The Playing And Notation of The Left Hand - 1

Playing Guqin, the left hand controls the precise pitch of the sound. Therefor the position of the fingers is very important. There are 6 basic finger techniques of the left hand: Yin, Rou, Chuo, Zhu, Shang and Xia. Under these 6 basic techniques, there are a number of variations. The variations are based on the length and the strength of vibrato, creating different atmospheres. Player needs to have an understanding of the piece of music first, so that one can present the appropriate feeling by using different finger techniques.

A, Press String Position of The Left Hand: Click the pictures for bigger image.

There are certain points on the finger tips and fingers that is or are used for playing pressing down (An-yin) or harmonic (Fan-yin) sound. Please click the picture for bigger image.

Da Zhi Notation:
Name: Da Zhi (Thumb)
Explanation: Slightly bend the thumb and using the side of the thumb, where the nail meets the skin or the side of knuckle of the thumb, press down the string. If pressing down 2 strings at one time, use both of the side of the nail and knuckle.

Shi Zhi Notation:
Name: Shi Zhi (Index finger)
Explanation: Naturally position the index finger on the string. It is used more often in Fan Yin, which is just lightly touching the string. Sometimes used together with the thumb.

Zhong Zhi Notation:
Name: Zhong Zhi (Middle finger)
Explanation: Naturally position the middle finger on the string. It is used more often on the 1st string.

Ming Zhi Notation:
Name: Ming Zhi (Ring finger)
Explanation: Slightly bend the ring finger and using the left side where the nail meets the skin to press down the string. Do not use the tip of the finger to press the string and do not use the middle finger to try to help to press down the ring finger. Thumb should not be raised up.

Gui Notation:
Name: Gui (Kneel)
Explanation: Kneeling the ring finger on the string. Using side of the back of the nail or back of the 1st knuckle to press down the string. It is usually used above the 5th Hui.

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