Learning a new guqin 古琴 tune 秋塞吟 Qiu Sai Yin (Autumn scenery beyond the Great Wall). I taught myself how to play page 1 out of total of 9 pages. I only plan to memorize 1 page per week. Played the same tune on both my 2 guqins, one strung with nylon strings, the other with silk strings. The feeling I had when I was playing with nylon strings vis-a-vis silk strings was very different. Like day and night, or like writing Chinese calligraphy with fountain pen vs traditional calligraphy brush. Fyi, I am a big fan of fountain pens and I have used fountain pens to draw Chinese-style drawings and to write Chinese calligraphy. Haha... so... I have nothing against using fountain pens for writing Chinese calligraphy. haha
Honestly, I feel that silk strings are more suitable for playing in a small enclosed quiet room. Nylon guqin strings are a little too loud for playing in a small enclosed quiet room in the home, especially at night. Aural fatigue may set in quickly after playing with nylon strings in an enclosed quiet room for just a short time.
However, nylon guqin strings may be more suitable if one brings the guqin into an environment where there may be ambient noises, such in outdoor environments or in a very large room where people may be whispering among themselves or making other noises such as coughing, i.e., the typical concert hall environment. haha
This is my guqin which was strung with LongRen brand nylon strings. This guqin was made by JunTianFang.
This is my guqin which was strung with Tobaya silk strings. This guqin was made by master guqin maker ZhangYong 張勇, one of the young rising stars in the guqin-making world. It was purchased by me from songshiguqin.taobao.com in May 2013.
Here is what this guqin tune 秋塞吟 (Qiu Sai Yin) sounds like when played with silk strings (from this video I found on Youtube).
Here is another video of the same tune Qiu Sai Yin, played on metal-nylon strings, by Maestro Li Xiang Ting.
[Special thanks to Charles Tsua for sharing this Youtube link.]