Tuyet Hoa, Viet Guitar Wonder Girl

Awhile back this Vietnamese girl calmly playing gnarly guitar while wearing traditional dress made a small splash online. Her name is Tuyet Hoa and the videos are uploaded by Saulong Tayninh, who, if I can piece this together, runs a music school. Maybe not. I can’t speak Vietnamese and his ‘About’ section is blank. Either way, the videos are meant as instructional tutorials on Vietnamese music theory and technique, but result is something much more.

They’ve tuned Hoa’s electric guitar to a Vietnamese scale and she plays non-Western cord progressions in an attack that is reminiscent of classic jazz guitar and the result is pretty mind blowing, something like a cross between Marc Ribot and Sir Richard Bishop. It’s the sort of music you used to hear Gary Lucas perform at the Knitting Factory

The Saulong Tayninh youtube page has over 845 subscribers and 1,112,208 views, so someone is tuning in and most of them probably don’t speak Vietnamese. Check it out here:


All the videos are pretty amazing, but the sound quality tends to be quite poor. In some, Saulong gives an introduction in Vietnamese. All of them were shot with the mic on the camcorder, which creates lots of buzz and inconsistencies in volume; and in some videos there’s a floor fan blowing directly on the mic; sometimes a dog barks. It only adds to the charm.






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