl, called the Tibetan singing bowl, has been used by humans for thousands of years, dating back as far as the 11th century BCE. Singing bowl history mostly revolves around Tibetan singing bowls.

These bowls are not actually Tibetan but are often made by Nepali artists, both throughout history and in present times. We import directly from Nepal and have limited supply of artisan collections in our showroom.

They are referred to as Tibetan bowls due to the metal being composed of seven hand-hammered alloys frequently used by Tibetans.

Tibetan singing bowls are generally durable due to their metal composition and can play up to 7 musical notes on the C major scale. Those wanting to learn more can read our article on the benefits of Tibetan singing bowls.

How Are Tibetan Singing Bowls Made?

Tibetan singing bowls are typically made from a bronze alloy composed of copper, silver, zinc, iron, tin, gold, and nickel. These materials are forged to create the bowl shape of the standing bell and molded in a specific way to create the best shape to produce the high frequencies of the singing bowl. Tibetan bowls or Metal Singing Bowls can be both forged and hand-hammered, etched and adorned with detail or machine-made. 

Most of the Tibetan bowls produced today come from Nepal and Eastern India, although singing bowls are believed to have originated from China. Traditionally, they were made by hand, with the metal being forged and hammered into the desired shape and size.

Although it’s possible to find mass-produced bowls made by machines, we only sell handmade singing bowl sets. Not only are every set of handmade Tibetan singing bowls unique, but being handmade charges them with a little something extra. Much in the same way that a grandma’s food simply tastes better than other food.

How to Transport Tibetan Singing Bowls
small crystal singing bowl carry case open

Although Tibetan singing bowls are not made of a very fragile material, it is still important to use care when transporting your metal singing bowl set from one place to another.

Using a padded carrying case for your singing bowls can help you to easily transport the instrument without misplacing the mallet or damaging the metal surface.

To avoid denting the metal or cracking your crystal bowl, the singing bowl can be wrapped in cloth or bubble wrap. Bowls that are more than 2 inches apart in size difference can be nested within one another—small bowls can fit inside the larger bowls to maximize storage space within your carrying case.

How Is A Crystal Singing Bowl Unique?

Crystal singing bowls typically consist of quartz or other energetically charged crystals and minerals. This type of singing bowl is more frequently used in crystal-focused healing, wellness, and meditation sessions – as we cover in our guide to how crystal singing bowls work.

Some people prefer crystal singing bowls due to the energetic and healing properties of crystals.

One of the key differences between a crystal singing bowl and a metal one is the appearance and the weight.

Crystal singing bowls and Metal Singing Bowls come in a variety of sizes often from 7”-24”. The size of your singing bowl will determine it’s weight. 

How Are Crystal Singing Bowls Made?

Crystal singing bowls are made using a spinning mold to form silicon quartz and sand into a bowl shape. In order to do so, the materials must be heated to 4000 degrees Fahrenheit in a centrifuge.

The process is very similar to glass-blowing—the crystal singing bowl is formed with a high-temperature mold using pressurized air. The bowl is shaped in a way that allows it to create a one-note beautiful sound vibration that can relax the body and mind in meditation or ceremonial practices.

Some crystal singing bowls are given a frosted exterior to add another layer of beauty — and in our opinion, helps a bit with feng shui. Frosted Crystal singing bowls are not the only crystal instrument, there are alchemy crystal bowls, clear singing bowls, harps, bells, pyramids, tuning forks and many more instruments made of quartz crystal.

How to Transport Crystal Singing Bowls
purple tall crystal singing bowl carry case

Due to their fragile nature, it’s essential that you use the utmost care when transporting crystal singing bowl sets. When bringing a crystal singing bowl set on the go, you must be sure to store the singing bowl mallet separately to avoid any breakage. 

Both the mallet and the crystal singing bowl should be wrapped in cloth or bubble wrap to protect the objects from any damage. If transporting more than one crystal singing bowl, the crystal bowls can be wrapped and then nested inside one another for added support.

To keep things simple and our bowls safe, we use a singing bowl carrying case when transporting our bowls.

When nesting, be sure to put smaller crystal bowls inside of larger bowls for easier storage, but only nest crystal bowls that have more than 2 inches in size difference to avoid them getting stuck. 

What is the Frequency of Singing Bowls?

The frequency of singing bowls is between 110 Hz and 660 Hz. Some singing bowls, depending on their shape and material, can reach sound frequencies as high as 900 Hz. The high frequencies achieved when playing a singing bowl make these instruments ideal for sound healing and ritual practices.

Quartz singing bowls can even be designed to play specific notes. Making it possible to buy singing bowls based on note.

Some people believe these sound waves and frequencies are powerful enough to heal the body from illnesses and injury, and scientific studies have shown that the sounds produced by singing bowls can effectively calm the nervous system and alleviate stress.

Sound vibrations or sine waves can easily penetrate the body, creating a relaxing effect. 

How to Use a Singing Bowl

Using a crystal or metal singing bowl to produce the desired sound or frequency is easy when taking the right approach.

Hold the singing bowl in your palm or fingertips, or have it placed on a cushion, appropriately sized o-ring or surface for support.

To produce sound frequencies with the bowl, a mallet must be pressed firmly against the outside rim of the bowl. For a more detailed guide, you can enjoy our series on learning to play your crystal singing bowl

While pressing, make circles around the rim, using your full arm to move the mallet around the bowl at a steady pace until you begin to hear a sound.

Be sure to relax your wrist when holding the mallet. 

Once a clear, bright sound is produced, the pace can be slowed. This motion also works when circling the outside belly of the singing bowl.

To create a different type of vibration, strike the bowl gently before starting the circling motions outside the bowl.

Some people may choose to chant “ohm” or a specific prayer while simultaneously playing the singing bowl. Be sure to always receive consent when playing your Tibetan or crystal singing bowl near other people.

You can use your singing bowl for many practices, including wellness, healing, cleansing, sound healing, chakra alignment, prayer, ceremonies, and more.

How to Use a Singing Bowl for Healing

When playing a metal or crystal singing bowl for wellness or healing purposes, it can be helpful to enter the experience with an intention or two in mind.

Envision what aspect of the body or mind you wish to heal and picture the sound washing over you and healing these things.

Try to reach a meditative state while playing the singing bowl, or have someone else play it for you as you meditate beside them. Allow the sound healing and wellness-promoting properties of the high frequencies to enter your consciousness and overtake your senses. With an open mind and an open heart, you can allow sound healing to take place with the help of the singing bowl’s unique resonance.

How to Use a Singing Bowl for Chakras
Clear Crystal Singing Bowl Set Of Seven Bowls with Chakra Design This powerful seven crystal singing bowl set of clear crystal singing bowls with decorative chakra design has a strong, clean and strong resonance. This full scale bowl combination is powerful in triggering nitric oxide production to induce deep relaxation, serve as a meditation anchor, and balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system Included: Seven Clear Crystal Singing Bowls Sizes 5.5" to 7"

Throughout history, singing bowls have been used in spiritual and wellness practices to realign the chakras of the body. Sometimes, healers will play the singing bowl above each chakra point to cleanse, open, and align them. A singing bowl sound bath has frequencies that can help shift the vibrations of each chakra in the body.

When playing a singing bowl to work on chakras, be sure to set an intention with each sound you make to achieve the best results. 

Dangers of Singing Bowls

As with any new undertaking, it’s important to understand the dangers and risks of the activity before you decide to partake. The dangers involved with using a singing bowl are minimal, but there are some risks to consider before you choose to use one. 

Here are some dangers or risks to consider before using a singing bowl:

  • Headache Stress

The high frequencies of smaller singing bowl and the sounds created by playing a singing bowl without some understanding and education (link to education level 1) can cause headaches for people who are sensitive to high-pitched sounds. If you are frequently agitated by high-pitched sounds or if they cause headaches for you, be cautious before using a singing bowl. Although this is a very mild side effect and low risk, the headaches caused by singing bowls can certainly interfere with your daily activities.

  • Pregnancy Risks

As studies have shown, babies in the womb are affected by external sounds. While babies in the 1st trimester aren’t able to hear frequencies below 500hz, it’s still for the best not to expose them to high decibels at any range. Frequencies played from singing bowls at normal ranges are perfectly fine.

  • Metal Allergies

If you are allergic to metal, be sure only to use crystal singing bowls if you are the one playing the instrument. Tibetan singing bowls are made of metal, and people with sensitivities or allergies are at risk of a reaction or rash breakout if they handle this material. 

  • Epilepsy Risk

The vibrations and high-pitched sounds created by singing bowls can trigger epileptic seizures. A person with a history of epilepsy should not play a metal singing bowl or crystal singing bowl or be in the presence of one being played to avoid triggering a seizure.

  • Damage To An Antique

It’s unlikely that your singing bowl is a true antique, as those are extremely difficult to get a hold of. So no need to worry about harming your bowl through regular use!

Are Singing Bowls Evil?

No, singing bowls are not evil. Actually, singing bowls are used to cleanse away any negative energy.

Singing bowls are frequently used in Eastern religions and spiritual practices to promote positive change and wellness. The vibrations and sounds created by playing a singing bowl can be beneficial by calming the body and mind, leading to stress relief and feelings of peace, love, and positive energy.

Do Singing Bowls Hurt Dog Ears?

When used properly, a singing bowl sound will not hurt dog ears. In fact, the beneficial properties of singing bowl frequencies can also have a positive effect on dogs and other household animals. Remember to get some training in sound healing and learn more about how to properly play a singing bowl. It is never recommended to play a bowl loudly.

Dogs and other animals tend to have a positive reaction to calming music, especially singing bowl sounds when played properly. The singing bowl sounds and frequencies can even calm a dog down in a stressful situation.

Some dogs may even drift to sleep in the presence of somebody playing a singing bowl! We love giving our pet’s sound baths.

Why Do Singing Bowls Hurt My Ears?

If a crystal or Tibetan singing bowl is hurting your ears, it is likely that it is being played incorrectly. Be sure to hold the mallet gently and never strike too hard when using your singing bowl. It is also possible that you may have fluid build up in your ears, this happens as we age. 

When a singing bowl is played too loudly or incorrectly, it is possible to damage your hearing if you are not cautious.

As with any loud sound, overexposure can cause ringing in your ears or hearing loss.

If you are playing the singing bowl correctly and it still hurts your ears, you can try using a different material singing bowl.

Crystal singing bowls can have a more intense sound, so Tibetan singing bowls are recommended for those with sensitive hearing.

How to Use a Singing Bowl for Cleansing

Many people believe that singing bowls can be used to cleanse negative and unwanted energy from spaces and people. The singing bowl frequencies are known to act as a reset for the body, mind, and surrounding energies.

To use a singing bowl for energy cleansing, take a minute or two to meditate and set an intention for your cleansing ritual.

Strike the bowl to make it sing and trace the rim with the mallet as usual but envision the vibrations washing over the space and energy like a sound bath. Let the sound fade before starting over and repeat as many times as desired until you feel the energy has been sufficiently cleansed by the sounds of your metal or crystal singing bowl.

Where to Buy Singing Bowls

When purchasing a singing bowl bundle, you want to choose a vendor you can trust to provide you with the highest-quality instrument you can find. At the Om Shoppe, we ensure that all of our singing bowl sets are ethically sourced and made with superior materials. We have been working with our manufacturers directly since 2008.

Whether you are practicing sound healing, meditation, or prayer our wide selection of singing bowls will have something suitable to your needs.

Check out our wide selection of singing bowls to find the one right for you and your journey.

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All Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls

Clear Crystal Singing Bowl Set with Chakra Design

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2 thoughts on “Guide To Singing Bowls & Sound Healing (Beginner Friendly)

  1. Simone says:

    Thank you so much. I purchased my bowls for almost $2000 from a shop that provided very minimal educational information.

    • The OM Shoppe says:

      Thank you Simone, We do hope you will purchase with us in the future and are glad you are now part of the OM Community.

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