Table of contents

How to Play Erhu

A Chinese stringed instrument similar to the violin, the erhu is often played in small choruses and orchestras. It was developed during the Song Dynasty (930-1279 CE) but became popular during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368 CE). For more information on how to play this unusual instrument, read on.

1: Purchasing and Setting up Equipment

You might even want to purchase (or rent) an erhu. The erhu is an unusual instrument in the Western world, so most people might not even know where to find one. If there aren’t any erhus to rent or to buy, you could always purchase one online or acquire one at an erhu.

  • Beginner erhus are typically priced at about $50
  • Intermediate erhus are typically $100
  • Professional erhus are typically priced from $200 to $1000

Check how to dress your erhu. Erhus usually come with a bow or to take the bow. As with a violin bow, rosin must be used to quiet the instrument. It’s important to buy a tuner with your erhu so you can play in tune. It’s also beneficial to get a volume of sheet music so you can concentrate on learning them by yourself or finding them online.

  • It is critical that you apply a lot more rosin when you attempt to use the bow the first time.
  • The bow will be placed between strings and should not be removed or you may ruin it.
  • Don’t attempt to take it away and don’t put too much tension when trying to apply rosin to it.
  • Should you not want to buy a tuner, there are various online electronic tuners.

Establish your erhu properly to make sure you are capable of achieving the required sound quality and practicing with greater security. Make certain the peg strings are looped at one end at the peg ends. The inner string should be pulled up counterclockwise, and the outer string pulled up clockwise. Your goal requires a string named a Qianjin that holds the two string ends together at their peg ends.

Now you can slide on your bridge. Pull up the ropes and slide the saved dance middle into the geared device. Then, snugly tuck the damper in the column beneath the bridge. Your damper will have to be a board or a small block of chamois.

2: Playing the Erhu

Be mindful about tuning your erhu before you play. It can be helpful to secure your instrument’s inner strings (those closest to you) with a C and your outer strings with an A. Moving pegs is an especially important thing to do when working with the E-string on your erhu since this peg is curiously loose.

Sit your erhu on top of your left leg, and once it is supported, rest your left arm on your chest and manipulate the instrument with your right hand. Your hand and elbow should be relaxed on your side. Your fingers should be hanging down parallel to the strings.

When playing the erhu, a traditional Chinese string instrument also known as Chinese erhu, it is important to make sure your grip on the instrument is not too tight. The best way to hold an erhu is at a 45 degree angle so that your palm is not touching the neck of the instrument. This will ensure that you can achieve optimal sound quality while protecting the integrity of your erhu.

The proper way to position your hand when playing an erhu is with your thumb and index fingers holding both strings in place while keeping your other three fingers slightly bent away from the strings.

Make sure you keep them close enough to where they are supporting but far enough away that they don’t actually come into contact with them as this will dampen their vibrations and make for a duller sound.



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