How to Choose the Best Shehnai for Your Needs

Your Guide to buying the best Shehnai


A Shehnai is an ancient Indian wind instrument, made of bamboo or metal, that produces an enchanting sound. It is used in traditional Indian rituals and ceremonies, as well as for musical performances. Buying a Shehnai can be a daunting task, as there are several types of Shehnai and each has its own unique sound. This guide aims to provide valuable information about the various types of Shehnai, so that buyers can make an informed decision when purchasing one. It also includes helpful tips and advice on how buyers can maintain and preserve their Shehnai over time.

Key features

  1. Budget: Consider the cost of the Shehnai, as this will vary based on type, size, material, and detail.
  2. Material: Look at the material of the Shehnai, as this will affect its sound quality and durability.
  3. Size: Check the length of the Shehnai, as this will dictate the sound of the instrument.
  4. Design & Detail: Look for decoration and craftsmanship, as this will affect the overall look of the Shehnai.
  5. Sound Quality: Listen for an even tone that is neither too loud nor too soft.

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Important considerations


  • Timeless Tone - The Shehnai is renowned for its distinctive and timeless tone, which is pleasing to the ears and is perfect for special ceremonies and events.
  • Versatile - Shehnai is one of the most versatile musical instruments, able to produce a variety of sounds and genres of music.
  • Unique - The Shehnai has a unique and distinct sound that cannot be replicated by other instruments.
  • Ease to Learn - Shehnai is relatively easy to learn, making it suitable for beginners and musicians of all levels.
  • Portable - Shehnai is lightweight and small enough to be easily transported, making it convenient to take with you to any performance or event.


  • Price - Shehnai instruments may be expensive, depending on the quality and material used.
  • Size - Shehnai instruments tend to be quite long and can be difficult to store and transport.
  • Learning Curve - Learning the Shehnai requires patience and dedication. It may be difficult to learn on your own.
  • Maintenance - Shehnai instruments require regular maintenance, due to the metal material used in the construction. This includes regular cleaning and tuning.

Best alternatives

  1. Tabla – Indian percussion instrument used in Indian classical music.
  2. Harmonium – A keyboard instrument used in Indian classical music.
  3. Sarod – A musical instrument from the lute family of instruments, played with a bow.
  4. Sitar – A stringed instrument from India, used in Hindustani classical music.
  5. Tanpura – A long-necked stringed instrument used to accompany vocalists in Indian classical music.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Fingering Tips - Cotton-tipped applicators for playing Shehnai.
  • Bore Grommets - Thin rubber rings used to reduce back pressure and produce a better sound.
  • Mouthpiece - Made of brass, copper, or silver; used for blowing into the Shehnai.
  • Drone Reeds - Thin pieces of reed used to create a drone for accompaniment.
  • Swell Pads - Small pads for controlling air pressure and volume in the Shehnai.
  • String Set - A set of strings, usually made of metal, used to tune the Shehnai.
  • Percussion Stand - A metal stand for the Shehnai, used to hold it in place while playing.
  • Bag - A carrying bag for the Shehnai, usually made of canvas or leather.

Common questions

  1. What is a Shehnai?
    A Shehnai is a double-reed wind instrument that is most commonly used in North Indian classical music. It has a cylindrical wooden body and consists of a metal bell, a reed, and a mouthpiece.
  2. How is a Shehnai different from a Nagara?
    A Shehnai is typically larger than a Nagara and has a wider bore, allowing it to produce a much louder and sustained sound. The Shehnai also typically has six or seven finger holes, while a Nagara has four.
  3. What size Shehnai should I buy?
    The size of Shehnai you should buy depends on the type of music you are playing. Generally, smaller Shehnais are better suited for solo performances, while larger Shehnais are better for ensemble performances.
  4. Do Shehnais come in different keys?
    Yes, Shehnais come in different keys, including F, C, and B-flat.
  5. What material is used to make a Shehnai?
    Shehnais are typically made of wood, with the bell often made of metal.
  6. Do I need to buy additional accessories for my Shehnai?
    Yes, you may need to buy additional accessories, such as a carrying bag, reeds, and a tuning slide.


The Shehnai, sometimes referred to as a 'nadaswaram', is a double-reed wind instrument that is commonly used in Indian ceremonies and weddings. Interestingly, the Shehnai is known to bring good luck and is considered to be an auspicious instrument in Hindu culture. Additionally, the Shehnai is believed to have the power to ward off the evil spirits and bring in positivity to the environment. In fact, it is considered a must-have for all Indian weddings, with traditional celebrations not complete without the sound of a Shehnai in the background of festivities. source

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.