Wednesday, December 30, 2009

English Speaking Erhu Teacher in Coppell, Dallas

One of our Erhu teachers have just relocated from Singapore to Coppell, Dallas, Texas.

She's learnt from quite a few professional players in Singapore and have been teaching for a couple of years.

She's Japanese and speaks English so if you're around the area and thinking of picking up the Erhu or want some 1 to 1 coaching please email me tansungwah@gmail.com for her contact.

She's only going to be there for a year so do take advantage of this opportunity.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Annual Erhu Strings Award

There are a lots of different types of erhu strings. They come in different gauges, are made of different materials and each maker has their own little trade secret. When it comes to stringing your erhu, some people, even myself are at a loss of what to get.

So here are some information culled from experiences and feedback from customers (and myself) outside of what the packaging says. I hope they can aid you in making a decision on what type of string to use.

--------------------------------

"Safe Choice Award"
These strings are the more popular choices. They sound good, have pretty short run in period and are easy on the hands. If you have no clue what strings to use, just get Mudan strings. If you want something better, get the Fang Fang strings.
Mudan Erhu Strings

Fang Fang Professional Erhu Strings

"Loud-Hailer Award"
These strings are of thicker gauge and hence produces a tone with more body and volume.
Beijing Hua Mei Niao Brand Erhu Strings
Dunhuang Erhu Strings

"Challenge Yourself Award"
Because these strings are stiffer than the rest, you need more effort to press the strings and bow to get a good tone.
Beijing Hua Mei Niao Brand Erhu Strings
Dunhuang Erhu Strings

"Best Value Award"
Cheap and good
Mudan Erhu Strings

"Best of Both Worlds Award"
These strings give better volume and are still easy on the hands
Ming Ren Erhu Strings

"Best Singer Award"
These are arguably the best sounding strings.
Fang Fang Soloist Erhu Strings
Thomastik-Infeld Soloist Erhu Strings
Pirastro Red Dragon Erhu strings

"Plug and Play Award"
These strings sound good almost immediately. You don't need a week to run them in.
Fang Fang Soloist Erhu Strings
Thomastik-Infeld Soloist Erhu Strings
Pirastro Red Dragon Erhu strings

"Die Young Award"
The performance of these strings deteriorates pretty fast. Maybe they sound too good to begin with hence the difference is stark. So save them for special occasions
Fang Fang Soloist Erhu Strings (To be confirmed)
Thomastik-Infeld Soloist Erhu Strings
Pirastro Red Dragon Erhu strings

"Acquired Taste Award"
Either you like it or you don't. Made from silver and sometimes gold, these strings can have surprising results on your erhu - either way.
ABing Silver Erhu Strings
ABing Silver and Gold Erhu Strings

-----------------------------------

If you think I missed out any strings worthy of an award, please feel free to comment.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another Type of Erhu Belt Clip

A while ago, a customer of mine who has bought a belt clip from me before asked: "Sung Wah, do you have a belt clip that stays on the erhu permanently?". I replied: "Erm.....ya, the belt clip that I sold you....just don't remove it and it will stay on permanently right?"

End of conversation.

A few days later by some divine intervention, I noticed a box of erhu belt clips in my store. They were never given a chance to see the light of day because they were wrongly ordered by my supplier. I took a look at them when they first came and sent them straight to the darkest corner of my store. But upon closer inspection, I noticed that these might be the type of belt clips my customer was looking for.

It comes in 2 parts.


The piece on the left clips onto your belt / trousers like this:

and the piece on the right is glued onto the base of your erhu like this:


As you can see the 2 parts are velcro loop and hook sides which can be attached together like below.

And with that you can dance to your heart's content while playing the erhu.


Accordingly to the male model in the photo, the clip is more comfortable than the usual belt clip I am selling. And you can easily detach and attach the erhu to and from the velcro, making setup and storage a breeze. The construction feels more flimsy though.

And with the Velcro piece glued to the base of erhu, part of the belt clip stays on the erhu permanently...

Available in the shop @ Rochor Centre. Oversea customers please email me if you are interested. It costs slightly less than the belt clip we have in our online store.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Very Good Wang Gen Xing Erhu

I was at Shanghai last week and while I was there, I went over to Wang Gen Xing's place to pick out 2 erhus.

I had my picture taken with him. He insisted that I bring his erhu into the picture to prove that they are indeed from him because there are a lot of fakes around.


I chose the best 2 from his lot of 5. Initially I just wanted to take 1 with me because one of my customer from Germany had ordered it but another sounded so good I just had to take it away with me.

So there you have it. One aged rosewood Wang Gen Xing erhu specially selected and brought back from Shanghai by me.

If you are interested, click here to purchase it.

*Latest update: The erhu is sold*

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Video on Erhu Symbols in Music Scores

This video was done quite sometime back. The short version was posted in youtube while the full version was available to members of our mailing list. (http://www.eason.com.sg/shopping/mailinglist.jsp)

I have since posted the full version on youtube as well and here it is:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gong For Hire!

Looking to start off your event with a big bang?

We have Chinese Chao Gongs on for rental.


The gongs are fixed on stands with wheels which makes it easy to move it to the centre of your stage.

The gong in the picture measures 80cm in diameter. (100cm gongs are available as well)

The stand measures 142cm tall and 116cm wide.

Perfect for opening ceremonies by guest of honour.

Please email tansungwah@eason.com.sg for rates.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Videos of Chinese Percussive Instruments

We've come up with a series of videos of Chinese percussive instruments like Chinese drums, gongs, cymbals and others.

The purpose of the videos is to show how the instruments sound like and how they are played.

The videos will be posted to our youtube site periodically. (http://www.youtube.com/tansungwah)

The first of the lot is about hand gongs - the low, mid and high pitched hand gongs.



You can view more information about the gongs here:

1) Low pitch hand gong
http://www.eason.com.sg/products/gong/pl10.jsp

2) Mid pitch hand gong
http://www.eason.com.sg/products/gong/pl9.jsp

3) High pitch hand gong
http://www.eason.com.sg/products/gong/pl8.jsp

Special thanks to Kenny Ng for helping out!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A CD of tunes featuring 12 different kinds of Huqin

Here's a CD featuring tunes played using 12 different kinds of Huqins or Chinese string instruments.

Just when you thought there is only the Erhu, there are actually Yihu, Sanhu, Hamihu, Banhu, Jinghu and others.

Its quite interesting to listen to the tone produced by the different instruments as well as the unique flavours and styles associated with each instrument.

It was recorded by a Beijing erhu player Liu Chong Zeng (currently residing in Singapore) a few years back. Only a few hundred copies were produced and distributed locally in Singapore. I'm left with slightly less than 50 it will never be re-printed again. The cost is only US$9.95.

Here's the link to the CD:

http://www.eason.com.sg/products/books/mb16.jsp

You can listen to some samples in the link if you are using internet explorer. For some reason it does not work with Firefox.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Things German Customs Do....

I recently sent an erhu to a German customer of mine. When he received his erhu, the erhu case was cut open at various places.

Either they used a chainsaw to open the brown packaging, or they are checking if I slipped any drugs in between the folds.















And I got a package containing a Hulusi returned to me from Germany as well. According the customer, the customs could not see the price written on a very obvious custom declaration slip stuck onto the package. Since they could not ascertain how much to charge for custom duties, they have to send the package back to me!

Hey hey hey! Look carefully next time please!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Video on how to get to Eason Enterprises from Bugis MRT Station

Some of my customers have trouble finding their way to my shop. So I've made a video on how to get to our shop from Bugis MRT station. It is just a 5 minutes walk away.

video

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Video on the Basics of Ruan

Just finished a new video on the Ruan.

Its a 4 minute video on the basics of Ruan playing.

Special thanks to Clara Tan for making this possible.

If you want to learn how to play the ruan, please email tansungwah@eason.com.sg.

Here is the video:



This is the instrument used in the video: http://www.eason.com.sg/products/ruan/tbzr13.jsp

Monday, June 15, 2009

Crazy Violin Sale!

We're clearing our stock of violins!

China semi hand-made violins with 50% discount!
Usual Price: S$1800 - NOW: S$900!
Usual Price: S$1200 - NOW: S$600!
Usual Price: S$600 - NOW: S$300!

European handmade violins with 30% discount!
Usual Price: S$4500 - NOW: S$3150!
Usual Price: S$3500 - NOW: S$2450!

Feel free to drop by for a look! (Mon - Sun, 11am to 6pm)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Am More 'Ming Gui' Than you!

I'm sure flute players are very familiar with the 'Ming Gui' brand dimo. The meaning of Ming Gui (名贵) is along the lines of precious, valuable and pricelss.



The bright red 'Ming Gui' packaging has come to represent high quality dimo for a lot of flute players.

But did you know that actually 'Ming Gui' dimo is not just produced by 1 company?

Let me rephrase that. A whole lot of companies are using the bright red 'Ming Gui' packaging to package their dimo. The poor founder of 'Ming Gui' dimo did not copyright his 'Ming Gui' packaging and every dimo maker in China is using his packaging. As a result, you get a lot of 'Ming Gui' dimo with varying quality of dimo inside.

Just flip the package over and you can see the maker of the 'Ming Gui' dimo:


Take a close look at the dimo itself. The one on the left looks to be of better quality. It looks silky smooth and is broader. The one of the right looks a little coarser. The middle one looks, well, in between the left and right.

So does it mean that if you buy from the maker on the left you'll definitely get better dimo than the one on the left? Well, not neccessarily. The maker on the right might get a good batch of reeds once in a while and the maker on the left might get crap reeds sometime as well.

So unless you're on good terms with the maker who picks the good quality dimo for you, you'll get this and that, here and then.

Currently we're carrying dimos from the maker on the left, who told us these dimos comes from a particularly good batch of reeds. We opened a few and they look pretty good.

So if you want some good dimo now's a good time to order, cause we're not sure if the next batch would be as good. But don't hoard them as well cos they turn yellowish if kept for too long.

http://www.eason.com.sg/products/wind_access/mdz7.jsp

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Job Vacancy at Eason!

We are looking for someone to work with us to bring more interesting information and media to people all over the world who are interested in Chinese traditional music and instruments!

So if you:
- know how to do web, video and photo editing
- interested in web 2.0 stuff like blog, twitter, youtube
- and love Chinese music (no need to know how to play them)

We would be interested to know more about you!

Positions are open for full-time or part-time.

If you are interested, please drop us an email at tansungwah@eason.com.sg.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Eason Music on Twitter!

Hey guys I've started twittering!

See the column on the right ----------->

Join twitter and follow me on my tweets!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Homemade Guzheng from Norway

Check this out! One of my customers Ann from Norway decided to try her hand at building a Guzheng!

So she ordered some bridges and strings from me and did the rest herself! (Well together with her husband)

Looks pretty cool eh?



Here's what she said:
"The guzheng is good enough to practice on, even though it's no substitute for a real instrument. I use it on weekends when we are in Sweden. It has a surprisingly good sound, considering it's a big heavy pine box! A piano tuner donated the tuning pegs and told us what sort of wood to use for them, and we consulted a book about piano building to learn details about how to drill the holes for them. We tried to mimic the curved top of a real guzheng by making the end pieces (that the strings go over) curved, and by arranging the bridges with the smallest on either end and the tallest in the middle. That's why I bought two sets of bridges, so we had enough of the different sizes to choose from. But despite all that, the strings are basically pretty flat. It isn't a big problem for occasional practice, though. And I measured the distance between the strings on my Dunhuang guzheng carefully, so the octave reach on this instrument is correct."

You're right Ann, it does sound pretty good! And you played it really well!

video

Well, we hope she does not do this seriously and put us out of business....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Our shop is now open on Sundays as well!

In our bid to serve our customers better, Eason Enterprises / Eason Music is now opened 7 days a week!

Yes, from now, our showroom at Rochor Centre will be opened on Sundays as well - from 11am to 6pm.

So feel free to drop by after Church, CO practice, morning exercise or whatever.

Closed on public holidays.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Music Lessons @ Eason Music!

After 30 years in the business of selling Chinese musical instruments, we finally decide to devote some of our precious shop space to conduct individual music lessons.

Offering music lessons seem to be a natural extension of a music retail shop but we never got down to doing it because we were all tied up with other aspects of the business. So after years of of talking about it, we're finally walking the talk.

What kind of music lessons do we offer? Almost everything under the sun - erhu, guzheng, pipa, dizi, zhongruan, yangqin, liuqin, xiao, hulusi, suona and even Chinese percussion.

Our profile of music instructors are a mixture of professional players who are young and talented, as well as not so young and overflowing with experience. The one thing they have in common is that they are all very passionate about their music.

Our instructors are effectively bilingual in Chinese and English.

So if you are interested in picking up a Chinese music instrument or want to bring your skills up another notch. Please email tansungwah@eason.com.sg or look for 'Wei Long' or 'Sung Wah' at 6294 7522.

I'll see you at our shop soon!

-------------------------

Details:
- 1 to 1 lessons
- Once a week, 45mins per lesson
  • Beginner $120/mth (4 lessons, excl. GST)
  • Intermediate $150/mth (4 lessons, excl. GST)
  • Advanced $180/mth (4 lessons, excl. GST)
- Registration Fee $15 (excl. GST- 4 lessons)
- Monday to Sundays (10:30am - 9:00pm)

Contact 'Wei Long' or 'Sung Wah' @ 6294 7522 or email tansungwah@eason.com.sg for enquiries.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Scratch and Dent Sale!

Wow, its been quite a while since I updated the blog.

So what's up lately? Well, we are currently moving our store from point A to point B and its taking up a lot a lot of our time.

Its not as straightforward as moving from point A to point B. We've carved out 2 rooms in our new unit thus the storage space has been reduced.

If you've seen our store you would agree some parts resembles a bombed bunker. Some of the items found leaves me amazed at the diversity of my predecessors.

Anyway to reduce some of our inventory of older and less than perfect items, we are holding a 'scratch and dent sale' from this Sat, 4 March to 8 March.

Some items you can expect to find are:
- Erhu, Liuqin, Pipa, Guzheng hard and soft cases
- Erhu
- Pipa
- Liuqin
- Dizi
- Picolos
- Western Flutes
- French horn
- Trumpet
- Harmonica
- Violins
- Cellos
- Ruans
- Casette tapes
- CDs
- VCDs
- Yangqins

.....and many unimaginable things.

These items may look older or have a scratch or ding here and there, but they are going at rock bottom prices! And they definitely can be used to make music and not just for display.

So if you are thinking of setting up a Chinese orchestra but have limited budget, or you have always wanted to try to play Chinese instruments but don't want to spend too much, or you are someone who likes to work on instruments, do make a date to come down to our store this weekend.

Address:
1 Rochor Road
#02-606
Singapore 180001

Time: 10:30am to 7:00pm

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Stocks of Dong Xue Hua Dizis are here!

Just a quick note that our ever popular Dong Xue Hua Dizis are here!

I've just removed all the out of stock signs.

Get them before they are gone again!

Dizi:
http://www.eason.com.sg/products/products_dizi.jsp

Xiao:
http://www.eason.com.sg/products/products_xiao.jsp

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Obtaining a CITES Certificate for the Erhu

Lately I've been hearing some 'weird' things about obtaining a CITES certificate for the erhu.

I just want to debunk some of the myths here:

1) There is not just 1, but a few companies, including yours truly - Eason Music, who can apply for a CITES certificate to accompany your erhu in Singapore.

2) It takes less than 5 minutes to submit the application if you have a previous record.

3) It takes 3 working days for the application to be processed. You can get it within the day if you opt for express service, but you have to pay double the fee.

4) The processing fee is S$29.40. Of course there are also the transport and toll fees incurred when collecting the certificate (because they cannot send it to us)

5) The processing organisation in Singapore is called Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore(AVA). Click here for their website.

So there you have it. I hope this is useful information for you.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Black as Night Erhu Bow and Final Installment of Dizi Video

Those of you who have tried our YS erhu bow will agree that it is one bow with good looks and good tone.

Now they come in another version with black hair. It's not the usual type of scratchy black hair bow that comes with jinghu or 'firewood disguised as erhu' erhu. It uses top quality black horsehair for more grip and power.

According to the maker it is currently very popular in China and especially good for breaking in new erhus.



Click here to purchase.

---------------------------

Here's the 4th and final installment of the types and ranges of Dizi video.

This video talks about the Da Di (Big Di)

Enjoy...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Erhu Hard Case and New Strings

A while ago I was selling some top quality 'designer' erhu cases. Although they look good, they are quite bulky and heavy.

Recently we brought in the 2nd generation of such erhu cases. They are flatter, lighter and the shape is also not as awkward. They've replaced the stainless steel locks with black Matt colored ones. Personally I like the look of stainless steel more.

It only comes in one color:


This is a 1st generation red case, but with the black Matt locks.


We have 2 of the 2nd generation erhu case and a few of the red cases with black locks.

-------------------------------

Another interesting item we are selling is Hua Mei Niao Brand Erhu strings from Beijing.



We've tested the strings on the erhu and we like the results. The tension feels good and the notes are responsive. Volume is quite balanced between both strings as well as the lower and higher registers. The inner string sounds warm and the outer string bright. Run in takes about 2 days if you play it intensively for 5-8 hours a day.

There is also one for the gaohu.

Purchase them here:
- Hua Mei Niao Erhu Strings
- Hua Mei Niao Gaohu Strings

Video on various types and ranges of Dizi Part 2 and 3

Wow, its been a long while since I last posted on my blog. Chinese New Year had really slowed things down. As a result I have been busy clearing backlog these couple of days.

Not to mention the small matter of the birth of my second daughter on 5th Feb, which really takes time out of a lot of things.

There are so much things to update. But in order to make my posts more focus, I'll split them into various posts.

In my last post I talked about some videos on the various types of dizi. I've posted part 2 and part 3 on youtube already. They are about the bang di and the qu di.

Here they are:

Part 2 on the bang di:


Part 3 on the qu di:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Video on types and ranges of Dizi

You know we've always been making free videos to let the public know more about Chinese music instruments.

We've just finished part 1 of 4 of a video that introduces the various types and ranges of dizi (Chinese bamboo flutes).

The first part talks about the Xiao Di, or small dizi. Part 2, 3 and 4 will be about Bang Di, Qu Di and Da Di respectively.

So here's the video:


Happy Chinese New Year to all!

(Our office will be closed for Chinese New Year till 31st January)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Alternative Performance on the Guzheng and Erhu

Here's a video of a very interesting performance by one of my customers from Germany. He's using a Wang Gen Xing Aged Rosewood Erhu.

Check out how his partner plays the Guzheng the other way round using yangqin beaters and a double bass bow!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chromatic Gong Sets - Acoustic Gong / Yun Gong

This is one of the newest set of Chinese percussion out there. The company who created it called it the 'Acoustic Gongs'.

Although it resembles a Chao Gong in terms of look, the tone is quite different.

The Chao Gong goes "Kwaaaaaaangggggg" but the acoustic gongs goes "Dong, Dong, Ding Ding".

If you have no idea what I am talking about, take a look at the videos below:

video


video

Each set consist of 13 gongs covering 1 octave chromatically from C to C.

Price of the low-pitch set of 13 gongs - US$625 .


Price of the mid-pitch set of 13 gongs - US$500.


Price of foldable rack with adjustable height shown in video - US$150 each.

We offer free tuning service for a period of 1 year. (Customer bears the cost of shipping to us and we'll take care of the charges of shipping back!)

Please email tansungwah@eason.com.sg for shipping rates.

---------------------------------------------------------------

But if you really want something more traditional, there is always the all time favourite 37 piece Yun Gong set.


The gongs are tuned chromatically from G to G.

You can listen to how it sounds below(forward to 3.53). A little pitchy but you get the idea.



For enquiries, please email tansungwah@eason.com.sg