How To Choose The Right Singing Bowl For Yourself

Singing bowls are artificially or handmade bowls made from metal that produce a deep and rich tone when the wooden stick is rubbed around the rim in a circular motion. These singing bowls promote relaxation and offer powerful healing properties. Singing bowl therapy is a 2500-year-old Tibetan technique practised to soothe the body, mind, and soul.

antique singing bowls
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The singing bowl usually comes with a stout, wooden stick. When the stick strikes the bowl or rubs around the bowl in circular motions, a deep and rich-toned sound comes from it. The sound and vibrations work as a kind of music therapy for people. There are many theories and studies about why singing bowls are considered therapeutic. All of these usually suggest that:

  • The bowls produce vibrations that affect the mind and the body.
  • The sound of the bowls creates brain waves that induce deep relaxation in people.
  • They may give the same benefits as listening to soothing and meditative music.

Ancient sound therapy uses pulsing sounds, drumming, singing, and clapping for spiritual and health purposes. 

Today many businesses revolve around sound therapy and healing through music not only in Nepal or Tibet but all over the world. The ‘healers’ believe that the music from the bowls releases pressure from various spiritual focal centres (chakras) in our bodies. It cleanses our souls and relieves stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It also helps regulate the menstrual cycle. The practitioners usually have many students and visitors come to them to get away from their materialistic and busy lives for a day of calm and serenity.

If you are looking to buy a singing bowl for yourself but don’t know where and how to look for one, you have come to the right place. Read this blog on how to choose the right singing bowl for yourself and then head on over to our store at Himalayan Merch to place an order.

Read: The Health Effects of Singing Bowls

Find the right size:

Probably the most important thing to consider before buying a singing bowl is to choose the right size. Singing bowls come in various shapes and sizes. The tone, vibrations, and purpose differ in the same way.

tibetan singing bowls
Photo by Magicbowls on
  • Small size: If you are a beginner and looking to understand how singing bowls work, then we recommend you get a singing bowl within 4 to 6 inches in diameter. The resonance of the bowl may not be for long, but the tone will be good. You can ease yourself in to hold the bowl and the mallet, and play. Plus, it will be well within your budget.
  • Medium size: if you are serious about playing a singing bowl for meditational and healing purposes, then you might want to invest in a bowl of 7 to 8 inches in diameter. The bowl will fit perfectly in your palm and will be easy to play with. It has good resonance and can be used for chakra balancing, meditation, and aura cleansing. You can upgrade to medium size bowls after some time of getting familiar with small bowls too.
  • Large Size:  A bowl with a diameter of more than 10 inches can be considered large. Such large bowls are hard to make and hence expensive. Sound healers use large bowls in therapy sessions to create harmony in our bodies and balance chakras. Large singing bowls have higher and longer resonance. You can feel the powerful vibrations on the surface of the bowl as you hold it. The sound is clear and lingers for the longest time. 

Find the right tone:

When you have a lot of bowls to choose from, it can get a bit confusing. So you need to identify which bowl suits you based on the tone. Pick some bowls in the size suitable for you and play each. Feel the sound, the vibrations, and if it feels right holding it. If you can’t play a singing bowl yet, ask someone to do it for you. Sit back and listen. This is only feasible if you are buying from a physical store, so for online purchases, you have to trust the reviews and product descriptions.

Handmade or machine-made?

Handmade singing bowls need more work, effort, and time to create than machine-made singing bowls. Artisans collect all resources, manually form the proportions, and purify them for processing. They smelt the metal themselves and cast it. To bring the final form, the composite material is hammered down and sculpted into place. This takes a lot of time and patience. As a result, handmade singing bowls are a little more expensive in comparison to machine-made singing bowls.

Although machine-made singing bowls are cheaper in cost than handmade singing bowls, they aren’t really in demand like handmade singing bowls. This is because handmade singing bowls are very alluring and eye-catching. They are authentic and the sound produced by them is deep and rich. Both handmade and machine-made singing bowls are played in the same way; rubbing or striking the mallet on the rim of the bowl. The overall playing experience in handmade singing bowls is better.

In contrast, machine-made singing bowls are usually very stiff-sounding. They aren’t made with as much care and attention to detail as handmade singing bowls. They are made with business and sales in mind, and the manufacturers really don’t care much for the sound it creates as long as it looks good and sellable. The pitch and notes cannot be adjusted as per the player’s or listener’s wish, or at least not as much as handmade singing bowls. They sound dull. You can hear the difference between handmade and machine-made singing bowls by the warmth and brightness of the tone. So, machine-made singing bowls do not offer the flexibility and freedom like handmade singing bowls do in terms of playing.

Your purpose:

Different styles of singing bowls can have different purposes and specific bowls might work best in specific areas. So, be clear about your purpose for buying a singing bowl. Is it for meditation? Grounding? Chakra Balancing? Sound Therapy?

Read: Singing Bowls and Their Uses

If you wish to buy a singing bowl for meditational purposes, look for bowls that produce low, deep tones. The lasting deep sound and vibration are great for meditation and concentration. Low-toned singing bowls are also best for yoga classes and grounding; anything that requires you to be mindful and connect with yourself.

In contrast, singing bowls used in physical healing and chakra balancing should be extremely high-pitched. They can help drive out illnesses in the body and the vibrations are also beneficial for harmony.

Where to look?

You can buy singing bowls in a variety of different places. Wellness stores have singing bowls. And there are plenty of options online. In particular, consider buying singing bowls from Himalayan Merch. Our goal is to lead the Nepali marketplace all over the world and in turn provide a source of steady income to the local crafters. We have a growing catalogue with unique and legitimate products of premium quality, such as singing bowls, made by skilled and hardworking artisans from Nepal. Our website contains a comprehensive list of details about products in our collection. You can also find us on our social media to get updated on any new addition. We ship internationally and also sell products in bulk. So, if you are looking to buy a couple of items or looking to buy products made in Nepal in bulk, we encourage you to get in touch with us.

You can also visit our store at Himalayan Merchandise to buy singing bowls made locally in Nepal and practice sound healing yourself.