First off is vibrato. how is it denoted on the sheet music. From the information that paulv sent me, its supposed to have a wavy line above the note. The sample music im trying to interpret has the wavy lines but not above the notes the guy appears to be using the vibrato on. I think the guy is improvising way to much stuff to be effectevly teaching.
Vibrato is not usually marked, it's up to the player to decide when and what vibrato to play, although it is normal on certain notes in some pieces to play a particular type of vibrato, but it's not indicated.
what does X above the note mean? it is in the same place as the fingering characters(yi, er, san, etc). the same music has the normal open string symbol so thats not it.
What is it called when you rapidly tap the next finger position below the current stopped position? how is this denoted in the music.
X is the same as the charactor for 4, you play A4 on the inner string with you little finger.
"rapidly tap the next finger" is a trill, "tr" in italic above the note, with a wavy line after it on longer notes.
Except for numbers indicating notes, most of jianpu is the same as Western notation.
Especailly in folk music or folk style music, what is actually played is often very different to the score. It depends on the score, it might just have the basic melody (for any instrument) or it might attempt to show as it is actually performed (for a specific instrument).
When transitioning through the various hand positions, my hands are too moist, sticky, or something to slide properly.
I was considering using talcum powder or something to help but was afraid of the affect on the wood.
I have a little bottle of scented bath powder that I keep in my bag for just this purpose. I have not noticed any adverse affect to my erhu, and can't imagine there would be any problem other than it not smelling very masculine. Probably any sort of talcum powder that you can find in a small enough bottle to carry in your erhu kit bag will do the job.
Also, for the key of D when going to the second hand position do you move your first finger to the original 3rd or fourth position?
The chart I have says move index to original third finger (1', d') while the guy on the vcd moves to the fourth (e', 2').
You will want to use both eventually. For now, practice scales using the chart, and then use different fingerings when you are comfortable. The "correct" fingering will depend on the tune.
I've made a mistake. I wrote "Vibrato is not usually marked, it's up to the player to decide when and what vibrato to play, although it is normal on certain notes in some pieces to play a particular type of vibrato, but it's not indicated." It should be: Vibrato is not usually marked, it's up to the player to decide when and what vibrato to play, although on certain notes in some pieces, a particular type of vibrato is indicated by a wavy diagonal line next to the note, or a zigzag line above (not upper mordant).
one more quick question. When transitioning through the various hand positions, my hands are too moist, sticky, or something to slide properly.
I was considering using talcum powder or something to help but was afraid of the affect on the wood
A little bit of talc should be OK. If the neck has a sticky varnish on it, you could try smoothing it down with some very fine wet and dry abrasive paper. Or don't grip the neck too tightly, or you could position the erhu a bit off vertical so it falls towards your left hand.
I have been looking at the bows in pictures and it appears the some but not all of them have a lot more hair than mine.
is this a thing of personal preference or is one type of bow better than the other.
Mine has about 1/4 of hair contacting the strings. there might be 5 layers of hair not in active contact with strings. Some that I have seen appear to have much more than that.
I am currently trying to improve the clairity and stability of the notes before i get back into learning more positions. I have also noticed that I can't seem to maintain a note nearly as long as i have heard i some songs. If i slow down it starts grinding and if i play with a lighter touch the volume isn't high enough. Is there a technique where you can reverse bow direction without terminating the current note?
I might get a better bow if you all think it will help. Are there any sites you recommend for purchasing just the bow?
Maaltan, First, stay away from bows with black hair as these aren't suitable for good erhu sound. There are several sites around that sell bows, but like many things, a person should see/inspect it prior to purchase. Hopefully, you will be able to get a personal recommendation from someone here. Bows do come in different grades of quality.
Yeah, I was pratically force to buy a 22 dollar bow from a music store in Los Angeles. The bamboo was a little crokked, and the hair was not tight enough. The black hair was really bad, and perhaps it could be plastic.
Recently, a Chinese Books and Crafts store opened up near my house. www.soyodo.com
They sometimes have Chinese instruments on sale and I saw an erhu being taken off the shelf within a day of it being in the showcase.
I recently bought a bow, and it is very good. However, the strings were string together like a violin making it very flat. I just took off the metal plate that flattens the strings. Bought it for 7.50, in CHina, they sale them for about the same price.
I've used chapstick to make the strings more smooth when moving my fingers. I've also used wood polish, the lemony wax kinda stuff. It actually makes the wood look shiny and may help keep the wood longer lasting. It's safe for wood, and I use the same stuff for the rosewood furniture at home.
For the rosin on strings, I've use the sprays that cleans the BBQ grills. Spray onto a towel, and carefully wipe off the rosin from the strings.
I've used chapstick to make the strings more smooth when moving my fingers. I've also used wood polish, the lemony wax kinda stuff. It actually makes the wood look shiny and may help keep the wood longer lasting. It's safe for wood, and I use the same stuff for the rosewood furniture at home. For the rosin on strings, I've use the sprays that cleans the BBQ grills. Spray onto a towel, and carefully wipe off the rosin from the strings.
I think a soft cotton cloth is all you need for normal cleaning. I think people should be careful before they put anything with a solvent on their erhu. Good erhus are finished with wax, I think it's OK only if you use a proper beeswax type wood polish, not the Pledge type of household stray on stuff. Other erhus have a varnish (prob polyurethane), so prob anything is OK. I've heard a rubber/eraser is good for removing rosin from the strings.
My Erhu arrived today and I didn't even know you needed Resin for the strings. You should have seen me pick up the bow and go "HUH?!" hehe. Anyway, very glad to have found this place and look forward to many discussions and using the resources already here on the item!
It is a midi exported by the noteworthy composer program i have been using to assist me. The built in Midi sequencer does not represent the slurs properly. I noticed that when i opened it in a browser the quicktime plugin opened it. it DOES represent the slurs properly (and generally sounds better). BTw the first 4 notes are just a leader to help me know when to start. It also repeats 20 times so i dont have to reach over to computer every time to restart it.
The piece is mean. It has slurs between strings and massive jumps back and forth quickly. i just finished a 3 hour session on those last 3 bars.. evil .. .. all in 16th notes and each block is slurred.
.. .. . . 6126 1261 | 5652 3235 | 1 1
Ask me nicely and maybe in I will try to record my "rendition" of this and let someone grade it ...
Even if I do it will be temporary .. after a few listen to it I will remove it (for those future erhu-ists that might drop by 10 yrs from now and read this thread, sorry, I'm too self conscious at the moment )
I guess i have a question also, Once you get pretty familiar with the first position in D major, should one try to learn the other hand positions in D first or learn the first hand position of G and move on from there? Most of the training material seems to point to learning first in G. The next song in the book is in G.
I have noticed that 1 octave in G requires 2 hand positions. An extra octave in D would require between 2 and 3 extra depending on who you talk to.
Also when changing strings on slurred notes (about every darn slur in that piece). Should you reverse the direction of the bow? in places i find it sounds sloppy if i dont reverse and in other places i run out of bow if i do reverse. (especially those last 3 bars gggrrr)
I wish I had such a resource as this when I was learning the er hu in 1995-96. There was nothing on the internet in those days. And everyone used to think I was not right in the head to want to learn it.
Now Im learn the Guqin -and at least I have this great forum for help and encouragement.
I'nt t'internet great(say in broad yorkshire accent)!!!
Tunes learing : Chang Men Yuan, Pu Ang Zhuo, Shen Ren Chang. Tunes on the back burner:
You misunderstand me. Noteworthy is a notation program. it plays sheet music i type into it as midi. I can't seem to quite visualize the rythem of a song until i hear it.
I typed this song in from the sheet music i have. It allowed me to export it to midi so that I could let you hear what i have been trying to play so that whenever i get around to recording it you can have a reference point.
I have software to record the music as mp3 already.
I do that, too. I notate the songs so I can hear them. It usually only takes a few lines of music then once I've got the feel for the whole piece I'm good for the rest of it.
When I do this I don't at all worry about slurs and embellishments or grace notes, things like that. I figure I can add those things in based on what I THINK ought to be there from having listened to lots of recorded erhu pieces. I know, I know, it's not totally kosher (can one say that about Chinese music?) but I come from a folk music background and play fast and loose with style rules, and add lots of my own things into pieces I learn of whatever genre.
Hi all, I have yet another newbie question lol. On almost every Erhu picture I've seen there is a band that is kind of a guide point and pulls the strings in slightly (sorry I've forgotten the name of it). My Ehru does not have this so does that affect the general tone or note at all?