If you haven’t come across him yet, Kuang Junhong is a 13 year old genius who plays the guitar with wonderful musicality. His teacher Xu Bao invited me over to Chengdu (in Sichuan Province) last month and I had the pleasure of teaching Junhong and many others of his talented pupils (as well as eating some fine Sichuan food – mostly mouth-numbingly spicy). There will be a few other young guitarists from this part of China you will eventually hear about.
They seem to be very dedicated, and would start practice from 8.30 am in Professor Xu’s guitar shop and studio. Technique is the driving force, but subtleties of expression have not escaped their notice. They all also play slow enough that the music is perfectly in rhythm (using a metronome) with attention to the overall shape of a piece. The secret seems to be hard work and attention to detail, as well as time to work and encouragement.
I will be back! (I will also learn more Chinese)