Q: Is guzheng a difficult instrument to learn?
A: Guzheng is one of the easiest instrument to learn. It is pleasing to the ear and it has a very smoothing and gentle tone quality to it. Many people found it has a healing quality in its tone.
Q: What are some of the techniques that guzheng uses?
A: Basically, there are 4 pluck techniques (and among them many variations):
Guo - Use thumb to pluck inwards
Tuo - Use middle finger to pluck inwards
Mo - Use index finger to pluck inwards
Da - Use ring finger to pluck inwards
We also apply many different kinds of glissandos, arpeggios, sweeps, tremolos, pitch modifications, vibratos, bents, and dampening techniques etc. to express different feelings and emotions.
Q: Can guzheng express a gamut of musical expressions?
A: Yes, absolutely! While guzheng is often seen as a mild instrument, it can and has many songs that express the ideas of wars and typhoons and many more. It also involves using different techniques to express these songs (e.g. sao yao, a kind of special tremolo). You got to hear it to experience it!
Q: How big is the guzheng community in Minneapolis, or Minnesota in general?
A: The guzheng community in Minnesota is pretty small and is mainly geared toward college students. There is a Chinese music organization at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; a Chinese music ensemble at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota; and also a few freelance guzheng players in the area.
Other questions about lessons
Q: How flexible are the lessons?
A: As long as I am available, student can choose their frequency of lessons. Please know that the more often you come, the more solid will your skills be and therefore more of a confident player you'll become.