I've recorded myself playing Bansuri (simple tunes) and notice I take lot of breaths.

How to secretly catch my breath.

At this point, the longest I can hold any note is 30 seconds.

2 Answers 2


I'm guessing it'll be the same for any wind instrument. Inhalation needs to happen in order that the next lot of notes gets played.

Pay attention to the phrasing of the tune. It's a similar idea to speaking. We take a breath at the beginning of the sentence or phrase, and take the next after that has been said. It sounds odd if we stop in mid-sentence to take in another gulp of air! Usually, like reading poetry, there are spaces regularly put in, at the end of phrases, where a breath can be taken. Obviously, with longer phrases, it makes sense to take in more than enough ( or just enough when you know the piece) to last.

Rarely are phrases so long that you run out part way through. If that happens, you need to work on controlling how much you are blowing.

Learning to circular breathe has been a boon for some wind players!


The better you get, the more efficient your air use will become. Less of the air will get lost and make a 'breathy' sound. You will find you can play longer and longer with one breath. You just need to keep practising getting a good sound.

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