The Morin Khuur produces a wide range of rich sounds, and this illustration shows the main positions for the fingers to produce the notes. There can be no exact guide as to where your fingers should be, as the size of each morin khuur varies, and the position varies with the instrument size. You simply need to get to know your own instrument! We here show three octaves, from the Small Octave Fa (Ab) to the Third Octave Fa. Before practicing the fingering for different notes and the scale, keep working on bowing the open string. Also keep practicing playing both open strings at the same time, evenly.
The Major Scale – Thick String
Moving the finger from one position to another smoothly and with certainty is the purpose of the following exercise- playing the scale on the thicker string.
It is important to remember that when changing from one note to another, the notes must remain distinct from each other. Do not slide from one into another without a break in sound. But you must move the fingers smoothly. Use the thumb on the morin khuur neck as a counter-force to the finger positions. The fingers should relax pressure but remain in contact with the strings as they move from position to position.
The previous page described playing Small Octave Fa major to 1-line Fa major.
Now try the notes from 1-line octave So to 3-line octave Fa. This is on the THIN STRING, starting a little lower than where you ended on the thick string – NOT near the nut! Notice the position (marked) of the previous note you played – Fa – on the thick string. Remember the little finger goes UNDER the thick string!
Location of Other Notes on the Neck of Morin Khuur
The last two pages have explained how to play three octaves, which fingers to use and their proper positioning. This section gives more fingering, but this set of fingering is generally only for more experienced players- you can skip this page for now and come back to it when you are expert!
The notes that have already been shown you are marked with the single circle. The new notes are marked by a double circle (one inside the other).
You have learned the Fa major scale. Now we offer the minor scale.
Most ordinary morin khuur players restrict themselves mostly to the 1st and 2nd Octaves. This calls for use of all the fingers without great difficulty. The 3rd Octave is more difficult. Because it is high up on the neck of the morin khuur, the distance between each note is very small, exact placement becomes critical and slight mistakes are much more obvious – and painful to the ear! The fingers must go under the thick string to reach the thin string for the 3rd Octave.
Doh is played by the nail of the 2nd finger.
Re is played with the tip of the 3rd finger.
Mi and all the next notes are played by the tip of the little finger.
In the further, you should learn to play with the thumb. One of the traditional methods of playing morin khuur is playing “ZEE” position with the thumb. The thumb pushing the thin string plays the role in sound lowering and highering of the thin string and making multiple sound of various ornamentation and rhythm.
For example: This position of pushing the 1-line octave “Fa” note by the thumb and the little finger in the center of the morin khuur neck.
Many players believe the music becomes more alive and moving if vibrato is added. This is a matter of personal choice – you may add vibrato where and as often as you wish, as it places your ear.
Finger presses the string for the proper note. To cause vibrato, quickly move your forearm, which in turn will cause the finger to move slightly off and back onto the note.
This is also commonly called sliding. It is used to move from one note to the next so that the note is continuous, and the two notes are not separated by a silence. This can be an effective way to ‘ornament’ the tune.. It can also beplayed with rapid repetition.
Note the same finger is used.
This is another way in which some players feel they can add interest and life to a musical piece. It consists of playing a note and the rapidly adding and removing a note above it using another finger. Again, the use of this technique is entirely optional, part of individual style, and can be used or not, as you choose, in any tune.