A Dizi for you

What is it?

The dizi is a Chinese instrument created around the 5th century BC when it was discovered in ruins alongside other flutes like the ney. 

Here’s how it looks and sounds

Not to be confused with

You may hear about it with other names like di and héngdi. Pronounced /dizi/, from the Chinese meaning “transverse flute” and called dizi in Spanish, French and Portuguese. A person that plays it is just called a dizi player.

Category

The instrument is from the Wind family meaning the sounds come by blowing air in a mouthpiece into a tube(resonator). 

Variants

The types of dizi are determined by range:

  • Modern dizi: pitched the same as the western flute.
  • Bagdi:  pitched the same as the piccolo.
  • xiaodi/gaoy/indi: pitched a fourth higher than the piccolo/bagdi.
  • Quidi: pitched a fourth lower than bangdi/piccolo.
  • Dadi/diyindi: pitched a fourth lower than quidi.
  • Deidi/diyindadi: and octave lower than quidi.

This can be confusing, just know that the most common variant is the modern dizi followed by the traditional dizi, you can distinguish it because the traditional dizi will have equidistant holes and the modern one won’t.

In terms of materials, the options are usually wood or plastic. This particular one is commonly made of bamboo with some plastic ones made of PVC. The material has no effect on sound (our article here) but it does in price and durability.

Before you buy 

Getting a dizi for sale? as a gift? If you do, here’s all you need to know.

The price of the instrument is around $40 – $725 USD, the cheapest we found was a beginner bamboo dizi and the most expensive was a KuaileFengnan handmade bitter bamboo dizi. In the middle, we have something like DDZZQ 2 pierce bitter bamboo dizi for $350 USD.

All of these manufacturers listed above are what you’re gonna get in terms of brands, mostly small companies that do handmade instruments, just make sure they have a guarantee and shipping to your country, good reviews and if they don’t you can get them other ways

The size goes around  22 x 1 x 2 In (55 x 2 x 3 Cm) – 18 x 5 x 4 In (46 x 13 x 10 Cm)  and has a weight from 0.5 Lbs (0.22 Kgs) to 2 Lbs (1 Kgs).                              

Accessories

There are a lot of accessories but for this you need nothing more than a membrane that works similarly to a mouthpiece,  get the intended sound, a bag for transportation, and a cleaning kit. 

Start playing   

To learn to play each note you need a finger chart (or position chart). 

We recommend learning to read sheet music to get the basics. We review resources to help you choose how you want to learn. Now that you know how to read them, you need to get some. 
Sheets come in different notations so we recommend checking various versions of the same sheets, searching for “scores” to get all instruments, and even the “song name for dizi to save on translations.

Don’t forget all the details that combined make a big difference like the way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions, and techniques.

Remember, the dizi is not hard to learn and should take a short time to understand, it’s also similar to the venu and xiao, so you can combine those resources to help you learn.

3 Replies to “A Dizi for you”

  1. Kaval – What is it, How to get one and how to play

    […] but it should be easy and fast if you focus on 1 at a time, it’s also similar to the ney and dizi, venu and xiao so you can combine those resources to help you […]

  2. A Bansuri for you | Simple Instrumental

    […] not hard to learn but it takes time (people seem to agree in 3 years), it’s also similar to the dizi, shakuhachi and xiao in shape and playstyle so you can combine those resources to help you learn, […]

  3. Instrument categories

    […] Bagpipes, bansuri, clarinet, danso, dizi, flageolet, harmonica, kaval, ney, oboe, ocarina, pan pipes, piccolo, recorder flute, saxophone, […]

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