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Is there something else I should learn first before attempting to play the chinesse erhu?

I have no prior musical training or experience of any kind - I can't even read sheet music. Nevertheless, I've wanted to learn to play the Erhu for years. I've priced a few instruments and found tutorials and books to learn from as I have been unable to find an instructor in my area (Salt Lake, Utah area).

Given my lack of experience and lack of in-person access to a mentor/instructor, should I learn something more traditional first? I thought maybe the cello, but the truth is that I lack the interest in playing the cello and would prefer to jump right in with the erhu unless it is recommended otherwise.

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I don't think there is such thing as having to learn an instrument before you can learn another. Of course, if you had experience in similar instruments it would be helpful, but since you don't have, there is no point in "torturing" yourself learning an instrument that you have no interest on.

IMO one of the key aspects of learning new instruments is interest. It's what keeps you wanting to play and practice. When you start losing it, you end up quitting right after. If you don't even have it, there is no chance it will work.

Unless you are a maniac and wants to spend your life pursuing the dream of being the best Ehru player in the world, and therefore wants to improve to the maximum level all involved techniques, and learning other instruments would help you achieve this goal, just do what you like and learn Ehru.

TL;DR: No.

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