1. Place the Singing Bowl in the palm of the left hand if you are right-handed. A smaller bowls should be held by the fingertips.
2. With your right hand grasp the wand about mid-length, much as you would hold a pen but pointing downwards and touching the wood. If you are using a padded wand the red wool should be on top.
3. With an even pressure, rub the wand clockwise around the rim of the bowl.
4. Experiment with speed. Usually people go too fast! Let the sound build up slowly as the bowl picks up the vibration.
5. In the beginning, it helps to tap the wand gently against the side of the bowl to warm it up.
Breaking in Your Wand
The wand that comes with the Himalayan Singing Bowls is made of aspen wood. When the bowl is played using the wand-around-the rim technique, the friction of the wand produces vibrations, which result in sound. In the beginning the wand is relatively smooth, but with continued use it develops microgrooves, which help to grab more of the playing edge of the bowl. Allow about five minutes for initial breaking-in of the new wand. The more the wand is used, the more the microgrooves become impressed upon the wand resulting in better sound and easier playing from your bowl.
Most all singing bowls have natural wah-wahs; however, you can amplify and bend the sound by using the wah-wah technique. Start the bowl singing by using the wand-around-the rim technique. Pull the wand away from your bowl and let the bowl to continue to sing. While still holding the bowl in your hand raise the bowl up to your mouth. The sound may then be modulated by changing the size and shape of the oral cavity. Experiment with the relative position of your mouth to the outside rim. Also, while experimenting with the wah-wah effect, you will find hot spots, where the bowl is naturally louder.
Water Bowl Sounds
A special sound effect can be produced by adding a small amount of water to the bottom of the Singing Bowl. The sound produced using this technique sound is similar to dolphins singing. The amount of water used varies with the individual bowl. Start by filling three fourths of the bowl with water. Be careful NOT to get the rim of the bowl wet. Now, play the bowl using the wand-around-the rim technique. Bring up the sound by using a steady, even pressure. Pull the wand away from the bowl rim and let the bowl continue to vibrate while still holding the bowl in your hand, tilt it so that the water inside gently laps towards the inside rim. Continue to swirl gently while tilting the bowl and water. Experiment with the amount of water used. Usually the best effect is produced with a minimum amount of water.