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Chinese Dizi: Rectifying Flat Pitching
Recently, we received an inquiry pertaining to dizi troubleshooting: one of our customers ordered a dizi for recording purposes, but found the lower registers to be a little flat in pitch. Hence, we prepared this blog post, hopefully, it can help those of you who are encountering the same problem!
Before you do anything, it is important to ascertain that the flat pitching of your notes is not due to embouchure issues. Western flute players picking up the dizi should bear in mind that the embouchure required of the Chinese dizi is focused and tight – less relaxed than that required of the western flute. When playing, you should feel as though you are smiling.
Like all Chinese instruments, the dizi’s tuning should be A = 442 Hz.
Xie Bing, the maker of one of our best-selling dizis, suggested that one can scrape, with the aid of a small file or knife, around the inner circumference of the blowing hole, in order to rectify the problem of flat tuning. It is advised to only scrape of the wood closer to the dizi’s copper joint, facing the inside of the dizi, making it slightly bigger. The hole should maintain its round shape on the outside.
Check out the following video for a good idea on how to do so!
It is not listed in our webstore but if you wish to purchase it, drop us an email at [email protected].
Otherwise, you can look for something similar in your local hardware store.
However, if you are afraid that you might screw up the whole Dizi by performing such a ‘major’ operation, Xie Bing suggested that you roll a piece of sandpaper into a pointed tip and file the hole slowly, testing the pitch along the way.
Reminder again: Sand the inside of the hole, closest to the end of the flute to make the pitch of the whole Dizi higher.
Not scaring you but do proceed with caution.
If you are looking for an easy way out, purchase a new one from our store here!