I bet many Guzheng players find one of the most troublesome things is to change Guzheng tape. After some uses, a piece of Guzheng tape loses its adhesiveness and needs to be replaced. Also, every time when we play Guzheng, we need to spend a minute or two (I know it’s really not long time….) to wrap the tape and picks around our fingers. Sometimes I suddenly really want to play Guzheng, I simply don’t have the patience to change my tape. In recent years, I have seen something new on Taobao – Guzheng pick (nail) sleeves. These sleeves along Guzheng players to use their picks without the need of tape. Players can insert their picks to the sleeves and then put the sleeves on their fingers. Voila! Done! They seemed so convenient, so I actually bought a set to give a try.
After using them a few times, my impression was that they were very convenient and saved time, but they were very uncomfortable. Since my fingers are relatively thick, I normally wear large size picks. The sleeves that I ordered were large too.
After using them for 10 to 20 minutes, I felt that the sleeves were so tightly wrapped around my fingers. My finger blood circulation began to slow down. After a while, my thumbs felt slightly numb. I couldn’t help but take off the sleeves. Every time this problem happened. So eventually I decided not to use them anymore.
My opinion is that if a person wants to buy this kind of Guzheng sleeves, it is better to think about whether he/she has thick fingers like mine or not. My thumb and middle fingers had the biggest problems while my other fingers were better. Also, it is important to consider the angle of the thumb sleeves. Usually when we place our thumb pick onto a piece of Guzheng tape, the angle is slightly tilted. This is to ensure that the pick can touch a string perpendicularly to avoid producing any unnecessary noise. However, the Guzheng sleeves that I bought were designed to have a pick inserted upright (not tilted). So, when I plucked a string with my thumb (using a sleeve instead of Guzheng tape), I usually could hear unnecessary noise unless if I made a larger angle to adjust my finger direction.
I am not saying that this kind of sleeves is a bad product. It is not difficult to find buyers on Taobao who really like them. You can find many positive reviews. In fact, I bought three more sets (big, medium and small) of sleeves afterwards. They are for my three-year-old daughter a lot of troubles. This way I don’t have to have her put on the Guzheng tape every time. Without much patience, she has fun playing with Guzheng by putting on the sleeves on her own.