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The Exercises

1. The First exercise for a Morin Khuur learner is with the right hand. It aims to teach use of the middle of the bow, the tip section and “sawing” with the frog end.

2. The Second exercise is meant to teach the involvement of the arms. It involves “sawing” with the whole bow, “sawing” with the frog end and the tip of the bow and various note placement.

3. The Third exercises involves transfer of finger position on the strings. It is meant to teach flexible and free movement of the fingers on the strings.

Head of Khuur

Producing a note on the Morin Khuur

The morin khuur is a bowed string instrument. The sound is produced by drawing the bow
across the morin khuur string (bowing). The sound is affected in two ways:
1. The action of the bow on the string.
2. The combination of movement of both hands.
The instrument makes the best note when there is a balance between the force used in pushing on or touching the string with finger or fingernail, and the force used in bowing. Learners need to practice exercises which involve such variations as even and sloping bowing, strong and softer bowing, bowing length and speed, bow speed variation, position of the bow on the morin khuur and use of soft, hard, smooth, loud, rough and sudden sounds. The learner must learn how to take total control over the bow. The sound produced must be “clean” and pure, not scraping and painful to the ear!
Placement, speed and force of bowing are core to the production of pleasant and rich sounds on the morin khuur.

Morin Khuur Holding

The balance between the force of pushing by the end of the fingers or by the nails on the string and the force of pressing by the stick.

The finger is shown pushing the string from left to right (as the player sees it). The opposing forces are a) the thumb and web between the thumb and index finger, and b) the fingernail.

Exercises 1

Same picture from the side. The thumb provides an opposing force to the fingers, and is important in managing the strength, speed, accuracy and variation of finger placement.

Exercises 2
Cross section
Exercise 2
Exercise 3

The first exercises to learn how to make an even note on either or both strings. Keep practicing until you can produce the note at every attempt!

A means to pull the bow.

V means to push the bow.


The bow should be kept at a 90 degree angle to the two strings, and should follow a straight line.

Notes of Morin Khuur
Khuur 2
Khuur 3

The most important basic in leaning the morin khuur is the ability to produce a regular, consistent, pure, even and “unbent” note with the bow. You need to achieve the correct timbre. The “unbent” sound should be produced evenly along the whole length of the bowing action. The pressure you exert with the frog end of the bow should increase as you draw the bow across the string, so that when you reach the tip of the bow, you are using more force. The change in pressure should not be much, but the sound will then be even and consistent.
The most efficient part of the bow to use when producing shorter notes is in the middle.

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