How to learn Playing the Iranian Ney

Iranian Ney, Persian Ney, Wind Instrument, NeyMaestro Morteza Ghanbarnasab Behbahani is an Iranian Ney and Ney-Anban player and a lead performer in "Chavoosh Behbahan" ensemble. He played Ney since he was 17 and has partnered with many renowned artists, and made various recordings hereunto. In this episode I had the honor to speak with him and ask all of the questions that came to my mind regarding the Persian Ney.

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Covered in this episode

  • How the Iranian Ney is being made.
  • How long it takes learning how to play it?
  • Where and how to begin learning?
  • Which Ney is proper for beginners?
  • Who is this instrument for? and a lot more.


Iranian Ney, The Most Difficult Wind Instrument to Play?

Ney is a flute shaped wind instrument made from sugar cane and sometimes plastic composites. The sound of Ney has always been recognized as one of the most distinguishable features in the middle eastern music. The Iranian Ney though, has a special characteristic and a soothing sound among others. It has 6 finger holes in the front and one in the back. The upper edge of the Persian Ney has to be placed in between two upper front teeth and unlike other wind instruments, does not have a built-in reed to generate the initial sound.

Apparently, these characteristics should make playing Ney a lot difficult. But is it so?

To know more about it, it is highly recommended to hear what a maestro Ney player has to say. This episode is spoken entirely in conversational Persian language.



  1. How can I see all the episodes of Morteza Ghanbarnasab Behbahani playing ney ? I cant find anything of his on youtube ?

    • Actually when I was talking to him, he declared that he appears weak on social media. As you mentioned, no video on YouTube “yet” and as we discussed somewhere along the interview, no official album released as well. However, his audio tracks are being shared in Telegram and he’s one of the most favorites, most skilled and the renowned in his region. Here is where you can find a few tracks of him. A Telegram channel.

      In that channel, you can search him using this hashtag: مرتضی_قنبر_نسب#

      Hope that helps,

  2. Unfortunately, I don’t understand Persian. However, I’m really curious about what’s his answer regard How long it takes learning how to play the Persian ney?

    • Oh, I wish you could understand Persian cause there is many useful information here. Being said, his answer is that its up to you, how much you practice and how eager you are to earn it. But in average, it takes a year of practice to make some melodies with Persian Ney and from that point you add on.

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