WHERE TO LEARN                                                                                                              

The best way to learn to play the bansuri is undoubtedly with a teacher who is able to teach you from the beginning and develop your skills and knowledge of the bamboo flute and Indian music gradually over time, thus avoiding mistakes and bad habits, all of which can be corrected by the teacher.

Skills and knowledge of the bansuri and Indian music have been passed down from teacher to student over thousands of years and this tradition is considered to be the best and most effective way of learning and is very much alive even today. Indian music is an aural tradition and is very rarely written, but instead learnt directly from the teacher.

There are of course some other methods of learning - books, internet etc which, although containing a good amount of information, are no substitute for a teacher if the player wishes to learn to play the instrument seriously and become proficient. 
Nevertheless, learning to play the bansuri in the UK can be difficult due to the lack of teachers available in the country.  The other problem is that you must select your teacher very carefully so that you learn the correct way. 

A note on finding a good teacher: Be aware that a small number of musicians are in it only for the money (those I have met are not listed on this website). They have little interest in what you learn and are not prepared to negotiate a price for lessons. 
So if you have a lot of passion to learn the bansuri but not a lot of money, then these musicians will not care for your learning. A good musician/teacher is one who cares what you learn and who is prepared to share their knowledge without ripping you off.
Other musicians are honest people who are happy to share their passion and knowledge and their main reason for teaching you will be due to their passion for the bansuri and money will just be an added bonus. These musicians will go out of their way to answer questions and help you because they realise you also share their passion.
I will only recommend honest people on my website whose hearts are to help people learn.

LEARNING IN THE UK                                                                                                        

There are not many teachers in the UK unfortunately. One reputable teacher is Clive Bell (See below)

Clive Bell teaches at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan school in London. The school teaches Indian music, dance, languages and often holds cultural events and concerts.
Clive Bell currently holds bansuri group classes on Sundays. Classes usually last about 45 minutes and class size can depend on demand and level of students. Unfortunately, because these are group classes, personal learning time can sometimes be a bit short, in particular for beginners, however once students have reached a certain level, Clive tends to get his students playing together as a group and more time is dedicated. It is also possible to arrange for private lessons with him at the school depending on availability.
You may find details about the school on their website at the following link: http://www.bhavan.net/home.html

LEARNING OVER THE INTERNET - SKYPE                                                                         

Of course, going to India to study in person with a guru or studying with one of the above teachers would be the the best way of learning, but this is not possible for all of us, at least not until we reach a certain level. 

Luckily, some bansuri gurus teach over the Internet using Skype and although not as good as having the guru teach you in person, it is the next best thing as it allows you to be taught in the traditional manner. Here are details of 2 teachers I know who teach on the Internet.

Venugopal S Hegde is a lovely guy and teaches the bansuri via Skype and at the Bansuri Music Academy that he recently founded. Venugopal has over 15 years of experience playing the bansuri and has studied with various players including Pt Nityanand Haldipur.
Venugopal's prices for learning are very reasonable and his teaching method is good. He is very friendly and helpful and I can highly recommend him. You may see his website here: http://bansurimusic.com/ or you may contact him directly at venugopal@flutebansuri.com

Rajesh K S teaches the bansuri via Skype. Rajesh is a flautist and music composer whose aim is to promote the bansuri around the world. 

He was initiated into the art of flute playing by his first guru Sri K Pundalika Shenoy and has studied and is currently guided under the tutelage of the legendary flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.

He has a website aimed at promoting music. 
Rajesh teaches in a very traditional way.
More details are available about Rajesh at the following link:

Rajesh may be contacted by email at rajesh.bansuri@yahoo.com

There are other teachers also teaching the bansuri over the internet, but do select your guru with care ensuring that they have learnt from a reputable source and that their hearts are in the right place (they care for your learning).

LIST OF REPUTABLE TEACHERS AROUND THE WORLD                                             

Learning in the UK

Clive Bell
Location : London
Website : http://www.bhavan.net/

Learning in India

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.
E - Mail : chaurasia.hariprasad@gmail.com
Phone Number : + 91 - 22 - 2646 3535
Location : Mumbai, India.
Website : www.brindavangurukul.org

Pandit Ronu Majumdar.
E - Mail : ronumajumdar@yahoo.com
Phone Number : + 91 - 22 - 2883 2371 and + 91 - 22 - 2883 2372
Location : Mumbai, India.
Website : www.ronumajumdar.com

Harsh Wardhan.
E - Mail : wardhanflute@gmail.com
Phone Number : + 91  11 23851799
Location : Delhi, India.
Website : http://www.wardhan.com/

Sameer Rao

E - Mail : arohana29@gmail.com
Phone Number :
Location : Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India
Website : http://www.sameerrao.blogspot.co.uk/
 (This school is part branch of Pandit Hariprasad's)

Venugopal Hegde.
E - Mail : vgopalhegde@gmail.com
Phone Number : + 91 - 9740044157
Location : Dharwad, Karnataka, India.
Website : www.flutebansuri.com

Pandit Rupak Kulkarni.E - Mail :  rupak_kulkarni@yahoo.co.in
Phone Number : +91-22-2898 3776
Location : Mumbai, India.
Website :  www.rupakkulkarni.com

Learning in Europe

Hariprasad Chaurasia also serves as the Artistic Director of the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in the Netherlands. This option of learning in Rotterdam would be for people who already have some knowledge of Hindustani music and who are serious about becoming a professional bansuri player. You can find out more about the programme here: 
Rotterdam World Music Academy

Henri Tournier
E - Mail :
Phone Number : + 91 - 22 - 2646 3535
Location : Rotterdam, Netherlands
Website : http://www.henritournier.fr/

Lorenzo Squillari
Location : Italy

Learning in USA

Pandit Steve Gorn.E - Mail : stevegorn@earthlink.net
Location : Accord, New York. USA.
Location : Chhandayan Music School. New York City, N. Y. USA.
Website : www.stevegorn.com
David Philipson.E - Mail :  bansuri@adelphia.net
Location : Los Angeles, California.
Website :  http://music.calarts.edu/~bansuri/
Deepak Ram.
E - Mail :  contact@deepakram.com
Location : La Jolla, California.
Website : www.deepakram.com
Jeff Whittier.E - Mail :  bansijeff@aol.com
Location : Mountain View, California.
Lyon Leifer.
E - Mail :  lyonleifer@mac.com
Location : Chicago, Illinios.
Website : www.lyonleifer.com

Prasad Bhandarkar.
E - Mail :  prasad.bhandarkar@gmail.com
Location : San Jose, California.
Website : 

SELF LEARNING RESOURCES                                                                                            

It goes without saying that these are never a substitute for teacher, however they can help you understand a little more about your flute and Hindustani music.


                       How to play the Bansuri - A Manual for Self Instruction
                       By Lyon Leifer, based on the teachings of Devendra Murdeshwar
The book gives background information about the bansuri and its history. It teaches you about grasping the instrument and the fingerings. This book favours Pannalal Ghosh's style of fingering and playing the instrument which differs from the style of Hariprasad Chaurasia. The book includes practice exercises and introduces classical Hindustani music. The book comes with a CD. All exercises on the CD are played in the key of C natural medium, so your flute will need to match if you want to produce the same music as on the CD             

The Chromatic Bansuri - A cross-cultural guide to learning the North Indian      
bamboo flute, by Joshua Geisler
Joshua learnt to play from Steven Gorn in the USA and with Raghunath Seth in India.
His book would be more suited for people who have been studying the bansuri for some time and wish to learn more about alternate fingerings and bansuri tuning, although the first few pages are very useful for beginners. It is a shame there is not more material for beginners.

Playing the bansuri - A manual for the North Indian flute by Jeff Whittier
Jeff learnt to play the bansuri from G. S. Sachdev. His book teaches a variety of Indian ragas and includes a very useful DVD which explains some of the basics and includes recordings of the exercises in the book. This book is probably the best option for beginners who want to begin learning Hindustani music.

Flute Raga - 101 Ragas (E book) By Daniel R Jarvis
This e book is not a learning manual but rather a guide for playing the ragas of classical Hindustani music and the way in which they move. The information however is quite limited and the material is definitely not suited for beginners.


5000 Musical Alankaar (E book) by Prasad Bhandarkar
Again, this e book is not a learning manual, but may be useful to bansuri learners as it lists 5000 alankaar (patterns of notes)
This e book may be purchased directly from Prasad's website at the following link: http://www.bansuriflute.com/

      Hariprasad Chaurasia and the Art of Improvisation by Henri Tournier
An excellent book for more advanced students, including 2 cds, which goes through various ragas including Yaman, Hamsadhwani, Desh, Malkauns and Bhimpalasi, breaking them down and showing you how they work in detail. Raga Malkauns and Bhimpalasi especially are broken down in to long compositions inclding alap, jor, jhala and improvisations all played by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

The Raga Guide Box Set
An excellent book with accompanying CDS which covers 74 Hindustani ragas. The guide demonstrates the aroha, avroha and pakad of each raga and gives the notation for the beginning of each alaap. An essential book for all Hindustani music lovers.


G S Sachdev - The Basics of the Bansuri Flute
This dvd will take you through the basics of learning to play the bansuri. 
Teaching is based on using a 7 holed flute.

Learn to play flute by Pandit Rupak Kulkarni
The dvd includes basics of learning the bansuri and includes: history of the bansuri, introduction, types of flutes, sitting position and fingering techniques, pitch, notes and blowing techniques, half notes and exercises.


Bansuri Guru - Learn to play the North Indian Bamboo Flute
 by Pandit Hairprasad Chaurasia

The CD includes 11 step by step chapters with 40 minutes of instructional video and 40 minutes of audio clips.

Most of the resources above may be purchased on Amazon, at One World Trading or elsewhere on the Internet.

An excellent website by Prasad Bhandarkar packed with very useful information for bansuri learners. Lots of detail and the possibility for online lessons with Prasad bhandarkar. 

Bansuri Guru -  http://www.bansuriguru.com/
This website is related to Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia's CD rom and teaches similar material at quite low cost. However the material is quite limited.

Bansuri UK blogspot - http://bansuriuk.blogspot.com/2008/03/1-bansuri.html
This blog has been created by Clive Bell who teaches at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London. It contains some useful notes for getting started.

This website will teach you some basic Hindustani ragas. You have to pay for subscription, however the material is excellent and especially for beginners. The material is designed for vocal singers and so the audio is sung, however this is a great way to learn for bansuri players also. Each raga includes the notation for various compositions in that raga, details about that raga and the audio to match it.

Bandishbase - http://www.ragas4u.com/
This website also requires subscription and the material you are allowed to see is limited each time. Make sure you read the rules carefully because you have a limited number of credits and everything you click on to view is worth a credit. However the website includes an increasing database of raga compositions and is a great resource for all those wanting to learn Hindustani music and looking for compositions. It would be great if the owners of this website could increase their limitations.


  • Samvada - available for download on the Appstore

Samvada for iOS — sympathetic strings that resonate when you sing or play into the microphone. Ideal for practising and performing Indian music. Samvada tunefully accompanies you in any scale or raga you choose. Like the taraf (sympathetic) strings of a sitar, only the notes you play in tune will ring out - helping you improve your ear and providing a harmonious accompaniment.
A number of presets come with Samvada, or you can make and share your own. The thirteen strings can be fine-tuned to the notes of a recording, or you can tune them to what sounds best to you or your teacher. The default presets are based on tunings from maestro recordings, plus some additional settings for Western-style scale tunings.
Samvada is also useful for:
  • Tuning stringed instruments
  • Helping with making and tuning instruments - e.g. flutes
  • Providing a pleasant sonic mask for background sounds and voices
  • Playing, like a swar mandal or harp
  • Using as an Aeolian harp, in windy conditions
Samvada can be used at the same time as a drone recording, or other apps designed for music, such as the excellent iTabla Pro app by Prasad Upasani.