7 tips to choose a good
If you are looking for a Tibetan Bowl, you will probably come across a great number of options, stories, myths, and most likely a manufacturer, importer or seller who vehemently assures you that theirs are the best. There is a lot of information about these beautiful instruments with magical sounds, but also you will find information that is contradictory.
So we put together this guide so that you know the options and are well informed before choosing.
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1.- Its origin: We tend to admire things that come from abroad, especially from the East. They usually tell us that the best bowls are made in the India, sometimes this may be true but most of the time, sadly it is not. Today bowls are made in many parts of the world in addition to the East, such as the United States, Germany and Argentina. Countries where it has been achieved the best quality level for these instruments, combining ancient techniques with modern methods. At present, India and Nepal are no longer the center of activity, distorted by tourism and trade, there are few manufacturers that achieve instruments of remarkable sound.
2.- The manufacturing method: This is the point where the paths and the stories are most diversified. There are as many ways to make a bowl as there are ways to think. Some better than others, some very undesirable. Among the best techniques, in no order of priority, are hammering, artisan embossing and stamping. Among the not very good, there are the smelting method and other industrialized methods. Here we will tell you a little about each one:
+ Hammering : Although it is the oldest technique and one of the best, this does not always ensure the quality of a bowl. From the beginning, this was the preferred method of manufacturers, it was practically the only way that existed to make a bowl back then. Today it is still the method of choice for some manufacturers but it is difficult to find who elaborate and fine-tune them in the right way. It is very common to find bowls hammered with a lot of passion, but with a very poor degree of tuning. It is a technique that requires a lot of knowledge and years of experience, which very few manufacturers in the world really master.
+ Embossing : If the term is strange to you, it is a very similar method to the one used to make pots from ceramics. In which the piece is rotated at a certain speed, and is formed with the contact of the hands, or tool in our case. The greatest advantage of this method is homogeneity. This means that all parts of the bowl have the same level of tension and hardness, which represents a much higher degree of tuning and harmony in the sound of the bowl. This is the most difficult point to achieve in the hammering technique, as each blow adds a great deal of uneven stress. A very experienced manufacturer should be able to pull it off, but this is rarely the case. The best way to recognize it is to listen to a harmonious relationship between all the sounds the bowl makes. In simple terms, if the bowl sounds beautiful, it was well crafted. If it sounds weird, it wasn't. Embossing can be done in an artisanal or industrial way, the biggest disadvantage that this method can present is on an aesthetic level. Since when the bowl is made in an industrial way, the machine leaves circumscribed marks on the bowl, similar to those of drum cymbals. If the bowl is made correctly and by hand, you will not find any brand, but if the most wonderful sound.
+ Stamping : It is one of the most modern techniques that exists, commonly used to make parts of cars, pots, lamps, among others. Yes the method is well used, it allows to achieve a very good level of sound quality. It should be noted that it is a 100% industrialized method. If the result is what counts for you, and not the medium, this shouldn't matter much to you. But if what you are looking for is a handmade instrument, made with love and dedication by the hands of a being, this method will not be your favorite.
+ Casting : From any point of view, this is the least desirable brewing method for making a bowl. Since it obtains the poorest results in terms of quality, resonance, vibration, volume, weight, finish, etc. They are easily recognizable by their rough interior, similar to the plaster of a wall before being painted. In the case of imported bowls, this method can be combined with a very striking drawing, in an attempt to touch the Buddhist culture. This method is used by those looking for a fast production or voluminous, and usually fulfill the function of adornment rather than a musical or therapeutic instrument. They are very heavy bowls, very sharp and low in noise.
3.- The metals that compose it: The most controversial and wonderful point at the same time. The alchemy of the instrument is perhaps the most magical part in the gestation of a new bowl. It is important to know how to discern what is useful from what is not. But above all, what is true of what is false. If you are so fascinated by the number 7 Like us, who name this note as the "7 tips to choose a bowl", you have probably also fallen in love with the myth of the 7 metals. This story tells that a good bowl needs to be composed of 7 metals to be good, although in theory this myth is beautiful, it is totally unfounded.
These metals would be Gold, Silver, Copper, Mercury, Tin, Iron and Lead. At the beginning, this myth collapses when it is found that not all these metals are "alloyable", that is, they cannot be mixed with each other. Like Mercury and Gold. Or that some of these are so toxic that the simple fact of coming into contact with them generates a very high level of toxicity in your skin, such as Lead and Mercury. They are metals that you really don't want to have in your bowl. There are manufacturers that to resonate with the myth, they devised their own mixture of metals, which has little to do with its proposal, but they comply with the label "Bowl of 7 Metals". Thus They take the opportunity to close some sales. Multiple studies have shown that numerous adhesion of metals does not represent a beneficial or necessary factor for the quality of the bowl.
We recommend that, if you find a bowl that claims to contain 7 metals, you apply with it for a content certification. In this way you will be able to know what percentage of Gold or Silver it contains, or if it contains metals that can be harmful to your health in the long term. If you don't receive a certification with your bowl, don't worry! You can use the metallographic microscope that, all we have at home?
Studies have shown that the best metals to achieve an excellent bowl are: Copper, Zinc, Tin, and Nickel, combined in different ways or alloys. They are the metals that you will find in the best Nepalese bowls of yesteryear. Outside of that, you really don't need to spend a fortune on a bowl containing particles of Gold.
4.- The intention of the person who sells it: This is where our intuition comes into play, knowing how to read to those who offer us the bowl. To be able to identify if we have an avid importer in front of us, willing to tell us any story to make a sale. Or we find ourselves in the presence of a craftsman, who bathes his instruments in passion and love for what he does.
5.- The design: It is of course a beautiful and important part of our bowl, but it should never be prioritized over any of the other 6 factors. The most beautiful and eye-catching bowls, They tend to focus their potential on this aspect, completely neglecting the truly important ones. Although the finish should reflect the degree of dedication that your manager gave you, the best bowls tend to have a rather rustic design, rather than overly thought out.
6.- The size: This point depends mainly on the purpose that the bowl will have in your life. If you are looking for it to connect with sound through meditation, to accompany and complement a Reiki session, or for vibrational therapeutic work, such as bowl massages. Contrary to what is said, it is not necessary to have a bowl for each chakra. You can start with a single bowl, which will be the gateway to this extensive path. If you are looking for it to meditate or to complement a Reiki session, the choice is for the smaller or sharp bowls. These have more capacity to generate volume and to be heard at a medium distance. On the other hand, if you are dabbling in physical work What sound massages, large and lower bowls will be the ideal tool. The larger ones generate low frequencies and bass tones, these have more capacity to relax the muscles and tissues of the body than the sharp or small bowls. Also consider the following factors:
- Bass sounds are projected downward, and spread more easily within the body, through the bones. This factor is the most useful and ideal for work on a stretcher.
- High-pitched sounds are projected upward, and flow more easily at the ether level. Its waves spread through the air and reach your ears or those of those who listen to you more easily. The physical body is less able to perceive these sounds.
- Treble bowls for high chakras, Bass bowls for low chakras. Although we can get lost for hours in all the theories that relate each sound or note to each chakra, an infallible trick is to use high-pitched bowls for the high chakras and low for the low ones. It is very complex and inaccurate affirm that your laryngian chakra vibrates at the same frequency as that of the writer, and at same time as certain Tibetan Tale. If we consider that we will rarely be able to find a bowl of any kind, perfectly tuned to a musical note, this parameter becomes very difficult to apply and impractical. However, it is easy notice how Bass bowls positively affect the body, from the balls of the feet to the solar plexus. And how the middle and high bowls subtly caress the chakras from the plexus to the crown.
7.- The sound: While the 6 Above points are super important, don't let them distract you too much. A good bowl is one that sounds good! It can be made of the best metals or with the best method the industry can provide, but if it sounds bad, it's not a good bowl. The most important thing, in our opinion and therapeutic experience, is that the bowl reflects in its sound, all the love that an artisan puts into his work, in the dedication to every detail and part of the elaboration process, the energy that he puts into his work. work, and the knowledge that his years of experience have nurtured. These factors result in an indisputable and wonderful sound that you can easily perceive.
If you liked this short guide, You want to know more about the Tibetan Bowls and deepen these concepts, we invite you to participate in the Next Intensive Seminar on Tibetan Bowls , in Saavedra.
+ About us : We are creators and manufacturers of various instruments for music therapy, such as Gongs, Tibetan Bowls, Sattva Drum, Handpans, among others. We dedicate our energy to its study and development for more than 7 years, using a specific technique for each instrument and thus achieve the best possible quality, above all else.