Learning the basics of how to play a Tibetan singing bowl is a relatively easy process, but this instrument is capable of producing even more varied and interesting sounds with the right technique. The wah-wah technique and the water technique are two methods that will make playing your Tibetan singing bowl a more enjoyable and interesting experience.
To begin this technique, start by singing the bowl in the basic way – by running the mallet around the rim of the bowl until it produces a steady, even sound. Then, release the mallet from the bowl. At this point, the sound should still be reverberating even after you have removed the mallet. Lift the bowl to mouth level, and mouth the syllables “wah-wah.” You do not have to say the sound aloud, as the simple act of just opening and closing your mouth is what modifies the sound of your singing bowl. Experimenting with varying the space between your mouth and the outside rim will change the sound, and you may also notice that if you turn the bowl, there will be spots where the sound is naturally louder than others.
For this technique, you need to put a bit of water in the bowl. The amount of water needed will vary but a good start is about 3/4 inch of water, being careful not to get the rim of the bowl wet. Too much water will interfere with this technique, so be prudent when filling your bowl. After you have added an adequate amount of water, sing the bowl using the basic around-the-rim technique. Once the bowl has starting singing with a clear, even tone, pull the mallet away from the bowl. Then gently begin tilting the bowl and swirling the water. If done correctly, this will produce a sound that sounds something like dolphins singing.
These two techniques, when done correctly, will produce beautiful and unique music from your Tibetan singing bowl that you may have never heard before.