Many years ago when I was living in Hong Kong, I went to the Chinese Guzheng College in Causeway Bay for the first time to learn Guzheng with two friends. This place was run by Ms. Kwok. Although she was not our teacher at the time, the first course book we used was written by her (name: Beginners’ Guzheng Course book). The book was published in the 90’s. Earlier this week when I googled online, I saw that Hong Kong Commercial Press stills sells it. And the Chinese Guzheng College probably still sells it in their office.
I want to share this book with you. This book includes a lot of very easy songs for beginners. The first part of the book briefly introduces a variety of basic techniques. It also includes many well-known Chinese songs, such as “The Last Emperor”. The level of difficult slightly increases towards the second part of the book, that includes well-known songs “Small Town Story” and “Happy Birthday Song”. Towards the end of this book, there is this famous song “River and Flowers in the Spring under the Moonlight” but of course, a simplified, easy version. This song involves more techniques, such as glissando and vibrato. I guess its level of difficulty is be about one to two. Most of the songs in this book are very easy to master for beginners. However, this book is printed in traditional Chinese only.
A disclaimer: I did not get pay to write this review. But personally, this book is one of my favourite because of its simplicity. There are a lot of Guzheng books on the market; however, many of them consist of songs that I have never heard of. I think for beginners, if they can play some simple, well-known songs in a short period of time, this can be a big motivation for them. This book is the collection of a lot of music pieces that many Chinese have heard of, such as “Happy Birthday Song”, “Small Town Story”, “The Last Emperor.” Besides, this book is not expensive. It costs less than $100 Hong Kong dollars, so I think it is worth considering for beginners!