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.

No comments:

Post a Comment