October 2, 2013 5:43 pm
Updated: October 3, 2013 1:07 am

Vancouver resident’s version of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ on ancient Chinese instrument goes viral


Michelle Kwan has been playing the guzheng for the past 12 years.

An ancient Chinese instrument with 21 strings, the guzheng is not normally used for playing popular songs. But Kwan wants to bring the instrument into the mainstream.

Her latest video, of Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine, has gone viral, amassing more than 50,000 views in a week.

“I’m really glad,” said Kwan, 25. She is very busy so these side projects take her some time.

The current guitar player of Guns N’ Roses, Bumblefoot, even commented on her video.

Kwan is just happy it is getting some attention.

“I have to listen to the song and get the notes correct on my instrument,” said Kwan, as there is no sheet music for the guzheng.

Aside from playing the instrument, Kwan also works at BC Hydro, races Dragon Boats, and plays in a Chinese instrumental fusion band called Pentatonics. “We recently did a cover of Gangnam Style,” she laughed.

Kwan is now teaching the guzheng to young students, and she isn’t planning on stopping her covers anytime soon.

The most challenging part is staying true to the instrument. “It’s hard to keep the tone of the instrument but I want to play pop and mainstream music,” she said.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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