How to play the Chinese guqin correctly?

That first desire that is generated in our mind to have it, the action as such that we undertake, the happiness of having it in our hands, the satisfaction of having fulfilled a dream, until you get “deluded face” when you realize that that you hardly have any idea about how to interpret each of the strings of the guqin

You are not the first to experience this, nor will you be the last. The sin is not committed because you are here, willing to read this article and learn to play a guqin from the beginning, whether you are a newbie or have never had this Chinese instrument in your hands

With the help of tutorials from China and taken from the online video giant Youtube, knowing how to strum your fingers on each of the strings will be a matter of time. Are you committed to achieving this goal or do we have to set a goal for you so that you learn to play it?

Show us that you are really learning the first skills about how to play qin by sending us a video (with your face covered if you want), so we can know if you are one of those people who keep their word or the typical “word of mouth” Enjoy the Article!

What different styles are there for playing the Chinese guqin?

There are various techniques of playing a Chinese guqin. You just have to see the extensive list of video tutorials that the YouTube user “Guqin Nier” gives us . The most prominent are these:

How to play the Chinese guqin in the “Da Yuan” style

This technique includes 7 sounds and to play it, place your middle finger of your left hand on the 6th string, starting from the upper part of the qin, the same with the ring finger and little finger of your right hand . All this in order to achieve comfort when pressing our right middle finger, which will be in charge of playing this Chinese melody. If you are left-handed, opt for the other hand, that is indifferent

Once you adopt this position, do the following strumming of strings: lightly press the 3rd string once, starting from the bottom, then the 5th string, again you return to the 3rd string but this time pressing twice in a row. The first two strums somewhat slow. These next two somewhat lighter. Then again press the 5th string giving a brief pause margin, and the 3rd string again as well.

How to play the Chinese guqin in the “Cuo” style

First of all, we have to make a distinction: If the distance of musical notes is high and covers all the strings, the thumbs and middle fingers have to be up, having the middle finger on string No. 7 and the thumb on the rope nº2, bringing your thumb just to the next rope, the nº3, and the middle finger towards the rope nº6

If the distance of musical notes is low and covers fewer strings, place the index finger on string No. 5 starting from the bottom, and the thumb on string No. 4 starting from the top and bringing both fingers up, type with the thumb the fifth string . Remember: from the first rope to the last rope, number 7, we always start from the bottom. So you will understand what strings we mean at all times

To play the “Small Cuo”, do the same procedure but this time striking the number 3 string ( minute 1:10 ). The same note but long (minute 1:20), you have to place your thumb on string no. 2 and your middle finger on string no. 6 and opening both fingers, press string no . 7 . In the video you have in detail how he interprets these two variants of Cuo

How to play the Chinese guqin in the “Yin” style

This kind of interpretation stands out for rubbing the thumb on the string number 4. First of all you will have to place your hand on the slope, so that the thumb can rub on the named rope and the middle finger presses the third string, starting with under

As this finger is rubbed faster or slower, we can extract faster and slower variants of the Yin, as explained from minute 0:46. To perform the slow Yin, pluck string number 3 in a somewhat leisurely manner, letting the string play, and then rub your finger ( minute 0:58 )

With the vertiginous Yin or “Bin Yin”, you will have to finger the string in a lighter way, trying to emit a more accentuated sound ( minute 1:04 ) and rub the thumb a little faster as well. In “Small Yin” the sound is barely noticeable and very short, quite the opposite of what happens in this variant of Yin.

There is another way to strum the Yin, better known as the “Stable Yin”. To play it, you have to strike the number 3 string and wag your finger left and right but without moving it, that is, keep it fixed.

How to play the Chinese guqin in the “Nao” style

To interpret this melody, press string number 4 with your right index finger and, right after, make 3 rubs with your thumb alternating with slight pauses, the first being the longest and the second somewhat shorter. Play the video from minute 0:45 and find out what we mean

There is a variant of this style, known as “Back Nao”, in which the rubbing of the fingers is reversed and the pauses we alternate do not vary but the rubbing of the finger does in terms of duration. The first rubbing is the longest and gradually decreases, the third being the shortest. From minute 1:22 you can see in detail how he interprets this style

It can even be played with two rubs or just one, but it is not usual to make a single pause. They always span two to three. To play the qin in this way, you have to do a long finger rub and then a shorter one, which shows the disparity of both thumb rubs.

How to play the Chinese guqin in the “Li” style

To emit this kind of interpretation, starting from the bottom, we play one and the other successively, without any pause, the chords nº1 and nº2. Normally, this style is accompanied by a double musical tone but it can also be accompanied by up to a triple tone.

The first string should be strummed in a firmer way than the second, which will be played in a more temperate way. In the “Tiao” the tone of the strings is less accentuated while in the “Li” it is not.

As specified from minute 1:09, if a single note is involved, it must be accompanied by the “Tiao” style in order to achieve the desired double musical tonality. You can start from string no. 1 and then type string no. 2 or start from string no. 2 and play the next string, number 3

How to play the Chinese guqin in the “Yan” style

The thumb and ring finger will be key when executing this style. To do this, you have to place the ring finger on string number 7, just above the third circle, starting from the right, located on the robust body of the guqin. Not only do you have to place it here, you have to fix it and keep it immobile at all times

With your thumb you will press on the number 6 key and lightly on the 7 and 5 at the same time. The strum must be firm placing the finger at all times on these 3 strings, especially that almost the entire finger occupies the sixth string, and it must be held for a few seconds

Placing the video at minute 0:57, a small distinction is made: And it is to not place the tip of the thumb too far outside the strings, since the sound will not be distributed correctly and will cause a hollowed out sound, and it’s not what you want, or what we want. We must always realize that the sound stands out for its “propagation” each time unless

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