Like the more familiar erhu and gaohu, the ''banhu'' has two strings, is held vertically, and the bow hair passes in between the two strings. The ''banhu'' differs in construction from the ''erhu'' in that its soundbox is generally made from a coconut shell rather than wood, and instead of a snakeskin that is commonly used to cover the faces of ''huqin'' instruments, the ''banhu'' uses a thin wooden board.
The ''banhu'' is sometimes also called "banghu," because it is often used in ''bangzi''
opera of northern China, such as Qinqiang from Shaanxi province.
The ''yehu'', another type of Chinese fiddle with a coconut body and wooden face, is used primarily in southern China.