I have been using my standard sized Guzheng for quite a while and have replaced strings for multiple times. It is not a difficult task but just troublesome. Recently, I replaced a string for my mid-size Guzheng at home. It was quite a lesson process. This Guzheng is approximately 54 inches long. It is shorter than a standard 64 inch Guzheng, but is longer than most travel-sized Guzheng. Many stores only sell strings for 64 inch Guzhengs or 135 cm Guzhengs. So, for a 54 inch one, I have no choice but to use a standard string (that typically fits a 64 inch Guzheng). If I used other shorter strings, they would not be long enough.
I googled on the Internet. Surprisingly, I could not find any websites, posts or videos about replacing strings on a travel-sized Guzheng. So, I went to some social media sites to seek help from other Guzheng experts. Some of them were very nice and shared with me their secret methods. Because of copyright, I am not going to share their method here. I’m going to share how I did mine.
I have a bunch of spare Dunhuang A-type strings at home. I contacted the company that made my Guzheng to get some tips. Here’s my experience and findings:
- PLEASE, unless really necessary, don’t cut a string to shorter. When a string is cut, the nylon would become lose. Then it would be very difficult or almost impossible to get the string through the hole of the needle near the head of the Guzheng.
- Before threading the string through the needle, you can use your tuning wrench to loosen needle a bit more (this means to let a needle extend outward a bit more, but NOT to completely take out the needle). This way when you thread a string, the needle has some more space for the string to wrap around. You just need to let the string to wrap around a few more rounds before tightening the string and put your bridge on the Guzheng surface.
This type of Guzheng is a bit more challenging than a standard one when it comes to replacing a string. I actually broke two strings because I succeeded. Once I grasp the technique, I find it actually wasn’t difficult. It was just more time consuming then replacing a string for a standard sized Guzheng.
If you want to learn the basics of replacing a Guzheng string, you can see my previous blog post here.