Bamboo flute fingering chart. Source: Wikipedia.org

I've been practicing to play Bansuri for 3 months. I practice playing single note for longer duration, and Alankars [patterns].

Starting note Sa [or C in Western notation] is played by closing first three holes from the embouchure, and Pa [G in Western notation] by closing all 6 holes.

The problem is.

When I shift from Ma [F] to Pa [G], it sounds one lower octave G. [I'm not concerned about the pitch, the pitch is perfect, but it sounds like one octave down, I have understanding of frequency and length of air column]

How do I properly play Bansuri? I mean, how do I play a whole octave in a proper way?

Hope you understood my question.

Thank you.

5 Answers 5


Blowing harder is an inefficient way of playing the higher octave on the bansuri. You will tire quickly, and it's harder to keep the sound even (more so than the metal flute). Instead, try making the space between your lips smaller so that the air you are blowing out is more "concentrated" as you blow.


Same problem with me. Trick: start with all holes closed as Sa, then t holes closed as Re and so on. You can easily get one complete octave. But to get two octaves, you can either blow hard or soft, or other ways I am still figuring out.


You have to increase the stream of the air speed. Lower range, (and this applies to every wind instrument) is warmer and slower air where higher is colder and faster. “Blowing harder” is kind of misleading advice for how to do this. The position of the middle back of the tongue can, when you raise or lower it, change the air speed even if the “strength” of your blowing is the same; this combined with varying levels of support from your diaphragm will give u control. This is called “voicing” the note. The best way to learn how to do this is by practicing overtones and also by practicing long tones


I don't play bansuri, but if you look at the difference between your top P and the one an octave lower, the only difference according to that diagram is the strength of your blow.

This is the same with various wind instruments - you are probably not providing enough of an "overblow" so it's dropping to the octave below.

Practice with a hard blow - you should notice the note flip up and down as you near that cutoff point between the two octaves.


It can also happen if the Bansuri is not tuned properly. From where did you buy the Bansuri? As Dr Mayhem indicated, it could also be because of the strength of the blow. Have you tried ( As indicated in the picture for middle octave Pa), closing only 5 holes leaving out the top hole?

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