Dizi Program

Learn to Play Dizi with Tim Liu

Because it sounds great, is easy to learn, light to carry and inexpensive, the Dizi, or Chinese Bamboo Flute, is one of most popular Chinese instruments in Asia. If you are not familiar with this instrument, read our Dizi Information page.

If you are interested in learning to play the Chinese Bamboo Flute, or Dizi, you may have found that tutors for this instrument can be hard to find. Now, with the 2 Measures At A Time™ Dizi program, you can learn this beautiful instrument with the guidance of an accomplished tutor.

By following the instruction book, starting with the Dizi’s structure, basic breathing practice and basic hand positions, you get to know the Dizi step by step. From listening and imitating the lessons on the CDs, you learn how to make and adjust the “right” membrane sounds.

There are a total of 12 practices in this program. Practices 1, 2 and 3 are for breathing, fingering and to familiarize you with the numeric scale. (A very easy system that you will be taught to read. Regular Western notations are also provided for those who wish to skip this step).

Dizi, Chinese Bamboo Flute
Nine popular Chinese folksongs or folk melodies were chosen and narrated for the other practices. Beginners can choose an easy version (Practice #4 to #12), while experienced flute players can choose a more complex version with common Dizi notations, techniques and musical styles (Practice #4b to #12b).

Each of the twelve practices contain the following steps. There is an audio sample from each step in practice 11b as an example.

  • Dizi demonstration of the melody used for the practice (accompanied by Yang Qin). SAMPLE
  • Background of the folk song or melody, and explanations of special notations used for the practice. SAMPLE
  • The melody is played “2 Measures at a Time” with a metronome marking time. After the two measure demonstration, the metronome continues for two measures so the student can imitate the segment. (A tape recorder is recommended for self-evaluation). SAMPLE
  • The accompaniment is played on Yang Qin alone so the student can play the complete melody. SAMPLE

Following these steps for each practice and going at your own pace, you will be surprised at how quickly you learn. Remember, the thousand mile journey starts with one step, or in this case, two measures.

To view past participants’ testimonials about this program, click HERE.

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Your Instructor: Tim Liu

Tim Liu was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He graduated in 1979 from the College of Chinese culture in Taipei. In 1981, Mr. Liu was awarded the prestigious Best Musician Award in the Golden Lion Bamboo Flute Solo Contest. He has also served as a soloist and was a member of the Taipei Municipal Classical Orchestra from 1981 to 1983 and was the principal flutist of the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York from 1983 – 1992.

Mr. Liu’s appearances included various concert series funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council of the Arts. He has also performed at cultural centers and music festivals across the United States. He soloed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble and the Andiamo Ensemble. He represented the Chinese component of the World Music Institute’s “Fiddles, Flutes, Lutes and Zithers” concert and in 1986, he was one of the renowned flutists invited to perform at the 92nd St. Y’s “Magic Flutes” concert under the direction of flutist Carol Wincenc. Mr. Liu can be heard as a featured artist on Lyrichord Records “Venerated Patterns of China and Japan”, and his own solo recording “Birds in the Woods” accompanied by the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York. Mr. Liu was named Artist in Residence of the NY Chinese Scholar’s Garden at the Staten Island Botanical Garden in 2003, winner of COAHSI Folk and Traditional Arts Performance Award in 2004, and was a guest flute soloist with the Great Britain Flute Society in August 2004. He has appeared on the same stage with other top international stars such as Sir James Galway, William Bennett, and Trevor Wye.

Mr. Liu can be heard as a featured artist on Lyrichord Records “Venerated Patterns of China and Japan”. He is the author of “Learn to play Dizi with Tim Liu – 2 Measures At At Time” (CD home study program); “Dizi’s Dimo – Chinese Bamboo Flute Membrane Pasting” (DVD/VHS instructional video); and the host of “Learn to play Birds Amid Tree Shadows with Chen Tao – 2 Measures At A Time” (CD home study program).

Accompanying Musician: Li, Li-Qun

Li, Li-Qun started playing “Yang Qin” (Chinese hammered dulcimer) at the age of six and gave her first performance on stage at the age of ten. She graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music of Beijing in 1991. As a soloist and a member of the Central Chinese Music Ensemble of Beijing, she toured and performed throughout China and internationally. In 1995 , she won the second prize at the “Freedom Cup International Chinese Music Competition”. She has several recordings available on CD and cassette, and has performed music for films and television shows. Since immigrating to the United States in 1997, she has toured many states, delighting audiences with her musical talent.