HINDUSTANI FLUTE LESSONS PDF

I ndian classical music or Shastriya Sangeet is a tradition that originated in Vedic ritual chants and has been evolving since the 12th century. Indian classical Bansuri is one of the oldest musical instruments of India. It is an absolute joy to learn this amazing instrument. In our academy hundreds of students have learnt basics of Bansuri and many of them are continuing their advanced learning in our academy since many years. Indian classical music is Gurumukhi Vidya Education learnt from Guru which has been and is being transferred from Guru to disciples for centuries. In our website we have many contents and technical aspects of Bansuri.

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November October RSS Feed. Learning Hindustani music takes much longer, even though you should begin learning as soon as you can play the notes. Just relax and take your time. To begin with, do not worry about covering any holes on the flute. It is far more important to get a sound first before we try to cover the holes and learn the notes.

This first step concentrates on getting the sound. If you are right handed, then hold the flute in your hands so that your left hand grips the flute to the left of the blowing hole and your right hand grips below the blowing hole to the right although it does not really matter even if you hold it with one hand as long as you are able to hold the flute aligned with your lips.

The idea is here is just to hold the flute up to your mouth so the the blowing hole is under your lips. Of course if you are left handed you will use opposite hands. Raise the flute so that the blowing hole is in front of your lips and aligned with them. I demonstrate this in the pictures below.

The idea here is that most of the air you blow should go into the flute, but a fair amount of air will also escape. Much of the air will flow downwards.

Your blowing creates a whirlpool of air in the flute which will create the sound. You should try to imagine with your mind that you are focusing the air into the blowing hole. Your lips should be shaped in a similar way as if you were very softly blowing on food to cool it down. You may be blowing too hard - in fact most beginners blow much too hard to try to get a sound - do not blow as hard as if you were blowing out a candle. It actually takes much less air to make the sound so try blowing softly.

Try moving the blow hole towards your lips by rolling the flute towards you or roll the flute slightly away from the lips. Use your hands to roll the flute inwards towards your lips and outwards. Find where you can get the sound by experimenting with the angle. Try changing the position and shape of your lips. Try bringing your bottom lip forward and your top one slightly back and then do the opposite. Tighten your lips and loosen them to find which method gets you the best sound.

You can practice this by blowing on your hand to see how the airstream changes direction when you change the position and shape of your lips.

When you top lip is further forward than your bottom lip, with the bottom lip drawn back, you should notice that the air stream goes downwards. The further you move your bottom lip forward, the more you should notice that the air stream flows forward. Change the size of the hole in your lips.

Notice how when you tighten your lips, the hole through which the air flows gets smaller and the air becomes faster and tends to flow more downwards. Everyone's lips are different! Some people play with their lips perfectly in line with the flute, whilst others play at a slight angle.

The aim of the above exercise is to produce a clear sound. You should be able to produce a good long pure sound before beginning to close the holes and learning the fingering of the bansuri. This can take time but after many squeaks and funny noises, you will eventually achieve this. In some cases it could take up to a week or more to get a clean sound. In my own experience, it took me about days when I began but much longer to make the sound clear and pure.

You should spend much time practicing just getting your first note and trying to make it sound as clear, pure and smooth as possible. Everyone wants to play songs as soon as they can, but your songs will sound much nicer if you master the sound first. Do not jump ahead. Get a good long pure sound before trying to move to the next step. If you are right handed then you will use your left hand to cover the top 3 holes and your right hand will be used on the bottom of the flute. If you are left handed, you will do the opposite.

In the pictures below, you will see that one player is left handed and the other right. There are 2 main ways of gripping the bansuri. Hariprasad Chaurasia's style The pads of the fingers are used to cover the holes - not the finger tips. The fingers are relaxed and flat. Observe the position of the fingers. Notice also the position of the thumbs.

The thumbs help to support the bansuri and keep it in position. The chin also helps do this. The fingers must be able to dance over the holes and therefore should not be used to support the flute - Use the thumbs and the chin to do this. The little finger or pinkie is not used and does not need to touch the flute.

The others fingers cover the holes and the thumbs help keep the flute in place without slipping. When playing in this style, keep in mind that the lines on your fingers should not be over the holes as this will cause the air to leak and effect the sound See picture to the right. I also play using this style and demonstrate how the holes should be covered in the pictures below. Zhou xuan songs. Just get used to the feel of the flute and where the holes are.

Notice how your thumbs can be positioned to support the flute. Examine the pictures here and try to copy. When you begin playing, it is normal to experience some discomfort in your hands, fingers and thumb. It takes time for your hands and fingers to adjust - it can take years to be able to play the larger flutes comfortably.

If you are a total beginner, it is best to begin using a smaller flute such as an A bass flute, G bass flute or if you have very small hands a C medium flute See where to buy a bansuri for more information on selecting a suitable flute.

Once you get used to this, you can then move down to a bigger flute and begin to adapt to that also. If you are experiencing discomfort, I would recommend stretching your fingers before playing the flute and after.

Shake your hands if they begin to ache. Give yourself breaks also and above all if you are experiencing a lot of pain, give yourself a break for a day or 2. Do not overdo it. Just practice a little at a time. We will look at the names of notes in a bit but for now concentrate on getting a good sound by playing the notes below. It is best at this stage to cover one hole at a time, beginning from the top hole nearest to the blowing hole and to give a good amount of time to each note, making each note as clear and pure as possible.

Begin covering holes in the following order from left to right. Note that the yellow hole on the chart represents the blowing hole so you do not need to take any notice of this when looking at the chart. White holes represent open holes and black holes represent holes covered with your finger. Many flutes also have a seventh hole but do not worry about this hole yet.

You can play the flute perfectly well without using the 7th hole at all like Chaurasia. Note: When you being covering the holes you may experience problems with the sound. This can be for various reasons: the main 2 reasons are usually due to their being a gap when you cover a hole; so the hole is not fully covered and there is a small amount of air seeping out. You can try using a mirror to check that the hole is completely covered. There must be no gaps! The other reason may be because you need to spend more time practicing getting the smooth sound.

Perhaps you are keen to play music and have not given yourself enough time to practice getting a good sound each time. If this is the case, go back to the first exercise without covering any holes. The sound should get deeper as you cover the holes. If the sound becomes higher or screeches, then you are blowing too hard. In the first video below I demonstrate how this should sound on a G bass and in the second video on a C sharp medium flute.

You should spend a good amount of time days or weeks just practicing these notes. You should play long solid notes. Do not try to play fast I am playing much faster in the video than you should Play each note VERY slowly one at a time and when you can play them all perfectlu move on to the next stage of these lessons. This will also help you to do some of the practice exercises on this page. The Indian notation system is called 'saregam'.

The notes are called the following Full name in brackets as we cover holes one by one beginning from the top of the flute and working our way down until all holes are covered.

Ma Madhyam - no holes covered Ga Gandhar - 1st hole covered Re rishab - 2 holes covered Sa Shadja - 3 holes covered Ni Nishad - 4 holes covered Dha Dhaivat - 5 holes covered Pa Pancham - 6 holes covered Try playing each note and saying the name of that note in your head you do not need to say the full name, just the shortened version, since the longer version is not used often.

The sooner you get used to the names of notes, the easier it will be to play the exercises later and to play songs and learn to read Indian compositions. The bansuri is capable of producing just over 2 and a half octaves. Until now, I have demonstrated in the videos only the lower octave so the deeper notes and have not played the upper octave higher notes. To produce the higher notes, it is possible to use the exact same fingering as with the lower notes you have learnt, but you must tighten your lips so that the hole through which the air flows becomes very small and this will increase the air, making it go faster.

This creates a higher pitch. You should now try to practice playing the lower note followed by the higher note as demonstrated in the video below on a G bass flute.

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November October RSS Feed. Learning Hindustani music takes much longer, even though you should begin learning as soon as you can play the notes. Just relax and take your time. To begin with, do not worry about covering any holes on the flute. It is far more important to get a sound first before we try to cover the holes and learn the notes.

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I'm an allround flute player and teach both Bansuri lessons as well as modern flute to beginners and advanced. Book a trial lesson! My one-to-one Bansuri lessons offer a solid technical and musical basis and personal attention in a relaxed environment. Get inspired to discover and embrace Hindustani Classical Music seriously or to incorporate the Indian bamboo flute in your favourite music styles! The Bansuri is one of the most popular instruments of India and one of the oldest of the world. This important element of music making, often unspoken in formal education, is one of Hindustani North Indian Classical Music main components.

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