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Bawu and Hulusi Resources

Here are a collection of resources for those of you who wish to learn to play the bawu or hulusi.

Jump to books, VCDs, instruments.


For those of you wishing to take up playing the bawu or hulusi, may I humbly recommend my own book, How To Play Bawu and Hulusi - A Beginner's Guide to these Popular Chinese Wind Instruments, available from Createspace.com and Amazon.com.

This is the first English language book to focus on these instruments, providing complete instruction for the absolute beginner. Includes background of the bawu and hulusi, advice on buying an instrument, basic and not-so-basic playing techniques, some familiar Western tunes to help you find your way around your instrument, a dozen traditional Chinese melodies, advice on care and maintenance, how to read JianPu (Chinese musical notation), fingering charts, recommended listening and more.

Also available is The Bawu and Hulusi Tunebook: One Hundred and One Tunes for these Popular Chinese Wind Instruments. A companion volume to How To Play Bawu and Hulusi, this book presents more than one hundred traditional tunes from China and neighbouring countries, all arranged for bawu and hulusi and notated at pitch in standard Western notation. Included are tunes from the Bao'an, Yao, Buyi, Dai, Naxi, Li, De'ang, Yi, Dong and other ethnic groups, many of them being published in Western notation for the first time.

Available as a C edition from Amazon.com and Createspace.com and also as a G edition from Amazon.com and Createspace.com


Video Compact Disc (VCD) is a very popular format for video in Asia. VCDs can be played on all computers and most DVD players, as well as several other devices. Although the sound and picture quality is not as good as a DVD, it is more than adequate for learning purposes and VCDs are usually considerably cheaper. With the growth in popularity of the bawu and hulusi in China over recent years, there are quite a few VCDs devoted to these instruments. Most of them are not formally distributed outside of Asia, but they can be ordered from specialist retailers. One of the best of these is YesAsia.com, a very reliable online retailer specialising in Asian books, videos and CDs. Their prices are very reasonable and also include free worldwide shipping.

Here are a few VCDs of interest to the bawu or hulusi player. Not surprisingly, they are in Chinese, but it is generally quite easy to pick up the gist of what the teacher is demonstrating. The VCDs also generally come with booklets with the tunes and exercises written in JianPu notation (explained in my book How To Play Bawu and Hulusi).

Getting Started with Hulusi Performance, by Yuan Feifan.

A graduate of China's Central Conservatory of Music, Yuan Feifan has won many national awards for his traditional wind instrument playing. On this VCD, he demonstrates the fundamentals of hulusi playing - correct posture, tone production, scale exercises, trills, legato, tremolo, vibrato, portamento, etc. Although primarily geared towards the hulusi, most of the material is equally applicable to the bawu. The lessons are interspersed with some hulusi solos and the VCD concludes with his stunning performance of the hulusi classic "Dai Village Moonlight"

Click here to purchase from YesAsia

Hulusi Tunes Instruction with Accompaniment, by Yuan Feifan.

On this VCD, Yuan Feihan teaches the performance of eight classic hulusi tunes, including "Wedding Vows", "Song of Yimeng Mountain" and "Phoenix-Tail Bamboo Under the Moonlight". Yuan demonstrates how to play each tune, paying particular attention to any difficult sections, then the lesson is followed by a performance of the piece to show how it sounds when played by a master hulusi player. Also included is an audio CD that contains the same backing tracks used to accompany Yuan on the VCD, but with his hulusi removed, for play along practice.

Click here to purchase from YesAsia


I bought all of my bawu and hulusi directly from China, but these instruments can now be easily ordered online and delivered to your door with a minimum of fuss. Interact China have been selling via Amazon.com for some time now and although I have not personally dealt with them, I have heard that the quality of their goods and their service is very high.

Here are links to purchase bawu and hulusi from them:

This is their basic model hulusi - quite resonably priced and with free shipping available in the US. It features a natural gourd windchest and bamboo pipes and comes with a protective carrying case. It is available in the key of C, which is a good key to start out on.

Click here for more details from Amazon.com

This is their basic model bawu. Also quite reasonably priced and with free shipping in the US. It is made from black bamboo and is in the key of G - a good choice of key for one's first bawu.

Click here for more details from Amazon.com

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