June 24, 2024 Manolis

20 Sound Healing Instruments for Sound Therapy and Relaxation (updated)

The Instruments Most Widely Used by Sound Healing Practitioners

The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Sound Healing practices, observed in various cultures for thousands of years, involve the use of sound in diverse forms to facilitate changes in the body’s state, which in turn promotes healing. It’s amazing to think about how our bodies, these incredible creations, often need just a gentle nudge to start healing themselves. Most doctors and healers believe that true healing comes from within, although they agree that sometimes, a little external help is necessary. Take severe pain, for example – it can be so overwhelming that it stops the mind from relaxing, a crucial state for healing. In these cases, we often turn to medicines and medical procedures for relief.

This is where the beauty of sound healing comes into play. It stands out as a gentle, yet powerful alternative or complement to traditional medical treatments, especially in situations where medication is a must. It’s like offering a soothing hand to the body’s natural healing rhythms.

If you think about it, everything in the universe, including us, is always moving, always vibrating. It’s this constant dance of energy. Our thoughts ripple out as energy, just as our bodies emit electromagnetic waves. And when we speak, sing, or play instruments, we’re actually sending out sound waves, another form of this ever-present energy. These waves interact with our bodies in ways that are sometimes subtle, sometimes profound, but always part of the larger dance of life.

Sound therapy seeks to harmonize our body and mind with the surrounding energies. This idea is similar to familiar expressions like ‘being in tune with…’ or ‘marching to the same beat…’ These phrases intuitively suggest that when our body’s vibrations align with the environment, we experience well-being.

I like to think of the human body as a musical instrument. When we’re in good health, emotionally balanced, and mentally clear, our ‘instrument’ produces a harmonious, melodious sound, indicating we’re ‘in-tune.’ On the other hand, when we’re grappling with negative emotions like anger or sadness, or when we fall ill, our ‘instrument’ becomes discordant, out of tune. This is where the magic of sound healing comes into play. Using various sound healing instruments, this practice assists in re-tuning our ‘instrument’ back to its harmonious, natural state.

Manolis Zografakis - Sound bath at the Syntopia hotel in Rethymno

My group sound bath setup with various sound healing instruments – find me on Instagram

“Sound healing goes way beyond just playing a cheerful tune to lift our spirits. It deeply impacts our emotional and mental well-being. Did you know that neuroscience has found we can actually forge new pathways in our brains? It’s the same principle that makes Hypnosis work. So many of our thoughts and actions start off in the subconscious, a part of our minds that’s not always easy to access. That’s the beauty of sound healing – its tones and vibrations effortlessly reach those hidden corners of our subconscious.

There are many articles available on sound healing but if you want a brief overview check out this post.

What Instruments are used for Sound Healing?

1. The Human Voice

Did you know that the most natural ‘instrument’ in sound healing is our very own voice box, or larynx? It’s fascinating, Studies have shown that something as simple as humming through our nose can boost the production of nitric oxide. This little molecule plays a big role in keeping our immune system strong and even helps clear nasal congestion.

And guess what? You don’t need to be a musician or have any special musical skills to use your voice for healing sounds. Take chanting, for example. The famous Gregorian Chant involves six specific tones, known as the Solfeggio frequencies. These tones are believed to align and balance different areas of the body. Interestingly, these areas often match up with the Chakras found in Ayurvedic and Yogic traditions. It’s amazing how interconnected these ancient practices are!

2. Tibetan Singing Bowls

Tibetan Singing Bowls, or Himalayan Bowls, are perhaps the most widely recognized sound healing instruments on Earth. For centuries, Buddhist monks have used the rich, soothing sounds of these bowls to deepen their meditation practices. These beauties were the first sound therapy instruments I ever encountered, and I instantly fell in love with their sound. Crafted from a blend of five to seven precious metals, each representing different planets in our galaxy, they are incredibly durable. Tibetan Singing Bowls come in a variety of sizes, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly most people can learn to play them. They are incredibly versatile—you can place them directly on someone’s body or use them nearby, making them ideal for both personal therapy sessions and group sound baths. However, a word of caution: there are many types of bowls available, differing in quality, size, and materials. Also, larger bowls can be quite heavy, so if you’re building a collection, be prepared for some heavy lifting! Here’s a helpful tip for transporting them: you can nest them inside each other. Just ensure you select bowls that fit snugly together. Interestingly, you’ll encounter a similar challenge with Crystal Singing Bowls, which I discuss further in this post. If you’re curious about getting one for yourself, I’ve got a handy guide on how to choose your first singing bowl. And don’t forget to follow my channel! I post lots of videos on the use of various healing sound instruments.

If you’re looking to buy a Tibetan Singing Bowl, Amazon and Thomann.de are great places to start your search.

Tibetan Singing bowls

Tibetan Singing bowls

3. Crystal Singing Bowls

Crystal Singing Bowls, unlike their metal counterparts, are delicate and fragile—I can attest to this having broken four in my seven years of using them. Crafted from pure quartz, these bowls produce an incredibly soothing, almost ethereal sound. The pure and sweet tones they emit have the power to deeply relax and foster a sense of well-being. It’s this intense sound that makes Crystal Bowls, along with gongs, some of the most sought-after instruments for sound baths. Their profound resonance with listeners makes them favorites among sound healing practitioners. Like Tibetan Singing Bowls, Crystal Bowls come in different types and qualities, from classic frosted bowls to alchemy bowls. It’s important to research and find the one that best suits your needs. They are available individually or in sets of seven, each bowl finely tuned to correspond with one of the seven chakras. Crystal Bowls vary in size and come in two tunings: the classic 440Hz and 432Hz. Keep in mind that larger bowls are heavier, so when purchasing a Crystal Bowl, consider the tone, size, weight, and tuning.

Tip: If your budget allows, I highly recommend getting the full set. Not only do all the bowls harmonize beautifully together, but they’re also designed to fit neatly inside each other, making transportation a breeze and saving you a lot of effort.

Find Crystal Singing Bowls on Amazon and Thomann.de

The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Crystal singing bowls

4. Gongs

Let’s dive into the fascinating world of gongs! You’ve probably seen them in movies, spotted them in yoga studios, Zen temples, and various other places. Gongs have soared in popularity, and there’s a great reason for that. Their powerful, cosmic, almost mystical sound has the ability to transport listeners to another dimension. Imagine being completely enveloped in the deep resonance of a gong bath – it’s an experience unlike any other! Many describe it as a process of being ‘shaken up,’ a way to clear out all the negative energies from the mind and body.

Gongs aren’t just a recent fad; they’re steeped in history. These ancient instruments first made their appearance in the 6th century CE in Tibet and have been integral to spiritual ceremonies and religious rituals ever since. Plus, the variety is astounding – gongs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, each with its own unique sound and personality. If you’re curious to explore the mesmerizing world of gongs further, I’ve got just the thing for you. Check out my detailed post about gongs and gong bath therapy.

Find Gongs on Amazon and Thomann.de

The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

28′ Wind gong

5. Drums

It’s truly fascinating how many people find themselves drawn to drumming, even those without any musical background, who can’t read notes or have never played another instrument. Rhythmic patterns are a natural part of us, pulsing within and all around. They’re in the steady beat of our hearts and the infectious rhythms of dance music, constantly keeping us in motion. Instruments like Shamanic Drums, Native American Drums, Tongue Drums, and Ocean Drums occupy a unique space in the realm of sound healing. They’re accessible to everyone, whether you’re just beginning to explore sound healing on your own or engaging with a practitioner. There’s an innate satisfaction and therapeutic quality in the act of drumming. Rhythmic drumming has been used for centuries in shamanic ceremonies and group gatherings to induce a state of trance. Repetitive drumming can cause altered states of consciousness and has been associated with physiological and therapeutic effects. Studies have shown that 15 minutes of repetitive drumming, often used in indigenous cultures for shamanic journeys, induces altered states of consciousness (ASCs) characterized by vivid imagery and perceptual changes. The way these drums connect and resonate with people, regardless of their musical know-how, is nothing short of remarkable. Traditionally, shamanic drums are made out of animal leather; however, you will also find drums made out of synthetic material, such as the Remo Buffalo drum, which produces a superb sound. Keep in mind that leather drums will become loose in cold environments, so you will need to heat them up before using them, while you won’t have such an issue with a synthetic drum.

Find Hand Drums on Amazon and Thomann.de

6. Tuning Forks

Ever heard of the Tuning Forks? These instruments are gentle yet surprisingly powerful. Their story begins back in 1711 when John Shore, a trumpeter and lutenist for composers like H. Purcell and G.F. Händel in London, invented them for musical tuning. Fast forward to the mid-1970s, and these tools found a new purpose in the world of sound healing. Nowadays, therapists often use tuning forks that emit sound at specific frequencies in one-on-one therapy sessions. They’re particularly effective for addressing energy blockages in the meridian and chakra systems, helping the body kickstart its own healing process

Find Tuning Forks on Biosonics and Amazon

Solar Harmonic Spectrum Tuning Forks set

Solar Harmonic Spectrum Tuning Forks By Biosonics

7. Koshi Chimes

Koshi wind chimes are like a whisper from heaven – their soothing, angelic sound is truly mesmerizing. Crafted in a bamboo style, these wind instruments are tuned to absolute perfection, tapping into the healing power of nature. When they chime, it’s as if they’re creating a gentle, positive flow of energy. It’s not just a sound; it’s an experience that uplifts and rejuvenates the spirit. The two major brands creating the best wind instruments are Koshi or Zaphyr.

The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Koshi Chimes

Find Koshi Chimes on Amazon and Thomann.de

8. Didgeridoo

This captivating instrument, held in high esteem by Australian Aboriginal peoples for millennia, immediately draws attention with its distinctive look. Emitting profoundly deep and transcendental sounds, it is often likened to a natural trumpet or ‘drone pipe.’ Beyond its intriguing form, it carries deep cultural and spiritual significance. The length of the pipe is key – the longer it is, the deeper and more resonant the tones it produces. More than just a musical tool, it acts as a portal to a deeply immersive and meditative experience, connecting listeners to ancient traditions and profound states of consciousness. It comes in different shapes and sizes. If you want a more compound and easy to carry around version check the didgeridoo by Roots brand.

Find Didgeridoo on Amazon and Thomann.de

Sound healing instruments

Yidaki Snail shape by Roots

9. Monochord

The monochord, with its ancient roots and rich history, is believed to have been invented by Pythagoras, the legendary mathematician. Its sound is captivating, soothing, and can even become transcendental during prolonged listening. The monochord is versatile in its use – it’s perfect for one-on-one sessions, where it can be used either directly on the body or nearby, and also works well in group settings. However, it’s worth noting that the sound it produces isn’t very loud, so listeners need to be quite close to the instrument to fully appreciate its harmonious tones. Undergoing a Monochord session is like receiving a sonic massage. It encourages deep relaxation and the release of tension, enveloping you in a serene symphony of vibrations that beautifully harmonize the body and mind.

Find Monochords on Thomann.de

The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Monolina Monocord by Feeltone

10. Crystal Harp

This is one of the latest sound healing instruments available. Imagine a musical instrument that combines the beauty of crystal with the charm of a xylophone—that’s the Crystal Harp. It consists of a series of quartz crystal tubes, carefully arranged on two wooden rails according to their specific musical purpose. To play it, you use a mallet with a rubber end, striking the crystal tubes just like a xylophone, or use water to moisten your hands and then rub the tubes to create an ethereal sound like no other. The sound resonates in a way reminiscent of Crystal Singing Bowls, producing a captivating and ethereal melody. The Crystal Harp is truly magical, emitting a wonderful, angelic sound. I got my Crystal Harp a month ago from Sacred Forest, and I instantly fell in love with its sound. You can place the crystal harp on a stand and play it while seated, and when you want to move around and play it over the participants, you just grab it by the handle and use it as you wish, sending the sound wherever you need it.

Tip: If you want to play the harp together with the singing bowls, make sure they are tuned to the same frequency.

Find a Crystal Harp on Amazon or if you would like an even better quality check out the Crystal Harps made by Secret Forest and use the code Manolis0 to receive a 5% off your order.

Sound healing instruments for sound bath - Crystal Harp by Sacred Forest

Crystal Harp by Sacred Forest

11. Handpan / Tongue Drum

Have you ever come across this UFO-like instrument and heard a musician play it live? If so, you’ve probably fallen in love with its enchanting sound and the beautiful melodies it can create. Sometimes known as a Tongue Drum, the Handpan is ingeniously crafted from two metal half-shells that are glued together. At its center is the Ding, a central tone field, surrounded by a circle of at least seven different tone fields on the upper shell. And let’s not forget the Gu, an opening on the underside that contributes to its unique sound. Handpans, or drums as they’re often called, vary in size and can be played solo or in harmony with other drummers, creating a captivating musical experience.

Find Handpan on Amazon and Thomann.de

12. Native American Flute

The mesmerizing music of the Native American Flute is a favorite in meditation compilations and is often sought after for deep relaxation. The soothing tones of this flute have a remarkable effect – they can slow down brain wave frequencies, guiding both mind and body into a tranquil, trance-like state. It’s in these moments of deep relaxation that healing starts to unfold. As the conscious mind releases its grip on conditioning and negative thought patterns, it opens up space for newer, more positive thoughts to emerge. The transformative power of the Native American Flute’s music lies in its ability to create this serene and healing environment.

Find Flutes on Amazon and Thomann.de

13. Rainstick

A rainstick is a long, hollow tube, ingeniously filled with small pebbles or beans. Inside, small pins or thorns are strategically arranged in a spiral pattern. When you tilt or gently shake the rainstick, these tiny pebbles or beans dance along the internal spines, creating a sound that’s remarkably similar to falling rain. Not only is it incredibly easy to play, but the soothing sound it produces is just as delightful to listen to. It’s like holding a piece of gentle rainfall in your hands.

Find Rainstick on Amazon and Thomann.de

14. Crystal Singing Pyramids 

As the name suggests, a Crystal Singing Pyramid consists of Crystal tubes arranged in a pyramid shape. It is similar to a Crystal Harp but is tuned to a single note, while the harp has at least eight notes, making it easier to play. The sacred significance of the pyramid shape is widely recognized in healing circles, much like its ancient recognition by the Egyptians, who understood the preserving power of this geometric form.

Find a Crystal Pyramid on Amazon.

15. Quartz Crystal Tuning Fork

Another intriguing quartz crystal instrument is the crystal tuning fork, resembling a large tuning fork, which produces a soothing sound. In contrast to conventional metallic tuning forks, crystal forks produce a louder sound and are suitable for both one-on-one and group settings. These crystal tuning forks are precisely tuned to specific frequencies, typically at 432Hz or 440Hz, similar to traditional tuning forks, and they come in various lengths and thicknesses. When you purchase a crystal tuning fork, it usually includes a simple mallet for striking it (be sure to strike it gently, as the crystals are quite sensitive!). You can opt for a single crystal fork or explore sets available in a convenient case.

Find a Crystal Tuning Fork on Amazon.

Quartz Crystal Tuning Fork

16. Kalimba

Picture a Kalimba as a pocket-sized piano that sits comfortably in your hands. This endearing instrument is played using the thumbs and emits the most joyful and uplifting tones. Adding to its charm, Kalimbas are available in various shapes, sizes, and styles, each with its unique flair. They all, however, share the wonderful ability to brighten your day with their playful and cheerful melodies. An added bonus? Kalimbas are quite affordable. You can get a decent one for around 30 euros, making it a delightful and accessible addition to your musical collection.

Find Kalimba on Amazon and Thomann.de
The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

17. Energy Chimes

Another compact marvel in the world of instruments is the Energy Chime. Picture this: metal tubes, either solo or grouped, perched on a wooden base, waiting to be struck by a mallet. Just like the Kalimba, Energy Chimes are wonderfully portable. These instruments can be your travel companions, perfect for clearing and refreshing the energy of spaces like hotel rooms or even your mode of transport. Due to their clear single high tone, I personally use them for energy assessment to check the energy field of the receiver. It’s amazing how such small instruments can have such a significant impact on your surroundings, making them ideal for those on the go.

Find Energy Chimes on Amazon and Thomann.de.

The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

That’s my amazing roommate-cat Bikhuni supervising the photoshoot

18. Tingsha Cymbals

Tingsha, with roots in ancient traditions, are often seen in Buddhist temples, their presence as timeless as the practices they accompany. Despite their modest size, they produce a sound that’s surprisingly loud and clear, making them ideal for clearing the energy of spaces and starting or ending a meditation session. Higher quality Tingsha can sustain their tones for several seconds, creating a lingering resonance that slowly fades into silence. Much like the Kalimba, Tingsha are perfect for travel, allowing you to carry a piece of this ancient tradition with you wherever you go, infusing your journey with their unique sound and energy. Additionally, they are quite affordable compared to other sound healing instruments.

Find Tingsha on Amazon and Thomann.de

The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

19. Djembe

The Djembe, with its distinctive goblet shape, is not just an instrument but a symbol of unity. Wrapped around its base are ropes that are not merely decorative; they’re crucial for tuning. By adjusting these ropes, you can fine-tune the drum to your desired pitch. Interestingly, the name ‘Djembe’ carries a profound message – roughly translated, it means ‘everyone gather together in peace.’ It’s an instrument that embodies harmony and togetherness, resonating with more than just sound, but also with the spirit of community.

Find Djembe on Amazon and Thomann.de

20. Mouth Harp

Also known as a jaw harp, Jew’s harp, or vargan, the Mouth Harp is a unique little instrument with a sound production method akin to the Kalimba. It uses a flexible metal plate that vibrates to create sounds. But here’s the twist: you place it in your mouth, which acts as a resonating chamber, enhancing the instrument’s distinctive tones. This clever design leaves both your hands free, allowing for an interesting and dynamic musical experience.

Find Mouth Harps on Amazon and Thomann.de

The most used sound healing instruments in Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions

Bhikuni making sure that everything is in order

What is the Most Soothing Sound Healing Instrument?

Figuring out the most soothing sound healing instrument really comes down to your personal taste. It’s fascinating how we humans often find tranquility in light, tinkling sounds – think of the gentle trickle of a stream or the soft patter of rain. Then there’s the deep, rhythmic sound of ocean waves crashing onto the shore, which many find incredibly calming. It’s hard to pinpoint a single instrument as the most soothing since it varies so much from person to person. You might find yourself experimenting with different instruments until you discover the one that resonates with you.

Consider the varied tones of cymbals and gongs. Their sound can feel different depending on your mood – sometimes uplifting, other times more introspective. It’s the same when you’re choosing wind chimes. Some might find their sound irritating, while others might find it utterly relaxing. Then there are bells, bowls, and instruments made of wood, crystal, or metal, each offering a unique auditory experience.

If you’re looking to bring a soothing sound instrument into your home, you might start with something simple like hollow wooden sticks, or maybe a Tibetan Singing Bowl. It’s all about exploring and discovering which sounds speak to your soul.

Subscribe to my sound healing youtube channel to get started.

What Instruments are used in a Sound Bath?

The most commonly used instruments in a Sound Bath are gongs and Tibetan Singing Bowls. Sound Baths are also often offered to groups of people as well as on a one-to-one basis. Other instruments employed in a Sound Bath include the Crystal singing bowls, Hand pans, and wooden wind chimes, although this will depend on the practitioner, the venue and the number of people attending.


These instruments are among the most commonly used in sound healing practices by therapists and healers around the globe. Whether you attend a group sound bath or a one-on-one sound therapy session, you’ll likely experience the cosmic sounds produced by these beautiful instruments. Occasionally, you might encounter unique creations, as inventors continue to contribute new instruments to the fascinating world of sound healing. Stay tuned for my upcoming post featuring new and unique sound healing instruments to try, along with my personal experiences with the instruments mentioned above.

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