First time when I bought my Guzheng, my teacher taught me how to use a tuning wrench to tune my Guzheng. There was no need for me to install strings. After 1 to 2 years of use, my strings started to break. So I needed to purchase new strings. I am not an expert in strings. But I do know that there are many types of strings available in the market.
Since I have a Dunhuang Guzheng, this time I am going to briefly talk about Dunhuang strings. My Guzheng is 696D. At first, I had no idea what strings I should buy. After some research on the Internet, I learned that Dunhuang has A, B, C types of strings. For the most commonly used 21-string Guzheng, A and B strings are the most popular.
Many Guzheng websites have talk about the differences between A and B strings:
- Different feel: Type A feels looser and after sound lingers longer. Type B feels tighter, more suitable for music that requires a lot of strength.
- Different textures: Type A is thinner and softer. Type B is thicker and harder.
- Different tone: Type A produces sounds that are more crisp and thin. Type B produces a deeper flavour
- Model: Dunhuang Guzheng 689, 696 series comes with Type A. Dunhuang Guzheng 694, 695, 698 series comes with Type B.
- For different users: Children could choose Type A while professionals can choose Type B.
I’d like to draw your attention to point #4 above.
My Guzheng is 696D. After buying Type A strings for string 5 and 8, I found that the colour of their nylon parts was not the same as the other strings of my Guzheng. My The original strings that my Guzheng came with are light blue (nylon part). The newly changed 5 and 8 strings are dark blue (nylon part). In addition, when I pressed 5 and 8, it felt soft. Often my teach would say I press too much, resulting in getting a higher pitch than desired. All other strings (with light blue nylon) were harder and required more strength to press.
From this experience, I learned:
- Don’t trust everything on the Internet. Read and educate myself, but also trial and error in order to learn new things.
- My inference is that for the nylon part, light blue is Type B while dark blue is Type A.
- You can buy two kinds of strings try and compare at home. If you have experience playing Guzheng for several months, it is not difficult to feel the difference between the two.
- A Guzheng can use different strings at the same time. If the bass part is too hard and too difficult to press, consider using Type A strings.
- Type B strings are usually more expensive than Type A strings.