Performer | Educator | Seeker

The Mystery Of The Bansuri

The lilting tunes of the Bansuri can conquer the hearts and captivate the minds of its spell-bound listeners. But what is it that makes the Bansuri such a magical instrument in the hands of a gifted performer? This Mystic Bamboo flute tutorial will make an attempt to shed some light upon the inner workings of the Indian Bamboo flute.

 The secret behind the Bansuri’s music lies not just in the Bansuri, but also in the body, the breath, and the mind of the artist who wields it. Unravelling the mystery of the Bansuri is, therefore, intimately intertwined with the journey of self-discovery. Students of the Mystic Bamboo online flute classes are encouraged to get acquainted with these faculties that contribute to mastery over the Bansuri.

 The Body

The grossest of the faculties involved in mastering the flute is that of the body, and good posture is the cornerstone of successful Sadhana (practice). This section of the flute tutorial highlights the requirements of maintaining a healthy body if one intends to learn to play the Indian Bamboo flute well.

Training the body to hold the correct posture is fundamental to being able to sit in one position in order to practice for many hours at a time. The ideal posture also allows for better control over the breath.

The humble flute can’t produce music until it is held to the lips in the correct position. The arms must, therefore, be trained to balance the delicate but powerful instrument at just the right angle, while granting the fingers the freedom to dance upon its vents.

Finally, the correct position of the head and the lips will determine how well the breath is directed into the flute in order to release the enchanting melodies that lie dormant within its bamboo chamber.

 The Breath

The second faculty involved in flute mastery is the Prana (breath), which is subtler than the body. Not only is the Prana’s role in playing the Bansuri quite evident but it is also the key to creating pitch-perfect Swaras. The same life force that sustains the human body, when channelled into the heart of the inert Bansuri, brings it to life.

This amazing faculty of breath, which begins moments after birth and continues unceasingly until the very end, remains under-appreciated and taken for granted by most of us. New students of the online flute classes are encouraged to practice one of the basic exercises in meditation, which is to become aware of the breath and to focus upon its cyclic journey in and out of the body.

Awareness of and control over the breath not only facilitates a calmer mind and a healthier body, but it determines whether or not the Swara being played is at the correct frequency. Understanding of the Prana results in a more intimate understanding of each Swara. Maestros of Bansuri are even able to subtly change the Swara being played, without moving a finger, just by varying the breath.

When the Prana flows from the body, through the Bansuri, and radiates as vibrations in the atmosphere, the Bansuriwala (performer) becomes one with the Bansuri, and recognizes that it is the same life that connects the self to the universe. This union and universal vision is what is sought through the practice of Yoga (meditation).

Lastly, the momentary, silent, stillness in between breaths is regarded as the source of all sound and the very substratum that supports all music. Seeking out this silence is one of the goals of spiritual practice, and music is one of the means of attaining this exalted state of consciousness and bliss.

 The Mind

The third faculty, the mind, is the subtlest of all and the most difficult to control. This flute tutorial cautions that the same mind that can make phenomenal music when guided in the right direction can squander away all of its potential if it isn’t trained well.

The wandering of the mind being the greatest obstacle to progress, even the most dedicated student of our online flute classes might find themselves distracted while practising the same phrase over and over again. The secret to overcome this obstacle is to play mindfully, which involves singing the notes in the mind while playing those notes on the flute. Not only will this active awareness keep the mind where the hands are, it will make longer hours of practice possible.

The practice of playing mindfully is similar to the practice of Japa (meditation), where the continuous focus is upon the Swaras. Being in sync with what is being played develops a deeper connection with the notes and advances the ability of the student to accurately hear a Swara in the mind, without it being played on the flute. This Swara Japa also makes the player conscious of every aspect of their playing, including finger movements and placements, the flow of one’s breath, and how the Bansuri responds to different techniques.

Greater familiarity with the notes, through Swara Japa, is the key to successful improvisation. When a student practises a Palta (pattern of notes) through mindful playing, other patterns reveal themselves, and the seeds of creative expression are sown.

 The Pursuit of Practice

The final piece of the puzzle in the mystery of the Bansuri is the dedication to practice regularly, without compromise. It is through practice alone that the greatest of challenges on the path of a student can be overcome. The students at the Mystic Bamboo online flute classes discover that although initial attempts at playing mindfully seem difficult, with patience, perseverance, and practice, the body grows stronger, the breath becomes stable, constant and powerful, and the mind grows calmer and more focussed. When all of the faculties of body, breath, and mind are in sync with each other, the Bansuri is infused with its amazing power.

 The Mystic Bamboo online flute classes provide guidance not only on Bansuri techniques but also on how to harness the potential of the mind and how to make every breath count. The mystery of the Bansuri has been unravelled and students at all levels can benefit from these techniques in order to become better at leaving their audience spell-bound, using the magic wand that is the humble Bansuri.

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