Friday, June 13, 2014

We have moved!

As part of our ongoing efforts to streamline our blog and websites, we have moved our Chinese musical instruments blog to:

If this is the first time you are visiting this blog, do stay around and browse our old articles.

If not, head over to our new blog site for more interesting updates and articles on Chinese musical instruments.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Erhu Fingering Chart

Thought I post this Erhu fingering chart in the key of D, G, F, C, A, Bb, E and Eb.  

Can't seem to find them when you need them.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Posing with Hu Han Rou Erhus

A new batch of exquisite erhus by famous Shanghai Erhu maker Hu Han Rou just came in and they decided to pose for the camera.

Should you decide to own one of them after we transform them into erhus, please visit our shop or our website by click on the links below:

Her violet sandalwoods are exceptionally good!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Helping a Customer Choose an Erhu

We just want to share here the lengths we go to to help a customer on the other side of the world choose his erhu.


On 2 Dec, a customer emailed about our Shanghai Dunhuang aged rosewood erhu.   He pointed out that the sound clips were of poor quality and wondered if we had better ones.  I quickly realized that I have not updated the sound clips since we starting selling online which is 7-8 years ago.  So I quickly did a new demo and posted it on youtube:


He replied that it is not exactly the sound he is looking for.  He is looking for something close to the video below:

I replied that although I do not play or look as good as Yu Hongmei, I will try to give him some recommendations as close as possible.  I recommended him the Aged Rosewood Erhu by Hu Han Hou, and the Ming Qing Aged Rosewood Erhu by YKM


He replied that he likes the Ming Qing Aged Rosewood Erhu by YKM, but it is a little out of his budget.  He then requested a video demo of the below two erhus:

YKM1 - Aged rosewood Erhu by YKM
HEH10 - Shanghai Dunhuang aged rosewood Erhu

He wanted to hear the same person play both erhus, with the camera/microphone the same distance away the whole time. He also requested to choose two songs and play the same two songs on each erhu as well as to show a close-up of the front and back of each erhu.

I came back to him with this video.


He came back and told me that he liked the sound YKM1 (Aged rosewood erhu by YKM) but he wanted to hear the erhus being played on the higher registers (which I didn't do in the previous video)

I subsequently made this video for him, playing the hark the herald angels sing on the high registers for both erhus.


He replied that while he liked the overall tone of YKM1, he didn't like their higher registers.  He requested another video demo of the following 3 erhus:

MMK4 - Suzhou Black Sandalwood Erhu by MMK
HEH14 - Shanghai Dunhuang Violet Sandalwood Erhu
YKM2 - Violet Sandalwood Erhu by YKM

I told him the quality of YKM2 is quite inconsistent and recommended him the Suzhou Black Sandalwood Erhu by Wan Qi Xing instead.  I subsequently made this video demo for him, playing Love me tender on 3 positions on the below 3 different erhus:

- Suzhou Black Sandalwood Erhu by MMK
- Shanghai Dunhuang Violet Sandalwood Erhu
- Suzhou Black Sandalwood Erhu by Wan Qi Xing


He told me he liked MMK4 and wanted more of the same for comparison.  So I made the below video for him (cos I'm left with only 2pcs).

I told him I like the second one in the video better.  He agreed that he liked the second erhu too and subsequently made the purchase!


So, if you are looking to buy an erhu from us online and want to see the exact instrument before buying.  Feel free to ask!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Testimonial from a Hulusi customer

Recently we sold a rosewood hulusi to a customer in Portland, USA.  He was so happy with the hulusi that he wrote us a testimonial.  I just want to share it here.  The below is in no part edited by me.


I am EXCEPTIONALLY pleased with my concert-grade rosewoood hulusi from Eason Music. I had previously bought another hulusi from a different company in the same price range, also of rosewood, and had to return it to China at my own expense because it was improperly tuned, hard to blow, and smelled strongly of toxic chemicals that gave me a sore throat. After returning it I searched some more on the Internet and found positive reviews about Eason music, so I contacted them.

Tan Sung Wah at Eason graciously answered all my questions and concerns before I placed my order. He even took videos of the exact instrument being played on his iPhone and e-mailed them to me so I could ensure that the tuning was acceptable. Exceptional customer service.

When I first held my hulusi from Eason music I was very pleased with how much more solid it feels compared to the hulusi from the other company. It weighs at least twice as much as the other instrument, which to me indicates higher quality materials and construction. It has a wood wind chamber instead of a gourd, which of course would add weight, but even the pipes are heavier when hefted separately. 

Then I tried playing it. The other hulusi was very hard to blow (the reeds probably needed adjusting, something I'm not familiar with yet). The Eason instrument played beautifully right out of the box. And while the other instrument's tuning was not internally consistent (two notes were off by more than 1/4 step), The Eason instrument's scale sounded perfect. All the notes are a little bit sharp (I knew this already from the videos I was sent) but they're in the acceptable range and can be played with other instruments well enough. Most importantly, the tuning is internally consistent.

Then I turned on the drones. They use a nice twisting tube with hole mechanism that's easy to use, and most importantly, they're in tune with the main pipe. The other instrument used a flimsy hinge mechanism that, while easy to open and close, would probably wear out quickly, and the drones were way off pitch from the main pipe.

Within 30 minutes of opening the package I was improvising and truly enjoying my wonderful new hulusi

And now I know to go to Eason for all Chinese musical instruments. THANK YOU EASON!

Paul Erdman
Portland, USA

So if you are thinking of buying a Chinese musical instrument and need more information or need to hear how the actual thing sounds like, please feel free to drop us an email at

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The heavier the erhu, the better?

A lot of times I hear customers commenting that the heavier the wood the better the erhu.

While it may be true in some sense, there are still other factors affecting the sound of the erhu like the snakeskin, type of wood, skill of the maker etc.

But most importantly, the weight that you feel in your arms while holding the erhu may not be the actual weight of the erhu.

Take a look at this:

Yes the round silverish thing in the centre of the baseplate is a piece of lead.

This piece of lead will make the erhu feel heavier than it actually is.  Some even inserts 2 blobs of lead instead of one.

I don't think it is the intention of the makers is to mislead buyers, but to give it a heavier base so that it feels more stable on your lap when playing.

So the next time you hold a very heavy erhu, it might be because of the lead in the baseplate.  

Thus, do look at other factors in buying an erhu other than the weight.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Rosin for your Erhu makes a difference

Few of us realize the impact erhu rosins has on the sound and feel of your erhu.

Some rosins are more sticky than others.  Some offers more grab.  Some gives out more rosin powder.  Some are easier to apply.

Recently we did a blind test on a few types of rosin.

What we did is we took 7 different types of rosins and applied them on 7 new erhu bows.

The rosins that we used were (in order of price):

1) Pirastro Oiv Rosin

2) Pirastro Schwarz Rosin

3) Song Rosin

4) 4 different kinds of Leto Rosin

The bows were attached to 7 Hu Han Rou aged Rosewood erhus.

I did not know which bow is rosined with which brand of rosin and I tested them one by one.

After playing all the 7 erhus with different rosins on the erhu bows, my preference were as follows:

4) 4 different kinds of Leto Rosin

Yes!  Exactly from the most expensive to the least expensive.  

I find that Pirastro Oliv Rosin produces the most satisfying grab on the strings.  As for the 4 Leto rosins, they all feel quite the same to me, although they were sprinkled with bronze, silver and gold dust respectively.

So does that mean the Pirastro Oliv Rosin is the best rosin for the Erhu?

The plot thickens......

I got one of my erhu instructors to do the blind test as well, and guess what he said?

"The one with Leto rosins are the best!  The Pirastro Oliv Rosin and Pirastro Schwarz Rosin is too sticky for my liking."

Thus the conclusion is........different rosins suit different people!

If you like sticky rosins with good grab, the Pirastro Oliv Rosin is good for you.  If you prefer a smoother experience, the Leto rosins are good (coming to our store soon).

So, be adventurous to try out different types of rosin to see what suits you best.

Visit our Rosin store here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Rosewood Zhongruan for Sale!

We have a rosewood Zhongruan for sale!

In line with our Christmas promotion 2013, we have put up a very special rosewood Zhongruan for sale.

The usual price was S$650 but we are clearing them at S$380!

The Zhongruan for sale is from Shanghai Dunhuang Yun Brand.  It comes with friction tuning pegs instead of the usual mechanical pegs.

Here's a run down of the pros and cons of this Zhongruan:


  • Slightly smaller build than usual zhongruans, easier to handle
  • Very comfortable and effortless to play
  • Sweet sounding
  • Classic look with the friction pegs (zhongruans started off with friction pegs)
  • Superb value rosewood zhongruan at S$380 instead of S$650
  • Looks slightly aged
  • Case that comes with it looks quite aged too
  • Friction pegs might be challenging for some to handle
Here's how it sounds:

Click here for a Zhongruan Chord Chart for you if you decide to strum it like a guitar or ukulele.

If you're looking for something that plays well and sounds good, click here to purchase this Zhongruan.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bamboo Flute for Christmas Anyone?

Christmas is around the corner!

We have put together some packages and offers for this special festive season.

First up is a Christmas Dizi Package.

We realised that many might have a mind block looking at all the different keys and types of Chinese dizi that we stock.

Nevermind that, we have narrowed it down to just the key D with 3 different quality of bamboo flutes to choose from based on your budget.

Your Chinese bamboo flute purchase will come wrapped in a Christmas wrapper complete with ribbons and a Christmas card.

Please order before 28 November to make sure the Christmas Dizi Package reaches you before Christmas if you are at the other side of the world from us.

Do check back for more Christmas specials from us!

Click here for >> Christmas Dizi Package

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Free Music Workshops for Erhu, Guzheng, Dizi, Pipa, Zhongruan and Hulusi

Thinking of picking up a traditional Chinese instrument?  You can try them out first at our free music workshops!

We are glad to announce that we are conducting free 45min music workshops for the Erhu, Guzheng, Dizi, Pipa, Zhongruan and Hulusi.  Coached by our experienced teachers, this is the best time to discover the magic of Chinese traditional instruments.

The workshop is open to people of all ages and no prior music experience is needed.  All instruments are provided.

So check out our schedules below and book a slot now! (Email: or call 6294-7522)

Workshop venue: 1 Rochor Road, Rochor Centre, #02-612 (5-min walk from Bugis MRT)