Thursday, July 31, 2008

Update on Video on How to Fix the Dimo on the Dizi

I've done an update to my video on How to Fix the Dimo on the Dizi.

From the emails that I have received, quite a number of beginners don't know that the tubes of Dimo that they bought needs to be sliced open before use.

Some of them paste 2 pieces of Dimo (before cutting them open) together because they find that 1 piece is not big enough to cover the hole. Of course the result is disastrous.

The new version comes with English subtitles with some additional information.

Here it is:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tips On How to Maintain Your Erhu Bow

Wang Xiao Di is an Erhu bow maker from Beijing. Her bows are very good quality and I carry one of her mid-range bows in my online store. Being an Erhu player herself, she also came up with a pack of 6 bridges for the Erhu.

She's very passionate about Erhu bow making. Everytime I meet her at music fairs in China she'll go on and on about her blog and her bows.

And everytime I order her bows she'll pack in a stack of cards with information on how to take care of your Erhu bow.

So for the benefit of those who do not understand Chinese, here it is in English:

1. Keep the bow away from oily substance. Do not touch the bow hair with your hand. The oil on your hand will reduce the grab your bow has on the Erhu strings.

2. Apply enough rosin on the bow hair before use. After playing for 1-2 hours, reapply rosin again to prevent damage to the microscopic scales on the bow hair.

3. Loosen the bow hair after use. This is to preserve the natural curvature of the bamboo rod as well as the elasticity of the bow hair.

4. If you are not going to use the bow for a long time, clean off the rosin from the bow rod and bow hair and store it in a plastic cover.

5. When fixing the bow to the Erhu, it is advisable to detach the frog from the bow first. After fixing the strings, attach the frog back to the bow. This will prevent the pointed tip on the frog of the bow from breaking (applicable for Beijing styled bow only).

6. A professional player changes their bow every 6 months to stay on top of their game. A non-professional player should change their bow at least once a year. When you feel that the bow does not grab the strings as well as before despite rosining, it could mean that the scales on the bow hair have been eroded through constant playing. It is thus time to change a new bow.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Stocks of Shakuhachi in D and G Key

Our new stocks of Shakuhachi just came in. We have them in both G and D keys.

Here are their individual root shots:

D key Shakuhachis:

Purchase them here:


G key Shakuhachis:

Purchase them here:


I'm working on some free instructional videos for the Dizi, like what I did for the Erhu. I hope you're as excited as I am.

Friday, July 11, 2008

1st Chinese Orchestra Education Convention (COEC) 2008

The Co-Curricular activities branch of our Ministry of Education will be organizing the 1st Chinese Orchestra Education Convention (COEC) 2008 on the 25th and 26th of August this year.

They've done education conventions in previous years for symphonic bands and but this year they are doing one for the Chinese Orchestra.

If the band convention is a yardstick to go by, there'll be talks by keynote speakers, workshops, and a mini exhibition all relating Chinese Orchestra music.

For more information, please refer to the official letter below by one of the officers in charged:


Dear CO teachers-in-charge. CCA administrators, educators and musicians,

MOE,CCA Branch will be organising the 1st Chinese Orchestra Education Convention (COEC) 2008 on 25 and 26 of August at the Singapore Conference Hall. You can visit the COEC website at (please bookmark the website URL as more info will be updated in July) for the programme information on this event.

Registration forms can also be downloaded from the above website. Alternatively, you can also come to CCAB reception counter (2nd level) to obtain the registration forms. Participation fee is $50/pax for 2 days including lunch, tea, one convention kit, admission to keynote, concurrent and plenary sessions. For the concurrent sessions, participants will be informed at a later date to sign up for those topics of their interest.

Attached herein are the documents on COEC brief and publicity brochure. Please be informed that registration closes on 8 Aug 2008. So sign up now!

We look forward to your participation at this inaugural COEC 2008.

Thank you.
Lim Seng Yuen

We'll be having an exhibition booth there as well. I've submitted a proposal to have bikini clad girls playing the erhu, pipa and guzheng at my booth but that was rejected by the organizers. I think they're afraid people might stay at the exhibition area all day.

In any case, please give them your support.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Erhu Bridge Made From Very Very Very Old Wood

A while ago I talked to about a 4300 year old bridge that does wonders to the tone of the Erhu.

I've finally got some audios and videos to show.

I did a test using a Wan Qi Xing Ming Qing Aged Rosewood Erhu. I switched between
a blackwood bridge to the 4300 year old bridge, to a whitewood bridge and back to
the 4300 year old bridge.

The tone of the Erhu using the blackwood and whitewood bridge sounds more restrained and muted, while tone of the Erhu using the new bridge opens up and sounds more liberated!

You can view the video of the whole process here:

In addition to the video I also made a audio recording so that you can listen more clearly the difference in the tone here:

So instead of spending hundreds or thousands buying a new Erhu, you can have a marked improvement in the tone of your Erhu for just a fraction! We are offering it at an introductory price of US$40.

Yes, yes, I know some of you might be thinking that not all Erhus are created equal. So what if the 4300 year old bridge does not work for me?

Well, just mail the bridge back to us and we will refund you the US$40, plus the shipping you incurred in shipping back the Erhu bridge. (For people in Singapore, feel free to bring your Erhu to our shop to test the bridge before you decide to order)

You have zero risk and absolutely nothing to lose!

We will be ordering limited number of bridges which will come in 6-8 weeks time.

So to avoid disappointment, click here to pre-order your 4300 year old bridge now!

Remember, you have nothing to lose but a whole new sparkling tone to gain!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Visit From a Friend From The Other Side of The World

I was away for quite a while. I went for a 5 day business course.

Recently one of my customer/friend from Canada came to Singapore to visit.

This is Skully, one of the main charactors in my Who? Handroll blog post.

Because he did not buy enough Erhus from me, I decided to teach him a lesson and brought him to a fish farm to feed his feet to the fishes.

Naively, put his feet into the pool full of vociferous fishes, thinking that they will eat away the dead skin on his feet.

Pretty soon, he had no more hair left on his feet....

The progress was too slow, so I suggested to him to go to another pool with bigger fishes.

Soon he had only one foot left.....

This fish took a toe home for supper.

That will teach him to buy more Erhus from me!

Fearing for the rest of his limbs, he begged me to take him to my shop to buy one dozen Erhus back home.

As a special bonus for buying a dozen Erhus from me, I treated him to a Liang Xiao performance on the Erhu with the all seeing eye...

The moral of the story is, if you are coming to visit, buy enough Erhus from me first!