1 March 2015
1 March 2015,
Once in a while I get customers who email me that their erhu has a funny sound. While we set up our erhus nicely before shipping, some setup might have be altered either during shipping or after our customer gets their erhu.

Here’s one of the more common problems encountered.

The strings were loosen and were looped back incorrectly, or the strings was changed.

Scratchy sound when playing the open strings

The strings were looped too inside. As a result there is not enough tension at the qianjin area.


The qianjin needs to pull the 2 strings towards the neck for the open string to sound nice and firm.

Loop the strings near the ends of the erhu pegs.


The strings will thus form a small angle at the qianjin area where the qianjin pulls the string inwards. With that tension at that point, the open strings will sound nice and firm.


This was the actual scribbled solution that I sent the customer:

And needless to say the problem was solved!


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4 responses on “Troubleshooting Erhu – Scratchy Open Strings

  1. John luna says:

    When going from one string to another the tone changes excessively

  2. Karenise says:

    I tried just this, but my erhu still sounds really badly and scratchy.
    I just changed the D string and that’s when it started doing the scratchy sound.

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