The Chinese pipa is such a mystical and alluring musical instrument. If you are thinking of picking it up, here’s are 5 points you might want to consider:
1) It is one of the most complicated traditional Chinese musical instruments
It is not an easy instrument to master. The initial learning curve can be quite steep. (Challenge yourself!)
2) It is a heavy instrument
The Pipa itself weighs 4-6kg. Together with a hard case you will be lugging 6-8kg around. (Still, nothing like the Yangqin)
3) It takes a long time to master the foundations
Therefore the initial learning stage can be quite boring for beginners learning the basics. (Some find it therapeutic to repeat simple actions)
4) The pipa has about 75 different sets of performance skills to master (counting both left and right hand techniques)
75 unique techniques? Imagine the amount of time needed to master them all. (Imagine showing them off)
5) Because of the design of the Pipa soundbox, the volume of the Pipa is not very loud
You might struggle to be heard playing in a group with other louder instruments. (Your neighbors will love you. Or would you rather play the suona?)
If you are feeling undeterred, click here for more information on our pipa lessons.
(Stay tuned for 5 reasons to learn the Dizi)
My wife would agree. She studied Pipa for half a year and then went back to the Guzheng. The stuff she had to learn made me so glad I was practicing erhu. Haha!