Bansuri FAQ : Frequently Asked Questions
What bansuri size / pitch do you recommend for a beginner?
My suggestions for a beginner bansuri player are:
- C medium bansuri (# 14) bansuri for people with small hands.
- A bass bansuri (#11) for folks with medium sized hands
- G bass bansuri(#9) if you have slightly larger hands
These flutes and the sizes in between are easily manageable by most beginners. For details visit my catalog.
What kind of bamboo do you use in making Bansuri flutes?
I make my Bansuri's from prime grade seasoned bamboo from North-eastern and southern India.This is a special variety of bamboo which has long separation between the nodes and is thin walled as compared to the general varieties of bamboo. Low wall thickness gives a brighter tone with minimal blowing resistance which is great especially for beginners. Also this bansuri bamboo is perfectly suited for the response, sonority and resonant qualities demanded of a professional concert bansuri.
What is the playing range of your bansuri flutes?
My bansuri's have a range of over two and a half octaves. Though in bansuri you can play notes contiguously up to ati-taar pancham, notes above this, i.e. above two octaves, are sounded by means of cross fingerings (This true for all other varieties of flute that are capable of such playing range, including the western keyed flute). As a result of the cross fingering, meend, which is a very integral part of Indian music, is rendered impossible above the contiguous range of two octaves. However, fortunately most of Indian classical music is performed within a range of about two octaves.
What information should I provide you with so that you may suggest a suitable size/pitch of bansuri for me?
Your answers to the following questions help me in suggesting a size for you:
Have you any prior experience in playing Bansuri?
If yes, what is the largest size bansuri that you play comfortably?
Do you consider the size of your hands large, medium or small?
Do you intend to play with other instrumentalists/ or will play solo?
Now as a matter of general recommendation, if you would like to play with other western instruments like silver flute probably you would like to choose G bass or F bass. G bass would play G with 3 holes closed and D with 6 holes closed and C# with all the 7 holes closed. Whereas F bass would sound F, C and B at these finger positions. These are generally reasonable size of flutes to handle even if you are a beginner at the same time bassy enough.
Do you have a Student model Bansuri?
If by Student model you mean an easy playing bansuri the answer is yes. I can adjust various parameters like the bore size, the tone-hole sizes, hole layout etc. to provide you with an instrument that has the best fit for you. However, if you mean a lower quality (and thereby cheaper) version, the answer is no. I give the same the kind of attention and care to each flute without any quality compromise and strive to consistently provide flutes of unmatched quality - whether it is for a student or an expert.
I have found on your website that there is a way to repair a crack on bansuri. Could you please suggest some advice for this?
Take the bansuri when its cold (not recently played) and apply low viscosity cynoacrylate (instant glue) along the crack...it should seep into the crack because of low viscosity. Hold the flute and press so that the crack is closed...hold for about 30 second. Now after 5 minutes or so clean off extra glue from the surface and do thread binding if you know how to do it or apply several rounds of scotch tape.