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.
Again, this is the standard. It lasts about 7 reuses, or, 1 week of daily practice. By the seventh day the tape does not hold as well and nails move around on the finger. Hand dryness, oil levels, the humidity of the environment and how long the tape is worn can all impact its lifespan.
The cloth allows flexibility, having about the same stretch and movement of human skin. It is not a particularly strong or sticky adhesive, so little excess residue is left on the fingers or interferes with techniques such as yaozhi (tremolo).
The fabric tears easily. It’s almost to the point you can rip off new pieces without scissors. This weakness has an unexpected benefit: if I catch a string between the finger and the nail during an energetic sweeping motion (glissando), the tape breaks, saving my instrument. The times I have caught nails when wearing the stronger Leukotape, I’ve pulled my instrument off its stands or the string off its bridge. I’d much rather retape a finger than damage my instrument, so that’s a definite pro.
Another fun part of this tape is its many colors. While I and most others I have seen prepare the almost skin-colored tape, children may enjoy the patterns and bright colors available.
The one thing I wish was that the tape held stronger, longer. Perhaps my particular set is older and doesn’t hold as well, or perhaps I’m too used to stronger tapes. Either way, I’m self conscious about how much tape I use.
Brand: Generic Pipa / Guzheng Tape