Bansuri Finger Chart

Including the fingering for the highest octave and explanation of note-names in terms of the Classical Indian Music, but also the Western System used in Jazz Music. In case you want to learn to read western music on the Bansuri, please also check this article.

The system we are using here is the Indian “Sargam”, and the numbers refer to the intervals in the western system:

Sa=1    Re=2    Ga=3   Ma=4    Pa=5    Dha=6    Ni=7

Later on, I will only use one letter for each swara (interval): S R G M P D N S. Capital letter means it is the natural or the bigger interval, so G for instance is the maj3 (3), and g is the minor3 (b3). So the western chromatic scale would refer to:

S=1    r=b2    R=2    g=b3    G=3    m=4    M=#4    P=5    d=b6    D=6    n=b7    N=7

There might be a little confusion with the Ma, as in some schools “M” is used for the “natural 4 / Shuddh Ma” (the smaller one) and “m” for the “augmented 4 / Tivra Ma” (the bigger one). But I decided to keep it consistent in this way:

capital letter – bigger interval
small letter – smaller interval

More confusing is, that “shuddh” usually is the bigger interval, vs. “komal” which is the smaller, but with Ma we do not say shuddh & komal, we say shuddh and “tivra”, like in the western system for the 4 we use the word “augmented”.

To make it clear how I use it:

m=4 (natural 4, shuddh Ma)  –  M=#4 (augm 4, Tivra Ma)

Finally I want to mention that this is a simplification! If you are seriously interested in Classical Indian Music, is it the Hindustani Music of North India or the Carnatic Music of South India, you need to get aware of the intonation according the 22 Shrutis. In this system, not a single note is exactly the same as our “equal temperated” or “European 12 tone scale”. Even the 5th (the Pa) is slightly different. But they are very nearby, and the untrained ear usually cannot distinguish them easily.


Finger Chart for the Bansuri

These fingerings can be used for two octaves. The higher one uses the same fingerings and overblowing technique.


Special fingerings for the higher octave

These fingerings are for the highest register only. Beginners usually will have literally no chance to produce any sound with them, and even as advanced players we need to work a lot to make them sound really nice. Some alternative fingerings are given, and each individual Bansuri might sound better with only one of those.




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