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Frequenty Asked Questions on Bansuri?

“How to play perfect shudha madyama. I failed to play it with half hole open.”

Shuddh Ma is always a tricky note to play on flute. However, practice can make you perfect. The most common mistake one does is to become over conscious on opening (or closing) the top-first-hole on the flute. In the process what happens is that your fingers on the other holes on the flute may get slightly misplaced and thus let some air pass out from any of those other holes. See if you are making the same mistake or not. Close all the other holes fully and firmly except the first one which has to be half-closed and then blow gently to produce Shuddh Ma.

“I am new to the Flutes and Practicing for last 1 month. I don’t know the Sound which I am making out of the flute is correct or not and some time when I close all the holes I get a very good sound but immediately when I open the very 1st hole I lose the sound just the air noise comes. Not sure what mistake I am doing, can you help me on that.”

Don’t worry, it happens with everyone. Just keep practicing one note at a time. Take a deep breath and blow for Sa for as long as you can, repeat 10-15-20 times and then move to next note Re in same manner and so on. Then practice ‘Alankars’ which are avaialble on this website. Even better if you can practice with ‘Tanpura’ (App which can be downloaded on your smart phone).

“I dnt get it some of your notes like dis one(hum tere bin ab reh nahi sakte) G is being played by closing 4 holes from the top ..nd sa is being played by closing all 6 holes…it means the sargam is from the bottom to the top ?? Where as in some songs for example – main tenu smjhawan ki. the G is being played by closing the 1st hole from the top means in this the sa will be played by closing top three holer..just as mentionf in the key sheet ? So m very confused and what is the real sargam? Please help!”

Bansuri can be played in two ways – one, by closing top three holes for Sa, or two, by closing all holes for Sa. However, technically playing Sa by closing all holes is not correct. The notes that I post are always to be played by closing top three holes for Sa. Therefore, here also G is obtained by closing the topmost hole.

“I know how to play all the sur separately, but as i am new to flute, i dont know much about various techniques. Basically i dont know anything about except sa re ga ma.. Please guide me what to do further.”

Start practicing ‘Alankars’ to get the speed on your flute. Some Alankars are available on this website itself. Or else, you can search for alankars on You Tube or Google.

“Which bansuri I should purchase for myself as I am a beginner.”

As a beginner, you should go for a medium size bansuri (12 – 15 inches long) of scale C or G.

“How do i know the scale of flute”

When you buy a flute, its scale is generally mentioned (printed) on its body. Another way to find out the scale of your flute or any other instrument is to use ‘Shruti Tuner’ mobile app, which can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

‘Can you give some idea for playeng higher notes.  I did search lot of webside but still could not find proper way to produce high notes.”

Practice is the only thing which can make you proficient in playing flute. Keep practicing daily even if it is for 10 minutes, but daily. Higher notes are played by blowing with a little more force than you would normally blow into your flute. You may have to pull your lower lip towards you and push the upper lip towards the blowing hole, just like you would blow into your hot soup to cool it down.
Good luck!

“Sir actually m confused that which notes m playing on bansuri.. those are correct or not…For example… if m playing swar dha thn how I get to knw that m correctly producing sound of dha.”

playing bansuri is like typing. with practice, one is able to type correctly even without looking at the keyboard. similarly, when you keep practicing SARGAM on bansuri, your ears will be able to differentiate between correct and incorrect notes. Keep practicing daily even for 10 minutes, play alankars as much as you can. You doubts will soon be gone. Good luck.

“Kesi gane ko me basuri sargam m kesy converte kr skata hu?”

sabse pehle apko us gaane ka pehla swar (note) pata karna hoga. Jaise ki, agar apko bansuri par “Tujhe Dekh Dekh Sona” bajana hai to sabse pehle “Tu” ko baar baar gaiye aur fir us swar ko bansuri par dhoondiye, wo swar S bhi ho sakta hai, P bhi, G ya R bhi. “Tu” ka sound jis bhi note par apke kaano ko sabse achha lage, bas wahi se baki ke notes bhi aap isi tarah pakad sakte hain. Karke dekhiye, aur bataiye. Good luck.

“I am a pianist .. Trained in western music system.. But like to play flute now.. Which flute should I buy … Want to know if flute playing causes high b.p. … As it is known to hold and blow breath for long…. I have a high b.p.”

Good to hear that you are interested in playing flute. You can start with ‘G’ scale flute.
As far as my knowledge goes, I have not heard any instance where flute as caused any harm. These are all baseless speculations which one must not pay any attention to, especially, if you love music. Flute playing is completely safe, in fact, it improves the health of your lungs and digestive system.

10 Responses

  1. Hi my name is Vikas semwal
    I am intermediate in flute, and I have some questions please help me with these:
    1. what should I practice most
    2. I have C middle flute which, I should buy next?

    1. Thanks for your questions.

      1. You must practice Alankars as much as possible. Minimum 30 minutes everyday, before playing anything else.
      2. Once you have spent at least 6 months and are comfortable with your current flute, you can go for G# or F#. These are generally slightly bigger in length.

      Thanks again,
      Notes & Sargam

    1. I’m Manoj Modi, 54.
      I picked a flute one year before. I have not even having knowledge of saregamapa
      Made many mistakes. Now I can play little good.I am not taking any classes for it.
      Perticularly for flute any issues has only one solution
      Practice only.
      I also make flute without any guidance.
      Don’t think much, don’t get depressed. Keep on playing. Sometimes don’t care for saregama or its alankara. Keep playing like a kid.
      Flute is the most difficult instrument to master. 90% people leave it. So be positive and just keep practicing

  2. What does the scale stands for flute, how to recognize the scale of flute, how effects the scale to the flute. Does the scale changes the sargam ? means if i bought G scale then how G effects the sargarm

  3. Ma always sound sharper than other notes. I have tried everything like blowing slowly/gently but no luck. All other swaras/notes sound have more bass. I am using G scale flute.

    1. You need to check whether your flute is in tune. Take help from mobile apps like ‘Swara Meter’. If tuning is the problem, then it is time for your to get a better well-tuned flute.
      Good luck!

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How to read SARGAM notations

  • CAPITAL LETTERS = Shuddh Swars (Pure Notes)
  • small letters = Komal Swars (Flat Notes)
  • A Note with # [hash] = Tivra Swar 
  • Letter/Alphabet ONLY = Medium Pitch/Normal blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet PRECEDED BY a ” . ” [full stop] or  a ” , ” [comma] = Low Pitch/Softer blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet FOLLOWED BY a ‘ [single quote] = High Pitch/harder blow on flute
  • Notes in { } = “murki” or “khatka” which have to be played very fast without any pause
  • A Note in ( ) = “kann swar” has to be just touched before moving on to the next note
  • A “~” between two Notes = “Meend”. That is, you have to glide from one note to another slowly to produce that wavy effect.
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