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8Limbedpath

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello,

My first post!

I've recently come home after a month in India where I "caught the bug" for singing bowls. I'd been to gong baths and sound journeys back home in Scotland a few times and had some incredible experiences with yoga nidra and sound.

So after spending hours in a few of the local shops and striking hundreds of bowls, the guy from the shop has me standing in them and wearing them on my head! I found one that sounded so nice, I was on a yoga teacher training so I incorporated it into the relaxation at the end of my classes.

Since being home I've decided I'd like to have more bowls and keep experimenting with them in classes, it's a really hard decision what to buy! 🤔

I'd like a set of chakra bowls, but I'm concerned about spending so much money on something I can't actually hear in person, I've looked at numerous sets of crystal bowls too, the crystal tones sets look stunning but they're crazy expensive, plus I'd like metal bowls anyway.

Where do you guys get your bowls? What advice can you offer to a newbie to sound? After a month of looking I was considering buying a set of Peter Hess bowls, they sound quality on the videos I've managed to hear, and look like good quality without any of the dogma attached to them, like stories about 7 planets and them being antiques! 😂

Thanks in advance! 🙏🏻

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kpujals

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi, as a relative newcomer (in the rabbit hole for about 4 years...) I can give some initial advice. Since you've asked. The most important advice is to get some training, with a reputable and integrous teacher/mentor, and learn what you are doing with the bowls before even thinking about playing them for other people. There are links on the HTA website to point you in that direction. As far as assembling your set, (and btw, I agree with you regarding the crystal bowls versus metal...it's the harmonics of the metal bowls that you are looking for!) it is probably best to try to find your bowls in person-at least until you find a source that you really trust. And don't add to the collection without consulting those already in your practice. I spent a lot of money needlessly by not doing so! You really need to hear them together to make smart decisions. And buy the best bowls you can afford. Quality over quantity. You can do better work with one good bowl and decent mallets and the proper training than you can do with 7 (or however many) and no understanding and knowledge and practice. So Educate yourself first, ignore the hype, and, as is the same as with finding a reputable teacher, find a reputable procurer/dealer of singing bowls. Good luck and welcome to the tribe![smile]
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RichG

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Reply with quote  #3 

Hello 8Limbedpath, (personally I think it's great in this sort of forum if we use real names, at least first names....)

There are a couple of people here who can give you expert advice on Himalayan bowls, Mitch Nur and Joseph Feinstein.

I'll defer to them mostly, but also say this: "Chakra sets" are just a marketing ploy. There is no such thing as specific chakra notes or frequencies. Don't buy into it. Do your own exploration and research and see what works for you. Additionally, what works one day may work differently another day. There are many variables, both with the bowls and also with your mind/body/spirit consciousness that will affect bowl to body to energy relationships.

If you haven't already done so, look through the other topics here in the Primary Sounding Circle section and you will find other good information about the metal bowls. 
....and welcome to The Sound Healing Forum! Sometimes we are active, sometimes we go dormant for several months, but there are good people here and we are all about cutting through dogma and bad information.

 

PS - Personally, I find it offensive to the bowls to stand in them! They should be respected far more greatly than that. As far as wearing them on your head.... well, not something I'm inclined toward either, but would be curious to see what Joe and Mitch and Steve have to say about that.  Scrambling your brain in and of itself isn't necessarily "healing", though altered states certainly have their value.


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HimalayanBowls

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Reply with quote  #4 
I have a large collection going online soon at https://www.himalayanbowls.com. We just moved and had a baby, so I'm way behind updating the website. I have new bowls, antiques and sets going online over the coming weeks, including some real treasures.
As far as standing in the bowls, typically Tamang people will get upset if you touch a bowl with your foot. However, in recent years they have started calling the very large bowls "foot massage" bowls. It's part of the tourist trade, of course, following on the heals of massage parlors in the tourist areas. The parallel in Thailand are the "fish spas" where tourists can dip their feet in fish tanks and have little cyclids nibble dead skin off the feet. I always thought it looked incredibly dumb and of course recently it's been reported extremely unsanitary and people get infections from doing it.
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Throatsinger

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Reply with quote  #5 

For me, there are only a few relevant points.

Don't overpay. Beware the sites where it's all about chakras, magical frequencies, everything is "this much, but whatever % off," or go on about Tibetan monks, traditional healing, etc. 

The only really important things are how a bowl sounds and makes you feel. If it's pretty, that's a plus but many great bowls don't look special. If it's relatively cheap, but has fancy engravings of Buddhas or what not, you've got a pretty good idea of where the maker's/dealer's priorities are.

The really big ones make the best Fish Foot Spas.


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Guy Beider

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Reply with quote  #6 
Dear 8Limbedpath [smile]
Welcome to the family of metal pots fans [smile]
It's totally legitimate to confess here that you got the bug! The remedy is of course to go deeper and explore the magical effects these pots can make.
My name is Guy Beider and I am relatively new here. The veterans of the singing bowls field are Mitch Nur http://www.9ways.org and Joseph Feinstein (wwwhimalayanbowls.con)
However I can offer you to go through my website, where you may find a bowl/s and some relative information.
I have also dozens of instruments that are waiting for the upload.
https://bellsofbliss.com

Enjoy your path and thank you for making our circle wider
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Glen Hoban

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Reply with quote  #7 
> What advice can you offer to a newbie to sound?

@8Limbedpath I am going to offer some thoughts on what I like in a singing bowl, rather than where you might get one. (I, of course, have many wonderful bowls and I am sure there is one out of the 400+ (and soon to be even more, OMG!) you would like, but my store is in Winnipeg. [wink] )


I am not sure about the other folks here, but there are a number of factors I use when grading a singing bowl..... while there are always exceptions to general rules, what I have come to value in a singing bowl are things like resonance (how long the tone lasts), quantity and quality of overtones (are there many or few? are they well-defined or do they meld into each other? are they harmonious with each other or dissonant? do they weave in and out of each other over time, does one dominate, or two? or more? what sort of vibrato do the various overtones have? do they work well together? are there pleasing rhythmic patterns?), whether the sound decays evenly over time (and whether the overtones decay evenly over time), how loudly it can be played without getting buzzes or distortions in the sound (I never hurt a bowl by striking it, but I DO like to strike a bowl quite loudly to bring out all the overtones as well as to reveal faults), how 'gentle' the strike can be - in addition to hitting hard, I also like to hit a bowl very softly - with just the very tip of the wooden end of a striker. The more of the 'suite' of overtones that is released when I strike a bowl softly this way, the better.  How easily it can be droned (both in terms of getting it to sing as well as how smoothly it drones; while a few little squawks and 'gleams' of sound seem to attend even high quality bowls, the better ones have fewer. Of course learning to avoid these sounds is part of learning to play a bowl, but the better bowls in my view just have fewer of these roughnesses.) Again with droning.... how many tones can you get? Most bowls can give at least two; I have a number that can give three and one (so far) that can give four. (Higher tones get louder & the top ones can be quite ear-piercing.....in a hurts so good sort of way. [tongue] ) Of course you also get some of the overtones even when just droning the base note, and sometimes these, too, add a pleasing harmony, often an "ohm/aum/om" sort of sound. I usually don't like too fast or too heavy vibrato or 'wah-wah'. I prefer a very calm, smooth, almost 'cold' tone in some bowls with a vibrato that is either almost absent, or, even better? spread out over a few seconds or more. I also value a certain 'focused' sound (I guess you could consider a very fast vibrato)- almost like a dentist's drill in its penetrating quality, but MUCH more pleasant of course! This usually goes along with the more worn and smooth bowls.

As I become yet more familiar with singing bowls I find that sometimes there is a quality in a bowl that I had missed before, and sometimes this quality will supersede my general preferences. I have one bowl, for instance, that has so many overtones of equal strength that it is very hard to even tell what note the bowl is! Normally this is a bad thing, but in the case of this bowl it somehow gives the sound a rather 'rainbow' quality that I find quite magical. The bowls are all different and unique.

If you are interested in making a collection or set, what I often do is start with a pair of bowls that are what is called in musical terms a 'perfect 5th' apart in pitch. I then add bowls above or below the "fifth" until I have something I like. I tweak sets for a long time.....I don't sell bowls at the rate that I could because it takes me time to find relations between bowls, and since I am in the business of selling them, when I get a new order of bowls I have the luxury of seeing if I can find something that works better. I sometimes find that a bowl that is not all that special on its own can become very wonderful when paired with the right bowl. (Most of these multi-tweaked sets I make are not for sale, yet, anyway..... I DO make sets for sale, but they tend to sell before I have much chance to tweak them beyond their initial creation phase.)

If whomever you buy bowls from is open to the idea, I suggest that you could try seeing with them if they would be willing to do equal value exchanges... This assumes of course that you return the bowl(s) to them in just as good a condition as when you got them! I have not done this sort of thing for my customers yet, but I think it might be a nice service to offer.

Oh, yes.....never with the cast bowls! They are nice till you hear the real thing; you can get just cheap steel mixing bowls at the second hand store for 99 cents which have equally pleasing tones - they will even drone a lot of the time! (I keep a bunch of these mixing bowls - as well as pot lids - in my store & occasionally play them for people as demonstrations. (I am even working on a "Chakra Set" ! [biggrin]) Alas! My favourite of these musical mixing bowls was bought by a customer a while back who made me an offer it would have been embarassing to refuse... I must keep an eye out for a replacement. Anyone got a nice sounding 'Counter Craft' mixing bowl made in South Korea? [wink] )

Anyway, I hope you will find this somewhat rambling post of some help to you in deciding what sort of bowls you might like to have, and how you might like to add to your collection.

For your enjoyment, hopefully, here is a link to a short favourite singing bowl video of mine played on two scales I have assembled. It starts out with the interval of the fifth that I mention above, and the second bowl you hear is what I feel is one of my best sounding bowls.

(One of the things that I love so much about these bowls is that they are not tuned to standard pitch - or if they are it is accidental. So, when I make a scale or chord of singing bowls and play them, the melodies and the harmonies are all new, never heard before..... even if still familiar somehow. Magickal! [smile] )

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HimalayanBowls

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Reply with quote  #8 
Good observations there about the various tonal qualities to look for. Some of it points to Glen's experience playing the bowls.
I have just added over 100 great quality antiques to my website. All are 50% off. Take a look and listen here: http://www.himalayanbowls.com/antique-singing-bowls.html
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