How to play Korean bamboo flute

Playing the Korean bamboo flute, also known as the daegeum, can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It is a traditional instrument that has been played for centuries in Korea and is still popular today. If you are interested in learning how to play the daegeum, this guide will provide you with a step-by-step process to get you started.

Understanding the Basics

Before you start playing the daegeum, it is important to understand the basics of the instrument. The daegeum is a bamboo flute that is approximately 60 cm in length. It has six finger holes on the front and one thumb hole on the back. The daegeum is played by blowing into the mouthpiece and using your fingers to cover and uncover the holes to change the pitch of the notes.

How to play Korean bamboo flute

Getting Started

Once you have a basic understanding of the instrument, it’s time to start practicing. Here are some steps to get you started on playing the daegeum:

  1. Hold the daegeum with your left hand at the bottom of the instrument and your right hand at the top.
  2. Place your lips on the mouthpiece and blow gently to produce a sound. Adjust the angle of your lips until you get a clear sound.
  3. Cover the holes with your fingers and practice playing different notes. Start with the lowest note and work your way up the scale.

See also: How to learn bamboo flute

Mastering the Techniques

Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to start mastering the techniques of playing the daegeum. Here are some tips to help you improve your skills:

  1. Practice playing scales and arpeggios to improve your finger technique.
  2. Experiment with different blowing techniques to create different sounds and effects.
  3. Listen to recordings of traditional Korean music to learn more about the style of music and how the daegeum is used in traditional Korean music.

Advanced Techniques

If you are interested in taking your daegeum playing to the next level, there are several advanced techniques that you can learn. These include:

  1. Circular breathing: This technique allows you to play continuously without taking a breath. To circular breathe, you need to inhale through your nose while blowing out through your mouth.
  2. Vibrato: This technique involves producing a rapid oscillation of the pitch of the note. It can be achieved by moving your finger slightly on the hole while playing the note.
  3. Tapping: This technique involves tapping the daegeum to produce a percussive sound. It is often used in contemporary Korean music.


Playing the daegeum can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With practice and dedication, you can learn how to play this traditional instrument and enjoy the many benefits that come with it. Whether you are interested in traditional Korean music or contemporary music, the daegeum is a versatile instrument that is sure to impress. Start practicing today and see where your daegeum playing takes you!