Sound is produced either by striking the gong or rubbing it. A wide variety of different mallets is used. The gong is struck right in the center, in other words, on the knob, since it is here that the greatest volume and purest tone are produced.
The larger the gong, the heavier it is. To achieve the fullest-sounding tone greater force is required, which means that the mallets must also be larger and therefore heavier. Care should be taken always to the right mallet for each gong.
The pitch of the gong is always easily recognizable, whether the note is piano or fortissimo.
Depending on which kind of mallet is used (and on the dynamics) the gong sounds dark, metallic or majestic.
The gong’s dynamic range is smaller than that of many other percussion instruments (snare drum, tam-tam, etc.). The main reason for this is that at fortissimo levels the dynamics are limited; once a particular volume is reached the gong “overshoots” and loses volume. A large number of strong partials develop which detract from the sound.