back to Table of Contents

How To Use Singing Bowls

7. Wawing Like a Fish

A really nice way to use a singing bowl is what I call ‘wawing’. Hold your bowl firmly with spread fingers at the level of your head. Strike it with a bare striker (unless the sound is too harsh) at the rim, and hold your mouth wide open at the level of the rim. Close the back of the throat, do not breathe through the mouth, and move the lips a little bit up and down. What you are actually doing is using the mouth as a sound board, thereby enhancing one of the partials of the singing bowl. It takes a little practice of shaping the mouth in the right way and holding the bowl at the right level, but soon one tone is much louder. Then the mouth is in the right shape for that tone, and by making your mouth a little bit wider and smaller, you can create a ‘wawing’ effect. It is like a fish taking air, or imagine that you are uttering a waw-waw sound, but without making a sound yourself. The effect is marvelous and people will always look up at you, asking how you did that. You might want to turn the bowl around a little to get the maximum effect as the strongest sounds come from the four nodal points around the rim.
The ‘wawing’ effect works best with small or thick bowls, but large bowls can also have high partials that can be enhanced. Sometimes it is possible to enhance a second lower or higher tone. Also, it is easier to get the effect if you use a harder striker. Too soft a striker and it will not work



copyright 2001 by Dirk Gillabel