How to play an 8 hole bamboo flute

Learning to play an 8 hole bamboo flute can be a rewarding experience for those interested in exploring the world of music. The bamboo flute, also known as a bansuri, is a traditional instrument commonly found in Indian classical music. It is a relatively simple instrument to learn, but it requires practice and patience to master. In this article, we will guide you through the process of playing an 8 hole bamboo flute.

Choosing the Right Flute

Before you can start playing the bamboo flute, you need to choose the right size and type of flute. Flutes come in different sizes, and the size determines the pitch of the sound produced. The most common size for beginners is the C medium scale flute, which produces a rich and mellow sound.

When choosing a flute, it is essential to check the quality of the bamboo and the quality of the construction. A well-constructed flute will produce better sound quality and last longer. You can find 8 hole bamboo flutes in traditional music stores or online retailers.

How to play a 8 hole bamboo flute

Setting Up the Flute

Once you have chosen the right flute, it’s time to set it up for playing. Start by moistening your lips and placing them on the mouthpiece. Then, gently blow into the flute while covering the first three holes with your fingers. This should produce a low and mellow sound. Adjust the position of your lips and the strength of your breath until you produce a clear and consistent sound.

Finger Placement

To play different notes, you need to change the finger placement on the holes. The basic fingering pattern for an 8 hole bamboo flute is as follows:

  • Cover the first three holes with your fingers to produce the note Sa.
  • Cover the first two holes and leave the third hole open to produce Re.
  • Cover the first hole and leave the second and third holes open to produce Ga.
  • Cover the first and second holes and leave the third hole open to produce Ma.
  • Cover the first hole and the third hole and leave the second hole open to produce Pa.
  • Cover only the first hole to produce Dha.
  • Cover only the second hole to produce Ni.
  • Leave all the holes open to produce Sa.

Playing Techniques

Once you have mastered the basic finger placement, you can start to explore different playing techniques. Here are a few techniques to try:

  • Vibrato: This technique involves shaking the flute to produce a trembling effect. To do this, you need to move your jaw up and down while blowing into the flute.
  • Sliding: This technique involves sliding your fingers up and down the holes to produce a gliding effect. It requires precise finger movements and breath control.
  • Trilling: This technique involves rapidly alternating between two notes to produce a trilling effect. To do this, you need to alternate between covering and uncovering two holes with your fingers.
  • Bending: This technique involves altering the pitch of the note by bending the flute. It requires a lot of practice and control.

See also: How hard is it to learn bamboo flute

Practice Tips

To master the art of playing the 8 hole bamboo flute, you need to practice regularly. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Start with simple songs and exercises to build your skills gradually.
  • Practice in a quiet environment, free from distractions.
  • Focus on producing a clear and consistent sound.
  • Use a metronome to practice timing and rhythm.
  • Record yourself playing to track your progress and identify areas for improvement.


Playing the 8 hole bamboo flute requires patience, practice, and dedication. With the right flute, finger placement, and playing techniques, you can produce beautiful and soulful music. Remember to start with the basics, practice regularly, and enjoy the process of learning and exploring the world of music.