Sound of China Guzheng Basic Tutorial

Sound of China Guzheng Basic Tutorial is an English-language book written by Carol Chang, owner and operator of Sound of China and ChineseZither.net. It is a frank overview of what you need to get started learning the guzheng. There is no fluff, no romanticism, and very little cultural context - just the straightforward basics. It’s intended for absolute beginners, providing everything you need to get started and using an instructional style that spaces out lessons and practices between greater challenges. This review is based on the edition that ChineseZither.net distributes online as part of their Resources section. I have not listened to the CDs but if you include them with the listed purchase price of $19.50 it is well worth it.

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Teaching Foreigners to Play Guzheng

Teaching Foreigners to Play Guzheng is an English-only book written by Yao Ningxin when she was an Associate Professor of Guzheng at Beijing Opera Art’s College. It is an earnest and heartfelt effort to teach people who already know some music but who are unfamiliar with Chinese characters or cypher notation to play the Guzheng. All of the music is written in western Flag and Staff notation. It sets a fast pace for learning new techniques and contains fantastic information. It unfortunately suffers from frequent grammatical errors and odd word choices. While it’s generally low price tag of about $10 before shipping makes it an affordable choice, it is not well suited for the absolute beginner. Read on for more.

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Cherub WST-720B Wired Clip Tuner and Metronome

The Cherub WST-720B is a wired guzheng clip tuner, metronome, and pitch pipe. It’s one brand of a classic style of wired clip tuner that have been around for some time.

Americans may be more familiar with guitar clip tuners. Much like the MeIdeal clip tuner reviewed earlier, guitar clip tuners put everything into a small clip that can be attached anywhere on the instrument, drawing power from an internal button battery. The major issue with these is finding a place where the clip picks up the vibrations but where you can still see the screen. Wired clip tuners take a different approach.

Wired tuners expect you to place the tuner somewhere you can easily read them, perhaps on a nearby table or music stand, and then attach the clip sensor to a convenient place on the instrument. Guitar-style clip tuners can be left on the instrument. The Cherub WST-720B is a fine example of a wired guzheng tuner. I purchased this one in China for $13. That’s a reasonable price for the US and a little expensive for the Chinese market. Looking on TMall (in January of 2019) the listed price of ¥70 for this wired tuner puts it firmly in the middle of the price range. The all-in-one tuner and wrench from cherub goes for ¥120 while cheaper wired tuners go for ¥30-40.

Read on for more details.

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Classic Guzheng Pipa Tape

The typical tape used for taping nails for both guzheng and pipa are a simple cloth-backed multi-use tape. It comes in many colors and different lengths. The width is usually 10mm or 0.4 inches. This is the standard for adhesive finger pick tapes and is so mass produced you can find it on most every online retailer around the world. Brands are not usually advertised, it’s all just tape. a single roll will cost between $1-2 and will typically last you 1-2 months depending on how often you cut new sections and how long you cut them. Two months of daily practice is about when you will run out.

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