The ney may be held to either the right or left; there is no rule on this. The lips must not enter the mouthpiece too far, nor must they be too far outside it. Three fourths of the air is blown into the ney, and one fourth is blown outside (this proportion is illustrated below). The air escaping outside is called "forsutu" The less the forsutu, the finer the tone produced on the ney.
While blowing the ney, avoid letting the cheeks puff out, which leads to air being stored in the mouth.
For the first one or two weeks, work until you can produce a quality sound from the ney every time you put it to your lips, without being concerned with sitting posture or trying to place the fingers over the holes. Otherwise it will be difficult to achieve a good result when moving on to sitting posture and hand position, because you may produce a sound in one exercise but lose it in the next. For this reason, you should practice holding long tones for at least two hours every day. If after a week or two, you can produce a sound every time you pick up the ney, it is time to move on to hand position and playing posture.
Left Hand Position and Sitting Posture.
The holes are covered by the middle joints of the fingers. However the ring finger may cover the hole with the first joint. The little fingers should remain free. The ney is supported from below by the thumb of the right hand; the thumb of the left hand must cover the thumb hole. With this hand position, lean forward until the right hand, ney and knee meet, and rest the right hand on the right knee. If you are holding the ney with the right hand above, then the position will be reversed, with the left hand resting on the left knee.
The left elbow may receive support from the left leg, lifted slightly by placing the left foot on a foot stool. The head should be tilted slightly to the right, and the eyes should be directed toward the lower third of the ney, or the ring finger of the right hand. The finger should not wrap around the ney excessively, nor be too loose. They should also not be held straight, so as to be perpendicular to the ney.