Mail Call: What Gong Should I Buy?

Two typical questions I get from people are:

I want to get a Gong. Which one should I get?


I have a _____ Gong and a _____ Gong. What should I get to go with them?

Two good questions with no easy answer. There is no starter Gong, or add on Gong out there, so it's all a matter of context and personal choice.

The first thing is context: do you want it for a rock band? A classical thing? Or a meditation thing? 

In all 3 of these situations I would recommend a Symphonic/Chau type Gong between 24" and 32" as a good place to start. This will give you a big, full sound and fit a lot of musical situations. If you don't need as much volume, and perhaps something easier to carry, a 22" to 28" Wind Gong might suit your needs. A 22" fits in a standard cymbal bag and has a fairly full sound.

But as always, what Gong resonates with you? If possible, play as many different types and sizes as you can before you make a decision. It's more important to pick out something that resonates with you, instead of just buying something because it “looks good,” or because someone told you to “get that one.”

As for adding a Gong to a Gong or Gongs you already have, a good place to start is contrast. If you have a 32" Symphonic, you might want to go with a 24" or 26" to give you a higher pitch. A 30" or 34" might not be that different in sound. Likewise, if you have a 24" Gong, you might want to Go with something 28" or larger to give you a deeper pitch to work with.

You could also go with a different type, like a Planet Gong. Or you might want to go with a Wind Gong, to give you both a different pitch and a different sound character. 

If you work with only 2 Gongs, it's nice to have a clear high/low pitch relationship, like a 26" & a 32". But there are no rules. Listen to what resonates with you and your other Gongs.

The same thing applies if you want to add Singing Bowls, Rin Gongs, Bells, Cymbals, or other metal instruments to your set up: listen to various instruments, choosing with what resonates with you, and what also works with your other Gongs.

~ MB

Chop Wood | Carry Water | Play Gongs    


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