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Silk strings
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piglittle
Plywood


Joined: 02 Jan 2009
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject: Silk strings Reply with quote

Anyone play GuZheng with silk strings like they did historically?
Are such strings available?
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yukina
Site Admin


Joined: 05 Feb 2015
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't think there are any guzhengs using silk strings nowadays.
Kayagum and some koto still use silk strings.
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Vi_An
Zitan Elite


Joined: 27 Jul 2005
Posts: 518
Location: Calgary, AB CANADA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friends who perform concerts with koto and or kayagum will tend to use silk strings for just a few performances because the strings are so fragile. Or when recording albums, then the strings break down faster than regular tetlon or zheng strings.
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applevinegar
Rosewood


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also like to find some silk strings for guzheng.
But I've kind of given up at the moment because of its hardness to find.

I strongly believe music will sound much better when the instruments are made from natural sources with just enough alteration as needed.
More and more, natural materials are being replaced with highly altered industrial materials. Sure, this may have some advantages, but human's industrial materials are NOT the same as what nature provides.

I read about how real silk strings sounded very natural, and I wanted to find out where I could purchase them. But I didn't find any place that sold them.
Silk strings were very popular in the past. How could such an irreplaceable material be so rejected today? There's got to be somebody who still uses silk strings.
And I found somebody:

http://www.silkqin.com/01mywk/john_thompson.htm

Also found information about silk strings:

http://www.silkqin.com/03qobj/silk.htm

Unfortunately, silk strings are nearly "extinct." Crying or Very sad

http://www.silkqin.com/03qobj/strings/panguohui.htm

Pan Guohui, one of the only silk string makers left, is struggling to pass down his skill because silk strings are not in much demand.

Although silk strings break easily, require more skill to play, must be tuned more frequently, aren't very loud, etc. they definitely produce a very unique natural sound that just isn't the same as metals or synthetics.

It's such a shame that, even for personal use, so many people would totally replace silk string with synthetic because of a few inconveniences.

Silk string may not be good for performance or recording, but I believe they should at least be used occasionally as a therapy.

Hopefully some day people will realize the value of natural materials such as silk and use it more frequently . . . But until then, I guess metal and nylon will have to do. Metal and nylon have their place and are great for performance and recording. I just wish I could try some silk string. Rolling Eyes
That's okay, I'll just save that wish for later. Maybe I can find out how to make my own some day. Cool
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yukina
Site Admin


Joined: 05 Feb 2015
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not just get kayagum strings?

My kayagum teacher hates the bigger modern 17-25 string kayagums, because they don't use silk strings. She doesn't like the sound of tetron strings. There are difference! However, one time she asked the maker to make a 17-stringed kayagum with silk strings. That turns to a nightmare. It's impossible to keep the strings into desired tension. They break all the time. If she doesn't keep the tension, the strings will be too soft that she can not do the detail bending on the left side.

It's very different from silk strings on qin. On qin, you don't need to do bending on the other side of the bridge.
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applevinegar
Rosewood


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just realized SoundofAsia already had silk kayagum strings for sale!
Thank you yukina. Smile
It's a little expensive but it should be worth every penny.
I've got to start saving my money.

But-- Will those silk strings be too frail on normal guzheng bridges?
What about putting kayagum bridges on guzheng?
Maybe I should save up for a 12-string kayagum?

Thanks for the help and useful information.
I very much appreciate it. Smile
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applevinegar
Rosewood


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little embarrassing I didn't even notice you had silk string all along. Embarassed
Actually, my family will probably get mad at me if I buy a whole kayagum with our strict budget. I think it's best I just save up for the silk strings and see what I can do with them with my guzheng. Hopefully I can at least do that, because I am really interested in playing an instrument with real silk strings. Cool
(Maybe I'll try out the silk after my first set of strings become dull sounding.)
Thanks again. Very Happy

Matt
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yukina
Site Admin


Joined: 05 Feb 2015
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if the bridges matter. I did try kayagum bridges on my Scarlet Bird. They turned out really nice sounding. However, the kayagum bridges are way too tall, so I took them off.
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jarrelle
Nanmu Mica


Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 396
Location: earth

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

once i used yarn for my 22 string guzheng.....i used it on the whole thing!!! it made a sound and sounded very old...and it wasnt as mute as i thought!lol but it takes too many hours to try to get the strings tuned and placed in the string hole.i wanted to use silk strings too..but if they break so easily i wouldnt be able to keep them... maybe there is some way to use tetlon on the inside of the strings to make them stronger?
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piglittle
Plywood


Joined: 02 Jan 2009
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 7:34 pm    Post subject: thanks for the silk string answers Reply with quote

I just noticed that people responded in Jan. My NYC Guqin friends
all love silk string GuQin. I've met John Thompson who helped
revive silk strings.
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chineseharp
Rosewood


Joined: 09 Feb 2010
Posts: 75
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use silk string myself. If you can't find a silk string guzheng, maybe you can try metal strings for some other effect?
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applevinegar
Rosewood


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, that sounds like a good idea. I should try some metal strings some day.
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applevinegar
Rosewood


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a traditional Mongolian yatag would have the kind of strings and sound I'm looking for. Has Sound of China/Asia ever carried one?
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yukina
Site Admin


Joined: 05 Feb 2015
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which yatag are you looking for?
I think the Mongolian in Mongolia use kayagum as yatag. The Mongolian in inner Mongolia(China) use guzheng as yatag. No matter which instrument they use, they play with bare fingers.

I have a few Mongolian customers who bought kayagum. They say that's the instrument they learned in Mongolia.
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applevinegar
Rosewood


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking of the yatag in:
Track 31 of the cd "Jargalant Altai." (my favorite yatag piece)
http://www.amazon.com/Xoomii-Music-Mongolia-Jargalant-Altai/dp/B00000370T/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1277590046&sr=1-1

I didn't know that kayagum and yatag were the same instrument.
Don't they sound different?

Kayagum:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpJaT-FeIrs

Yatag:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6WibSdz0uc

I really like yatag's sound.

Here is my favorite kayagum piece:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-sSpOwWrW8

Do you know what the difference of string material is between the yatag and Korean kayagum?

Thank you, your information is very helpful.
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