Remember never to strike the centre of the gong. It may damage the instrument.
Hit the gong above its center with the mallet. Listen to the sound it makes. Hold your hand close to the gong surface without touching it. You will feel the vibration of air that surrounds the gong. Try moving your hand to examine how the vibration intensity changes with its position. Repeat the above after hitting a different spot. Can you hear and feel the difference?
How does it work
The resonating gong surface makes the air around vibrate, creating pockets of higher and lower density. Therefore, it gives rise to the acoustic wave that we can hear, but also feel. Gongs are classified among instruments that produce sound by the vibration of their whole bodies, called idiophones.
The proper gong playing technique consists of initial gentle hits around its rim – so gentle that the ensuing vibration is inaudible. After this preparation comes the main strike, slightly closer to the centre than the soft ‚warming-up’ hits.