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What is an Erhu?

The erhu is a two-stringed Chinese fiddle that has been used in traditional Chinese music for centuries. It is sometimes referred to as the “Chinese violin” because it produces a sound similar to that of the Western violin, but with distinct differences. The erhu has a cylindrical body with a long neck and pegbox, and it is held upright while being played. The strings are made of metal or nylon, and they are stretched between the top of the neck and the bottom of the instrument near the bridge. See more here: LumBuy

The erhu produces its unique sound when its strings are bowed by using an arched bow. This creates an ethereal, hauntingly beautiful sound reminiscent of Eastern culture, which has made it popular both in China as well as internationally in classical and world music contexts.

What Does the Erhu Look Like?

The Erhu is a two-stringed Chinese musical instrument that has been used for centuries to create traditional Chinese music. It is one of the most recognizable instruments in the world, not only because of its unique sound but also because of its distinctive look. 

The erhu features a wooden box that amplifies the instrument’s sound, creating a unique musical experience.

This wooden box shaped like a boat is made of maple or sandalwood and can measure up to four feet in length. It consists of two parts: the base and cover, which are connected by overlapping ends with metal pins called “buttons.” The neck of the erhu projects through one end of the box and supports strings made from nylon or silk. When played, these strings resonate against the sides of the wooden box to create an ethereal sound that has captivated audiences across cultures and time periods.

Erhu Instrument Playing Technique

The traditional playing technique of the erhu involves the use of a horsehair bow to draw out a rich resonance from the strings. This technique requires great precision and control in order to produce the desired sound.

Mastery of this playing style can take years to achieve, as it involves precise bowing techniques along with varying speeds and strengths of attack on each string in order to create different tones. Many professional erhu players are also adept at adding vibrato by subtly shaking their wrists while playing, creating an additional layer of sound that gives life to the music being played.

Tune your erhu before you play

If you’re interested in making beautiful melodies with an erhu, it’s important to take the time to properly tune it. A properly tuned erhu will not only sound incredible but help you stay in sync with other musicians if you’re playing with a band or ensemble. 

Before picking up your bow and starting your practice session, make sure to tune your erhu correctly. The tuning process can seem daunting at first, but after doing it a few times you should be able to do it rather quickly.

Get into playing position

First, place the erhu between your legs with the strings facing away from your body. Make sure the neck is resting comfortably against your chest and chin so that it won’t slip as you move around while playing. The bow should be held in the right hand and positioned at a 45-degree angle across both strings with equal pressure applied on each string.

Place your left hand towards the bottom of the neck, curving your thumb so that it touches both strings at once without pressing down too hard – this will help maintain proper technique during play.

Learn how to hold the bow

To play an erhu, you must use both hands to draw the bow across its strings while pressing down with your fingers on the fingerboard near the neck.

Start off by practicing short strokes in order to get used to controlling tension while bowing. Make sure you’re holding your bow at an angle that allows for maximum movement of the strings – typically at right angles to them when playing melodies on both strings simultaneously.