What Is The Guqin?

The Guqin can be described as a hollow oblong wooden body approximately 120 centimetres in length, with seven strings stretched across it, attached to a single fixed bridge. More information about the Guqin can be found here.

Why Learn the Guqin?

Enhance your understanding of Chinese classical music.
Appreciate the rich history of Chinese culture. 
Enjoy peace and rest for your mind, body, and soul

Do you teach one-to-one or group lessons?

You will learn more efficiently with prompt and individualised feedback on your playing. As such, Guqin lessons are only offered on an individual basis. This is to ensure that you receive quality training and enjoy a curriculum specially catered for you.

I don’t want to play Chinese Traditional music. Can I play other genres?

The existing repertoire for the Guqin contains mainly Chinese classical music. While there are some pop songs that have been transcribed for the Guqin, it is important for Guqin players to master the Guqin classics. Rest assured that our teachers are able to teach these traditional pieces in a captivating manner, and you will have an exciting journey learning the Guqin!

What are the differences between the Guqin and the Guzheng?

In the past, Guqin and Guzheng were known as Qin and Zheng, and they are two completely different instruments. While they do share some commonalities, some of the differences include:

  • Guzheng players wear artificial fingernails on both hands. On the other hand, the Guqin does not require the player to wear artificial fingernails, but they are required to grow natural fingernails on the right hand.
  • The Guzheng has 21 strings, whereas the Guqin has 7 strings. While this does not affect the dynamicity of the instrument, this results in a vast difference in terms of the playing techniques for these two instruments.
  • The tone colour for these two instruments is in direct contrast, where the Guzheng is generally brighter, whereas the Guqin is mellower.

Is it more challenging to learn the Guqin or Guzheng?

The Guzheng may be easier to pick up than the Guqin, as there is less emphasis on left-hand techniques for beginners. Having said that, learners of both the Guqin and the Guzheng will have different hurdles to cross as they progress. Our teachers at Eight Tones are well-equipped to guide you to learn and overcome these obstacles in your learning journey.

How long do I have to learn before I can perform on the Guqin?

Learning the Guqin goes beyond just performing, and as you progress, you will realise that it encompasses many different aspects of music, and of life.

Depending on the piece that you wish to master, it may take a few months or even several years before you are able to perform for your family and friends, or even the general public. Our teachers at Eight Tones will work with you towards your goals, whether it is becoming a virtuoso or to enjoy playing simple tunes on the Qin.

Do I need a special table to play the Guqin?

There are specifications for Guqin tables, as they are required to have the following characteristics:

  • Appropriate height: Most Guqin tables have a height of around 66cm, but it is more important for the tabletop to be about 20cm higher than the chair height. This allows the player to be in a comfortable position especially when playing on the far-left of the instrument.
  • Appropriate length: The table should be able to allow the sound holes below the Guqin to be above the table. This will allow the sound of the Guqin to resonate with and through the table.
  • Appropriate material: Guqin tables are made of wood that gives the Guqin a rich and full sound.

Also, the left-hand techniques of the Guqin require the player to push and slide firmly. As such, the tables should be sturdy.

Is the Guqin very soft?

The Guqin generally produces a softer sound than most instruments. This allows the player to quieten their hearts, and be in tune with the playing of the Guqin.

What if my Guqin string breaks?

The strings on a Guqin can last very long, and they do not break easily. However, in the event that your strings break, we understand that changing the strings on the Guqin can be challenging. At Eight Tones, we are able to help you change the strings at a nominal fee.

I heard that playing the Guqin can be very painful on the fingers on the left hand. Is that true?

It may take some time for the learner to adjust to playing the Guqin. However, the fingers on the left hand will gradually be acclimatised to playing the Guqin. This is common for players of any stringed instruments.

Where can I purchase a Guqin, and approximately how much will it cost?

At Eight Tones, we carry a range of Guqins of high quality, and they are available at a very competitive price. The price of beginner models starts from SGD$2,000, and models for more advanced players can go upwards of SGD$8,000.

Is there a suitable age for learning Guqin?

The Guqin can be played by young children and old folks. People from age 7 to age 70 and above can learn Guqin. Children below age 7 can also learn Guqin, but might experience more difficulty.