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How to Choose a Good Flute

‘Baans to Bansuri’ – the journey

It’s not enough to just ‘make music’, it’s important to make ‘good, melodic music’. The art of playing an instrument is undoubtedly the first step, but it is equally, if not more important, to make music through the right instrument.

Today we shall discuss the importance of possessing the ‘perfect’ Bansuri. And before you invest in one, it might be a good idea to pay heed to the pointers here.

By definition, a good ‘Bansuri’ is a well-tuned Flute. Most beginners get carried away by the external looks……is the shade of the bamboo good, is it decorative? These are all add-ons. What’s important is how well-tuned is it!

A ‘Bansuri’ is a scientific musical instrument. The laws of Physics and Geometry apply to it. A ‘Bansuri’ is a combination of ‘Baans’ (Bamboo) and ‘Surila’ (in tune). A well-tuned ‘Bansuri’ offers the musician the ease of playing. The clear ‘Sur’ emanates from it. Once this is achieved, the musician is satisfied. In this state of happiness, he/she can play for longer durations and thus enjoy the process. This will help the musician and the ‘Bansuri’ become good friends over time.

Here are a few tips that can help you purchase the ‘perfect’ Bansuri.

  1. Consult your Guru. Trust that he/she knows what is best for you.
  2. In the absence of a Guru, check for these parameters:
    1. The holes are of different diameters
    2. The distance between the holes should be as follow:
      1. The first 3 holes should be equi-distant from one another
      2. The 4th and 5th holes should be closest
      3. There should be maximum distance between the 5th and 6th holes
      4. The 4th hole is the smallest
      5. The 5th hole is the biggest
  3. Lastly, do not buy it blindly. Don’t be drawn to how decorative it is.

Most beginners wonder why the ‘Bansuri’ costs as much as it does. After all, isn’t it just another piece of Bamboo? Well, what one pays for the ‘Bansuri’ goes beyond what is physically seen, which is the ‘Bansuri’. The process of ‘tuning the piece of bamboo’ is an art by itself. 2 ‘Bansuris’ may look similar, but they will never sound the same. Each ‘Bansuri’ is hand-crafted. These are not factory produced. Even a difference of a fraction of a millimetre in the dimensions (length, diameter of holes), can make a difference in the tonal quality. The ‘Bansuri’ makers are not physicists, but based on the resonance, they know when the perfect ‘Bansuri’ is ready. The process of ‘tuning’ can take anywhere up to 15 days. Also, the initial ‘seasoning of the bamboo’ takes time and calls for an investment. The maker could have ordered the bamboo in bulk, but during the process of ‘seasoning’ some of them crack and become worthless.

If you choose to purchase your ‘Bansuri’ from the mygurukul site, you can rest assured that the ‘Bansuri’ that reaches you has gone through stringent checking processes. There are reputed flute makers and experts on the panel, who give their go-ahead only after ensuring the Bansuri’s perfect tuning.

Thus, it is important to appreciate all that which goes into making the perfect ‘Bansuri’. For the perfect tonal quality, it is imperative to choose good quality bamboo and a good quality flute maker!

The ‘Baans to Bansuri’ journey is in itself an interesting one. Before reaching you, another skilful artiste (the flute maker) has worked upon it, ensuring that only the ‘Surila Baans’ reaches your lips. And when you blow into it, sweet music encompasses the space, bringing bliss and peace into the world.

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