How To Buy A Quartz Crystal Singing Bowl
What Bowl Should You Buy?
A Guide For Finding The Right Bowl Or Set For You
Buying a quartz crystal singing bowl, whether it is frosted, clear, mineral fusion, or a handle bowl, can be a challenging. The online information about crystal singing bowls, their origins and use, can be far reaching, and even misleading. How do you know which type, pitch, or size of crystal bowl is right for you? This page is to help choose a crystal bowl by providing in-depth information. Please read through it and refer to it often, when making your selection. It will illuminate many things about crystal bowls. We are also available to consult with you to help you understand these options, and to make informed decisions. If you would like to speak to us, please give us a call or email us for personalized support. Our goal is to provide for you the right crystal bowl(s), with the right size, note and cent value.
The Different Types Of Crystal Singing Bowls
Frosted bowls are white, and are rough on the outside. They have the thickest walls out of any of the bowls, so they can hold the most vibration and are also the sturdiest bowls. Because of this, frosted bowls are generally the loudest and most vibrant option you can choose. They are much louder than clear bowls or handle bowls. If you would like to play crystal bowls for a room full of people, frosted bowls will give them a full-bodied experience of sound-vibration rather than just an audible experience. Last, frosted bowls are generally the easiest bowls to play. They vibrate quickly, and it is simple to make the bowls vibrate steadily at specific volumes. For this reason you have to pay attention to playing frosted bowls less, and can focus more on the meditation. Generally, a frosted bowl will sustain about 15-20 seconds, though this varies bowl to bowl. Frosted bowls are generally the most popular option, the least expensive, and the simplest to play, so they are generally what we recommend for anybody to start with.
Empyrean bowls are like frosted bowls. They are white, thick, and as loud as frosted bowls, and are just as easy to play. Unlike frosted bowls which are rough, empyrean bowls have been hand-polished on the outside so are completely smooth. This adds a subtle difference of quality between the empyrean bowls and the frosted bowls. Because there is no roughness around the rim of the bowl you will generally be able to get a slightly more clear and stable tone from an empyrean bowl than a frosted bowl. As you run the striker around the outside of a frosted bowl, your striker will move up and down subtly with the roughness of the bowls, which will be reflected in the sound. With the smooth surface of the empyrean bowl, the striker run smooth and flat around the outside of the bowl, creating a more stable tone. Also, in our experience empyrean bowls will have a slightly better sustain than frosted bowls, though this differs from bowl to bowl. Empyrean bowls are great for beginners or experts alike, who are looking for all of the great qualities of a frosted bowl, with an upgraded quality of tone and appearance.
Clear bowls are clear and smaller than frosted bowls. Clear bowls generally give off two tones when struck; they play a prominent note and then a higher harmonic, around an 11th above. When you sing the bowl, just the prominent note comes through. Clear bowls are not as loud as frosted bowls as they have smaller walls, however, they have a much longer sustain and a slightly more stable and clear tone. If you are playing bowls just for yourself or in an intimate setting, clear bowls would be a great option for you. We suggest buying a clear bowl that is at least 8 inches in diameter, as smaller clear bowls can be difficult to play. The beauty of clear bowls is incredibly apparent when you play multiple clear bowls at once. The harmonics between the bowls are much richer then when you play frosted bowls together. The sound of multiple clear bowls unifies into a wonderful singular experience of sound which resembles a chorus of angelic voices.
Handle Bowls are basically a clear bowl with a handle on the end of them. Because there is handle on them, you can play them while moving, standing up, or sitting in a comfortable chair. You can also move them across people’s bodies to work on specific locations on their body. Also, because the bowl is stable in your hand, the handle bowls are much louder and easier to play than clear bowls. The only downside to a handle bowl is that you can’t play more than one at a time, because you have to use on of your hands to hold the bowl. We have found value in handle bowls of all sizes, but especially enjoy them 7 inches or larger.
Gemstone fusion bowls can be either handle, clear, empyrean or frosted bowls. Our gemstone fusion bowls start with premade crystal singing bowls. The bowls are then put through a patented procedure to actually infuse gemstones into the bowl, while maintaining the strength of the bowl, and the integrity of its tone. The bowls are super-heated, and then the gemstones, in a powdered form, are fused in. The result are stunningly beautiful works of art to enjoy and meditate with.
Gemstone bowls can be made with a large variety of gemstones. You can actually send us a gemstone from your own collection, which can be ground and infused into one of our bowls. We can as well infused multiple gemstones into a bowl of your choosing, creating a custom gemstone bowl for you.
Playing one crystal singing bowl is a rich and powerful experience. However, when you play two crystal singing bowls together, that are in harmonic union, then you create an uplifted joyous emotional environment to meditate it. The sound of a harmonic set is very pleasing to anyone who hears it. There are even studies that have found that harmonic intervals automatically relax the nervous system. Because of this, playing harmonic intervals is a simple way to more easily access concentrated meditative states, and thus have more profound meditative experiences. We use harmonic intervals almost exclusively in our meditations, and when leading meditations for groups, because we believe in our decades of experience using them and the power they have to affect the human mind and body.
Try these sound files. First play the sound file for the C bowl, and then add in the sound file for the perfect fifth harmony, the G bowl. You can hear how the two come together to create an uplifted harmony. This creates a joyful vibrant environment that you and others can now meditate in. Play all the sound files here to hear what a 5 bowl harmonic set will sound like (note: if you play too many sound files at once, your speakers will start to distort the sound).
14" C (The Fundamental note in this harmonic sequence)
12" E (Makes a Perfect Third Harmony with the C)
11" F (Makes a Fourth Harmony with the C)
10" G (Makes a Perfect Fifth Harmony with the C)
8" HIGH C (Makes a Octave Harmony with the C)
A simple way to start is with either a 2 bowl, or a 3 bowl frosted harmonic set. This is a good way to start utilizing the harmonies in your meditation without needing to invest too much money. A harmonic set does not need to start with a C note. We have different options available. We also sell harmonic empyrean bowl sets. If you would like to learn more, please visit one of the link below. You will find full sound files to make the choice that is right for you:
Why We Recommend Buying The 8 Bowl Set
7 vs 8 Bowl Sets
There are many places on the internet you can find a 7 bowl set of frosted crystal singing bowls, called a chakra set. The 7 bowl chakra set plays to the western major scale do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti. You can hear this by playing each sound file below. This is a beautiful and harmonic scale that is the foundation of most Western music. Chakra sets are usually in the major scale in the key of C, with the notes C-D-E-F-G-A-B. (The crystal bowl industry has paired these notes with the main 7 chakras that are understood and used in the West. To learn more about pairing notes with chakras, go to the next section).
When discussing chakra sets with our clients, we always suggest, when possible, to purchase a 8 bowl chakra set, instead of a 7. The 7 bowl chakra set plays Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti. Ending on the sound "Ti" is neither harmonic nor conclusive. Melodically and harmonically, it leaves a gap needing to be filled. This is why our 8 bowl chakra set includes the 8th bowl, the 7-8 inch High C bowl, so you receive a C-D-E-F-G-A-B-High C. With this last High C the set sounds Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do. The last Do note in the sequence creates a full circle of harmonies in the set, adding a true sense of harmonic completion. The 8th bowl can be used to work with the “soulstar” or “bah” which is a chakra existing just higher than the crown. Within many traditions this chakra location is known as the seat of our higher self.
You can hear the effect of adding the 8th bowl by playing the sound files below.
With a full chakra set you have a good deal of harmonic potential between the notes. The major scale was designed as an uplifting harmonic scale. So, you have a lot of options for what bowl you would like to play next, creating complex melodies for your clients. Further, many people who are just starting out meditating will have a hard time focusing. Every time you switch your note, it is a opportunity for your client to refocus their energy. If you are working with the chakras, switching notes provides a focused opportunity for your clients to move their attention from one chakra to the next. In these ways, having 8 notes to choose from can help you create more focused, and harmonically powerful meditation sessions.
E (Solar Plexus)
A (Third Eye)
High C (Bah or Soulstar)
The Use Of Crystal Bowls And Chakras
Why You Don't Need To Buy A Bowl To Match A Chakra
It is quite common for crystal bowls to be sold in relationship to certain chakras. For example the C would relate to the root chakra, while the B would relate to the crown chakra. We've included a graphic below so you can see the pairings that are used.
We do see the value in pairing crystal bowls with chakras. The most obvious example is if you want to do a full chakra practice. Having a different note for each chakra will greatly support people who have difficulty focusing on their energetic bodies. If they are focusing on their root chakra, and need to focus on their sacral chakra, moving one note higher in tone will help them as well move their attention one chakra higher. In this way having a different note for each chakra supports a more powerful meditation for your clients.
Further, it is quite clear that what we believe helps create our realities. This is seen and understood in a variety of fields, from quantum physics, to psychology, to spirituality. If somebody believes that the F note will help open up their heart chakra, they will be setting a strong intention while playing the F note, and there will be a good chance that they will see the results they are looking for. If somebody believes there to be a relationship between the a note and chakra, this belief is conducive to an environment where the sound can be a potent conduit of the healing process.
However, we also know that, if you did not want to buy a certain note for a certain chakra, then there is no need to do so. There is no long-standing historical evidence from any mystical tradition to show that the C major scale (C-D-E-F-G-A-B) relates to the chakras. The relationship between the major scale, and the chakras, seems to have first been used in the later half of the last century, and somehow has been misconstrued as fact. In fact, many different traditions use different notes/sounds for different chakras, and different parts of the body.
You can use any sound you want to work on any chakra. The power from your meditation is conditioned by the quality of your own intention and awareness when doing the work (meaning the subtle intentional nuanced movements on your own mind) rather than the specific tone that is coming from your bowl. If you did not want to get a specific bowl for a specific chakra, we recommend buying a crystal bowl you like the sound of. You will get the most long lasting use out of a bowl you really like to hear, rather than a bowl you were told you were supposed to get.
VIDEO: What is 432hz and 440hz Tuning? What is Cent Value?
Understanding the difference between 440hz and 432hz, and understanding cent value can be confusing. Watch the video below to understand these topics, to help you choose the right crystal bowl for your needs.
What is 432hz and 440hz Tuning? Do I Need A Perfect Pitch 432hz or 440hz Bowls?
440hz tuning refers to the international standard for tuning musical instruments. It is simple to understand musical tuning if you imagine a piano, and all the keys of a piano. In the middle of a piano there is a note called the “middle A.” This middle A note is tuned to and resonates at 440hz. All the other keys of a piano are then tuned harmonically in relationship to middle A equaling 440hz. This is why it is called 440hz tuning, as everything is tuned in relationship to A=440hz. 432hz Tuning is simply if you take the middle A note, and flatten it by 8hz to 432hz. Now middle A=432hz, and all the other notes are tuned harmonically in relationship to A=432hz. So, if you purchase a crystal bowl in the note of C, and it is a perfect pitch 432hz bowl, then that C bowl resonates in line with middle A=432hz tuning. If you purchase a crystal bowl in the note of C that is perfect pitch 440hz, likewise the bowl resonates in line with middle A=440hz.
As discussed above, a perfect pitch 440hz bowl assumes that the middle A key resonates at 440hz, and all other notes are tuned in relationship to A equaling 440hz. In order to have a crystal bowl you can use for meditation and ceremony, you do not need your bowl tuned to perfect pitch 440hz tuning. The only reason we recommend perfect pitch 440hz tuning to any of our customers is if they are ever going to play the bowl with another instrument. Mostly all instruments in the world are tuned to 440hz standard tuning, so if you would want to pair your crystal bowls with any other instruments it is important for the bowls to be perfect pitch 440hz tuning so all of the instruments play in tune with each other.
Is 440hz or 432hz tuning better? If you do research on the internet you will find a good deal of information about either tuning, and information that will lead you to believe one is better than the other. We believe that it is important to understand the difference when making a selection. We don't find any hard evidence that proves that any tuning is absolutely better than any other tuning. When great mystics of the past went into meditation, and expanded into states of consciousness, they did not do so caring about 440hz or 432hz tuning. Generally we tell customers it is important to choose whichever crystal singing bowl they like the sound of, because that is what they will most want to listen to. It is true, in general, we find people are more interested in listening to 432hz than 440hz. We have played 440hz and 432hz bowls for rooms of people multiple times, and in general people have preferred the tone of 432hz over 440hz. We believe this to be because 432hz is slightly lower in pitch, so it is slightly less sharp and can be more relaxing in relationship to 440hz tuning. We don't disregard all of the interesting discussion online about 432hz tuning, and appreciate the effort put into understanding the tuning from different perspectives, though know that in terms of meditation the quality of ones own attention, intention, and the depth of their understanding are more important than any one sound.
We have written our full perspective on 432hz tuning in the link below.
What Are Musical Notes, Octaves and Cent Values?
When you are buying a crystal bowl, you are buying a certain tone, or multiple tones that you would like to use in your meditation and energy work. For sake of categorization, these tones are broken down with the musical system of notes, octaves and cent values:
Musical Notes and Octaves
Over time humans have broken down the potential for sound, higher and lower, into 12 different notes: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B. The purpose for this can be shown to be mathematical (though we will not go deeply into that here). Each note relates to a range of hz values. For example all the tones that plays between 254.2hz and 269.2hz are considered the note “C.” So there are many different potential tones that are a C note within 254.2hz and 269.2hz. Once you go higher than 269.2hz to 269.3hz then you go into the note C#. As you go higher and higher in tone, you go into the range of “D”, then “D#”, then “E”, then “F” and so on. Musical notes are then a way of categorizing a range of possible sound.
The potential for sound is as well broken down into different octaves. An octave is one group of the twelve notes from C to B. After you go higher then the note B, the notes start over from C but in a higher octave of notes then before. For example the fourth octave are the notes C to B between 254.2hz and 508.3hz. After 508.3 hz you enter the note C again, but in the fifth octave. The fifth octave again refers to a range of hz frequencies, grouped into the musical notes C to B, higher than the fourth octave. Crystal bowls can play in the 3rd octave, 4th octave and 5th octave grouping of notes. The 3rd octave is considered the lower octave, the 4th octave the middle octave, and the 5th octave the higher octave of notes. So, if you get a 12" C bowl, you will be getting the note of C in the middle 4th octave. If you get a 18" C bowl you will be getting the note of C in the lower 3rd octave. Both notes are considered C notes, but the 3rd octave C is much lower in tone then the 4th.
Perfect Pitch Tuning and Cent Value
Imagine a piano. As discussed in a previous section above the middle A key on a piano sings just at 440hz, and all the other notes of the piano are tuned in relationship to A equally 440hz. This is the international standard for tuning, for middle A to equal 440hz and for all other notes to be tuned in relationship to middle A.
A single note, such as a C or D, doesn't represent one specific hz value. The note of C represents a range of hz values. In the 4th octave for example, a C can be anywhere between about 254.2 hz and 269.2 hz. All of the tones within this range are still considered the note of C. So if you just buy the note of C from a dealer, you really don't know the tone you are getting. It could be in the 3rd octave, 4th octave, 5th octave, and who knows what the hz value of it actually is. Just saying the note is a C can mean many many things.
On our website, we further categorize the range of possible hz values for a single note with cent values, and this is the standard for all of the crystal bowl world.
Cent value is a modern way of distinguishing small variations in pitch that occur in a single note. According to cent value, there are 100 cents between each note (C, C#, D, etc.). Please refer to the graph below. As you can see, if the tone is at 0 cents, then it is a perfect pitch 440hz tone. So a 0 cent C tone is perfectly in line with 440hz tuning. There are 100 cents (or tones) between a C and a C#. If you have a +45 cent C note, it is +45 cents sharp of a perfect pitch C, but not quite sharp enough to be considered a C#. If you have a -45 cent C# note, it is -45 cents flat of a perfect pitch C#, but not quite flat enough to be considered a C. As you go past 50 cents, the note referenced is changed. Example: a +55 cent C, does not exist as then it would be referred to as a -45 cent C#.
|----- (-50)----(0 C)----(+50)----|----(-50)----(0 C#)----(+50)----|----(-50)----(0 D)----(+50)----|
In the crystal bowl world, Perfect Pitch 440hz is considered as anything -10 to +10 cents. '0' cents is absolute perfect pitch, however, most musical schools of the west state that the normal human ear does not hear the distinction below 10c of variation, so the crystal bowl industry determines that anything within +10 to -10 cents is 'perfect pitch 440hz'. We take the precision of our musical instruments seriously and are standards for variation are 5 cents.
Sizes For Frosted and Empyrean Bowls
Frosted bowls come between 7 inches and 28 inches. We generally sell 8 to 18 inch sizes, though have other sizes available. Empyrean bowls come between 6 inch and 14 inch. The general tones that are possible in frosted and empyrean bowls, for different sized bowls are below. See the table below for a general outline of how sizes and tones work.
3rd octave C and C# - 16” bowl and larger
3rd octave D and D# – 16” bowl and larger
3rd octave E – 16” bowl and larger
3rd octave F and F# – 14” bowl and larger
3rd octave G and G# – 13” bowl and larger
3rd octave A and A# – 12” bowl and larger
3rd octave B – 11” bowl and larger
4th octave C and C# – 9" - 14” bowl
4th octave D and D# – 9" - 14” bowl
4th octave E – 8" - 13” bowl
4th octave F and F# – 8" - 12” bowl
4th octave G and G# – 8" - 12” bowl
4th octave A and A# – 8" - 10” bowl
4th octave B – 8" - 9” bowl
5th octave C – 7" - 8” bowl
There are exceptions to this size guideline. Sometimes you’ll find a bowl that does not fit in it, but generally this is how the pitch of different sized bowls work. You won’t find a 3rd octave G tone in a 10 inch bowl. It just isn’t possible. You also won’t find a 4th octave C tone in a 18” bowl. It isn’t possible. There are restrictions for the size of bowl you will get if you want a specific pitch.
Many people only want large bowls because of the strength of their sound. Large bowls produce a large volume with a large amount of vibration. They are also easy to make sing, and easy to meditate too because of this. Many people however, who are sensitive to loud sounds, can’t handle the larger bowls. For example, when playing for a group, you’ll need to be mindful of this in how loudly you are playing an 18" bowl. The bowl can get so loud it can be uncomfortable to listen to. Another thing to consider with larger bowls is that, past 16 inches it may be difficult for you to get your arm comfortably around the bowl to make it sing. This may be a distraction to your meditation, or something you will need to just get used to. Lastly, it is difficult to get many large crystal bowls around you so you can play them all at the same time. If you would like to play multiple bowls to make harmonies, it is much easier to do this with 10-12 inch bowls, which still produce a good volume. So, large crystal bowls, of sizes 16 inches and up are nice because they are so powerful, though can be hard to manage as well because of their size.
Generally 10-14 inches is a great size for a frosted or empyrean crystal bowl. A 14 inch bowl plays with good volume, is generally easy to play, and is generally not too heavy for most people. However, 10 to 12 inch bowls are nice because they as well have good volume, are easy to play, and are also fairly lightweight, so are easy to manage. There is a difference between a 10 and a 9-8 inch bowl. Once you get below 10 inches you get a general decrease in both volume and ease in playing the bowls. We personally like 8 inch bowls, but they do have much less of a sustain, and can take some getting used to. Generally, between 10-14 inches, you will be getting a good sound, a good amount of vibration, and the bowl won’t be too big or too heavy for you to carry around and work with.
Sizes For Clear Bowls
Clear bowls come in sizes 6-12 inches. Generally clear bowls under 10 inches can have a few issues. Clear bowls that are 6 to 9 inches can be difficult to play because they are so lightweight. Further, they are much more delicate than frosted bowls, so can hold far less vibration. If you play a clear bowl too hard, the sound will distort very easily. In this way, clear bowls are not ideal for beginning players. Clear bowls that are 10 inches and larger get rid of the issues of clear bowls. In sizes 10 inches to 12 inches you will find a clear bowl that plays with good volume, is easy to play, and holds a good amount of vibration so it does not distort easily. Another benefit of getting a 10 to 12 inch clear bowl is that you will be receiving a bowl that is lower in tone, which people generally find more pleasing than higher pitched bowls.
Sizes For Handle Bowls
Handle bowls come in sizes 5-8 inches. Handle bowls are ideal in sizes 7 and 8 inches. This is for a few reasons. First, 7 and 8 inch bowls will be louder and will be able to hold much more vibration then a 5 or 6 inch bowl. Because of this you'll be able to feel the vibration of a 7 or 8 inch bowl more. A 7 and 8 inch handle bowl is also a little easier to make sing, though this is only generally. There can be really exceptional 5 and 6 inch handle bowls. If you are looking for a higher pitched bowl then you will be needing to get a 5 to 6 inch handle bowl, as you can only get lower tones in a 7 or 8 inch handle bowl. Some experience an 8 inch handle bowl as being a little bit too heavy and too big to easily manage, so if you are smaller then perhaps you would want a 7 inch bowl.
"I got a 12 inch bowl, but it is not exactly 12 inches."
The Actual Size Of Your Bowl
Crystal bowls have a hand made quality. They are fired by a machine, but the laying of material is done by hand which can result in bowls that have different wall thickness. This is quite normal to get a crystal bowl set that could have 2 10 inch bowls, and the bowls are different thicknesses. There is nothing wrong with this. Further, crystal singing bowls are made in countries that use the metric system, so your 12 inch crystal bowl will most likely not be exactly 12 inches. It could be closer to 11 3/4 or it could be a little over 12 inches. This is all very normal. In the selling of crystal bowls the size of the bowls are rounded to the nearest full inch.
All crystal bowls, whether they be frosted or clear, have three different tonal aspects. There is first the tone that you get when you strike the side of the bowl with the mallet. This tone can be singular, but is most likely going to have multiple layers of harmonies in it. This tone also most likely will have some small fluctuation of pitch higher to lower, and then higher and lower, etc. Second, there is the tone you will get when you sing the bowl, by rubbing the mallet around the rim of the bowl. This tone will generally have greater fluctuation higher and lower, and a slightly different pitch then when you strike the bowl. If you learn to play crystal bowls slowly and calmly, you can get the singing tone to settle down into pretty much a steady singular tone, but this takes practice. Third, once you are done singing the bowl, you release the mallet from the edge of the bowl and the sound calms down and flattens a little into a pretty much singular tone. This is the only tone that is considered when crystal bowls are tuned because it is the most singular tone of the bowl and the one that does not depend on how the person is playing the bowl.
If you would like to buy a single bowl our top recommendation is buying the crystal bowl you like the sound of. To make a selection, you can listen to sound files of each note in the link below. It is very useful to listen through these sound files to see if there is any tone you especially find pleasing. If you find a sound you like, you can go to our individual bowl pages to find the specific bowl that you like the sound of the most. We have sound files for all of the crystal bowls we offer on their category and product page, so you can hear what the bowl you will purchase will sound like.
If you have listened to the sound files, and don't know what bowl you would like, we recommend either a frosted bowl in the key of C or D. These are lower tones that people generally enjoy, and also with the pitch you will get a good sized bowl - 10-14 inches for frosted. These sizes are dependably good sizes for bowls to deliver a good sized volume, and are generally easy to play.
If you want to buy more than one crystal singing bowl, we recommend buying a harmonic set. This would be 2-5 crystal singing bowls that are all in harmonic relationship with each other, such as a C, E and G combination. Humans have studied the harmonic relationships between sounds for thousands of years, and there is documented evidence that harmonic relationships help to relax the body and mind. The perfect fifth for example, is known across the world as a purely uplifting and pleasurable interval. You can view our harmonic crystal singing bowl sets here. We can also create a harmonic set based off of any one bowl of your choosing, so if you wanted a custom harmonic set just let us know what one sound you really like from our sound files, and we will be happy to put together a harmonic set for you. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us.
Last, if you would want to buy a set of crystal bowls, we recommend looking at our 8 bowl set. As discussed above the 8 bowl set creates a full circle of harmony and has a profound sense of completeness over the 7 bowl set.
How To Choose A Quartz Crystal Singing Bowl Video
Which Frosted Singing Bowl Set Should I Buy?
What is 432hz and 440hz Tuning? What is Cent Value?