Showing posts from February, 2020

More Gongs or More Mallets?

Today is another blog post inspired by a Facebook forum thread (Facebook is actually good for some things besides cat videos, like ideas and inspiration).  Part 1 The first part of today's blog looks at the question:  How many Gongs should I have? Or to be more specific, do I need to get more Gongs? There's no easy answer to this. Good Gongs are expensive, so having the money to buy more may be a factor in building up your collection. But even if you are rich, should you just buy more Gongs? My answer would be, no . Yes, I know that I own what many people would say is way too many Gongs, so why would I say this? Let me explain. As a drummer, I've had this same discussion about having a large drum set vs a small 4-piece one. My answer is the same:  What is the concept  that you have  in your mind  for the music you are making? This is important. Each of us is different and we approach the music we make in our own way. I know that for me, I always h

From the Mailbag: 'Bonk' Sounds And Hearing Protection

This week we dip into the Mailbag and answer a few popular questions.  Part 1 First up, some one is concerned that,  My hard mallets make a bonk sound when I hit the Gong . By 'bonk' , I take it to mean they can hear the mallet striking the Gong. This is certainly a common thing when using harder mallets. There's often a contact sound we can hear when being right in front of the Gong. It can seem loud, but that's because we are inches away from it. These type of sounds tend to disperse quickly and are rarely audible a few feet away [an exception would be very hard rubber mallets or wooden sticks].  I record all of my gigs/sessions and have never really heard a bonk sound from any of my mallets on the recordings. Another aspect of this is, what if the harder mallet that makes a bonk sound also makes the sound that you want? By switching to a softer mallet, you may not get the sound that you are after.  Part 2 Another person asks, Do you use hearing p

Demistifying The Excessive Gong Woo Woo

The whole Gong, Singing Bowl and sound healing world is so inundated with nonsense these days. I've worked in the percussion industry off and on for over 40 years. I've also been a music journalist for the same length of time. In both capacities I've been involved in products and product descriptions. In those years, I've seen a lot of embellishment in product descriptions, but nothing compared to the whole sound healing/therapy industry. Talk about woo woo bull shit… There have been a number of recent Facebook discussions on some of the fairy tales people tell when selling Gongs, Singing Bowls, or other instruments used for sound healing/therapy. Just to set the record straight, I am reposting some of the verified facts to dispel some of the untruths out there: Singing Bowls are NOT from Tibet. The ones you have are most likely made in Nepal, India, or even Pakistan. [You could have one from Tibet, but probably NOT] Singing Bowls are NOT made of 7 or 10 met