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How to Take Apart Your Erhu (And Put it Back Again)
As instrumentalists, we often find ourselves worrying about transporting our instruments when going overseas. More often than not, our instruments might be too big to bring up the plane and we have to leave it at the mercy of luggage handlers.
In today’s series, we will be showing you how to disassemble and reassemble your Erhu so that you can bring the most fragile part – the resonator with you up the plane without having to worry about collecting them back in broken pieces!
Disassembling your erhu
1. Remove the bow
Turn the screw at the end of the bow until the frog is detached. Then, remove the bow by passing the bow through the strings.
Tip: If you are using a Beijing bow, you may detach the ferrule from the frog directly by pulling it out from the hook.
2. Remove the strings
Before you unscrew the pegs, take a piece of adhesive tape and stick around the qianjin, such that the shape stays and does not have to be tied again when reassembling your Erhu.
Unscrew the pegs and remove the strings one by one, before rolling the strings up for convenient storage. The strings may be reused.
Tip: Store the bridge, dampener, strings and other small parts in a small bag so that you do not lose them!
3. Remove the pegs
Simply twist the pegs out from the Erhu’s neck.
Tip: Label the top and bottom pegs respectively as they are crafted to fit into their respective holes.
4. Remove the neck from the resonator
Using a screwdriver, unscrew the screw at the bottom of the base plate (remember not to lose the screw!). Remove the base plate, and it’s time to remove the neck from the resonator. Hold the neck firmly with one hand, and hit the resonator downwards with the other hand, such that the two parts are detached. You may want to do this above a soft surface to cushion the resonator’s drop.
And you are done! Your disassembled Erhu may now be safely transported.
Reassembling your Erhu
To assemble the Erhu back, simply do the reverse of the steps above. Here’s a step-by-step guide!
1. Attach the neck to the resonator
Piece the neck back to the resonator by applying some force, such that the neck goes through the resonator. Then, place the base plate under the resonator and screw in the screw with a screwdriver.
2. Re-attach the pegs & strings
Put in the pegs in their respective holes and screw them tight. Going through the qianjin which should have stayed in place with the scotch tape, fix the strings back onto the hook and peg. Don’t forget the dampener and bridge.
3. Fix the bow
Unscrew the screw at the end of the bow to detach the frog. Put the frog through the strings, and fix the bow back together. Similarly, if you are using a Beijing bow, you may apply pressure and remove the terrule from the frog directly, skipping the unscrewing step.
Finally, tune your Erhu and you are ready to go!
If a visual demonstration works better for you instead, we have the steps demonstrated in this video as well:
We hope that this post has been helpful to you, especially if you are travelling with your Erhu! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
For an online catalog of the erhus we have in our store, do check out our webstore here: www.easonmusicstore.com
If you are an Erhu enthusiast, do join our closed Facebook page for more Erhu tips and tricks. Search for ‘Erhu Lessons, Tips and Tricks with Eason Music’ on Facebook to find us!