Playing your Bowl

  1. Hold the Bowl on the open palm of your hand, for smaller Bowls, (7” or smaller), hold on your fingertips.

  1. Grasp the playing stick about mid-length, as you would hold a pencil but upright. 

  1. Rub the stick, using even and firm pressure, clockwise around the edge of the Bowl while keeping the stick straight up and down.  Use your whole arm as you go around.

  1. Usually the Bowls are sung too fast, so remember to slow down as the sound comes up. Experiment with the speed and pressure. 

  1. In the beginning it helps to tap the Bowl lightly, in one motion with the spin, to gently “warm it”.


Breaking in the playing stick:


The playing sticks are made of hardwood, (cherry works well), and a particular softwood, (Aspen). It is wise to experiment with different diameter woods within the context of a particular Bowl or Ganta, each having characteristics that is unique to itself. As grooves develop on the stick better sound and easier playing will result.

Modulating the Sound:

Begin by striking the Bowl, with the padded portion of the stick, and while it is still vibrating, place your mouth in close proximity to the edge. Take care not to touch the Bowl while changing the size of your mouth opening. This can also be done with the larger Gantas, however the placement of your mouth must be high up on the resonating cone. Turn these instruments as you do this and you will find the “hot Spots” where the sound is naturally different.

Care and Cleaning:

The Himalayan Bowls are very strong however take care not to drop or strike too hard as they will crack.  I recommend cleaning with mild soap and water.  If you want a high luster polish use a nonabrasive cleaner such as “Bar Keepers Friend” (matt finish) or “Dupont #7” (high gloss).

It is important not to clean with anything that will scratch the surface. 

Do not polish the playing edge. Finish the polishing process with a product known as 'Never Dull' ... this will help to keep the surface bright. © Richard Rudis (Karma Sonam Dorje) copyrighted 2023