My name is Noah, a short-time lurker and first-time poster.
For introduction and a bit of context, I started learning the erhu about 8 weeks ago with a weekly one hour lesson with a tutor. Really enjoying the process.
I have been practicing at home, and I've noticed that parts of my right index finger and thumb holding the bow will start hurting after maybe 30 minutes of practice from the pressure. I'm curious if you share a similar experience or am I pressing too hard?
Post by d̗̰̗͆͘ǎ͔̱͈̰̬̫ͨ̌ͮͥ͗ͭ̕vid on Jun 17, 2019 6:29:19 GMT
Ive never really cared to notice until this post. I do have calluses on my index finger, but not my thumb, which further protects it from harm. When I started learning years back, I was a bit too tense on my bowing hand, and not focusing mostly on the pressure points of the inside and outside string, so whenever I bow the outer string, my index finger hurts. I also focused too much on the pressure points, so I put extra strength in it, and my fingers hurt again. After I developed calluses, I forgot the pain even existed. Another issue I had with bowing is always playing fortissimo (loud), which makes my hands exert more unnecessary force. The bamboo part of the bow might also be moving/twisting a lot, so damage may be done. If you have “softer” hands, and not “hard” hands, then you should expect at least some pain in the beginning. For example, another huqin player in my ensemble is a wood carver, so he uses his rock hard hands a lot. His bowing is has good control, nice and loud. I myself have weak hands and long fingers, but I’ve managed to get past this. You can listen to recordings of performers with different hand types, they have different feels, but all sound good at the same level.
Ps judging by the marks on ur hand, your technique is spot on
Hopefully someone can help you more with a better answer
I had the feeling that it will be something I just need to carry through in the beginning, and as you say develop tolerance to over time. Good to note that the technique looks good - if at least the photos seem to suggest.
I will ask this to my tutor during my next lesson.
I really don't think there should be any pain in your hand at all. I wonder if this is due to your bowing technique or is simply tension.
Technique: try turning off the sound whilst you watch YouTube - its rather fun to do and you then see how the bowing works. As the bowing changes from push to pull you will see the good players swivel their wrists, indicating quite a loose hold. Not so clear in the videos, but the switch from inner to outer string is by swivelling the bow against the plastic skin protector, not by simply holding it outwards - there should be very little force here at all.
Tension: this is much more difficult to get rid of than bad technique. I myself suffer from pain in my left elbow which seems to be due to tension. Try not to practice when you are tired, and play lots of easier pieces to get in the mood before you start the harder ones.