A Few Words….

“A man ceases to be a beginner in any given science and becomes a master in that science when he has learned that he is going to be a beginner all his life.”

Welcome to the wonderful world of woodwind instruments! I hate to tell you though, that in all woodwind instruments, first steps are often extremely frustrating. Bansuri is no exception.

The bad news – it is going to be quite frustrating to get over the first hurdle and get the sound right. The good news – it is not an impossible task and no one that I know has ever given up playing Bansuri because they could not get over this step.

This first step will lay the foundation to what you are going to learn subsequently. Therefore, go through this chapter carefully. I know several people who started with incorrect grip, blow or posture and no one corrected them in the very beginning. As a result, years down the line they realized that the fundamentals they started with became bottleneck.

Before you start, it is important to be aware of a few things:

  1. Bansuri, like any other woodwind instrument, relies on your blow. Playing Bansuri for long periods is pretty similar to having a cardiovascular exercise. As before you start any new cardiovascular exercise, you should make an informed judgment about your own health and whether you are fit enough to undertake this. As always, in case of any doubt, be sure to speak to your physician.
  2. It is not unusual that even for people in best of health condition, some dizziness or light-headedness is experienced after playing Bansuri in for some time. This is considered in case of most people as something normal. If you experience such feeling initially, simply stop playing the Bansuri for a bit till you feel better. Usually you should be back to normal in a few minutes. Again, if you experience any of this for longer time, you may want to consult your physician.

In almost all the cases, such experiences are very temporary and go away as your lungs start getting stronger and as your blowing gets more effective.

With this word of caution, if you are ready to take the next steps, welcome to the wonderful world of the Bansuri….

6 Responses to “A Few Words….

  • Very succinct explanation.

  • I would like add that
    “Playing Flute for say 15 min is good as doing an one form of Pranayama”…
    and its sweet sound gives you that divine happiness (added advantage)…

    • Great point! I sometimes encounter beginners who have pretty shallow breathing (i.e. they do not inhale their breath all the way to lower abdomen). Such beginners struggle with getting longer sound out of Bansuri. It takes longer for them to reach there. But it is often observed that this exercise proves beneficial to them in other parts of their lives.

      Shallow breath is often associated with such symptoms as anxiety, stress and panic attacks at the extreme. Read more about it on Wikipedia here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shallow_breathing. I believe that playing Bansuri is one way to train for deeper breathing.

      • Are there other exersizes that can help with deeper breathing?

        • I am sure there are. Some of the breathing techniques in Yoga (Pranayaam) help. But even if you just play longer notes on Bansuri, it will help big time – and in relatively short time.

  • Stunning website!
    Thank you for all of the wonderful information.