Essential Tips for Erhu Care and Maintenance: Ensure Longevity and Optimal Sound Quality


Congratulations on acquiring your first Erhu!  The rich and enchanting sounds of this traditional instrument will only get better with time. To ensure your Erhu’s longevity and maintain its exquisite tone quality, it’s crucial to implement proper care and maintenance practices. Let’s delve into the reasons why caring for your Erhu is essential and explore practical tips to keep it in pristine condition.

Reasons to Take Care and Maintain Your Erhu:

  1. a) Prolong the lifespan of your Erhu:

Every instrument, regardless of its cost, can stand the test of time if treated with care. Proper maintenance prevents parts from breaking, ensuring your Erhu remains in excellent condition. On the contrary, neglect and rough handling can lead to damages, requiring costly replacements.

  1. b) Maintain the sound and tone quality of your Erhu:

Understanding the life cycle of your instrument is crucial. As an Erhu ages, its sound evolves from a new, harsh tone to a more refined and resonant quality. Regular play contributes to this transformation, reaching a peak where the instrument sounds its best. Failure to care for your Erhu can result in a rapid deterioration of its sound quality, leading to an undesirable and unpleasant playing experience.

How to Maintain and Care for Your Erhu:

Keep it in the case when not in use:

  • Storing your Erhu in its case acts as a protective armor, guarding it against external elements like moisture and dust. This simple practice helps maintain the instrument’s overall condition and preserves its longevity.

Place it carefully:

  • When setting your Erhu down, always place it with the snakeskin facing up to prevent potential damage. Avoid leaning or propping it against walls to prevent accidents that may cause irreversible harm to the headstock or resonator.

Move the bridge up or use a dongle:

  • To alleviate pressure on the snakeskin, consider adjusting the bridge’s position or placing a pencil or dongle above it when the instrument is not in regular use. This helps preserve the snakeskin’s integrity and contributes to a longer lifespan and enhanced tone quality.

Keep oil and sweat away from the Erhu bow:

  • Maintain the friction between the bow hair and strings by keeping oil and sweat away from the Erhu bow. This ensures consistent volume and tone during play, enhancing the overall performance of your Erhu.

Avoid using superglue to fix broken parts.

  • If you find yourself needing to repair broken parts, opt for white glue instead of superglue. Superglue’s hard paste can compromise the fit between broken surfaces, leaving permanent gaps. Using wood glue ensures a reliable and durable repair, giving your Erhu the best chance for a seamless restoration.

Proper care and maintenance of your Erhu, a traditional Chinese two-stringed instrument, is essential to ensuring its longevity and retaining its optimal sound quality. Firstly, always handle your Erhu with care. The instrument is delicate and should be kept away from extreme temperatures and humidity, as these factors can warp the wood and affect the tension of the strings. When not in use, store the Erhu in a protective case to shield it from dust and accidental damage. Additionally, regular cleaning is crucial to maintaining the appearance and sound performance of your Erhu.

In conclusion, by following these essential tips for Erhu care and maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your instrument and enjoy optimal sound quality. Investing time and effort in proper care will make your Erhu a long-lasting and rewarding musical companion. If you’re in search of quality Erhu instruments or eager to learn how to play, explore our recommended Erhu store and visit Eason Music for comprehensive learning resources.


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