Clan Davidson Virtual Pipe Band
Teach Yourself Bagpipes Site Lindsay Davidson Site


Welcome

COVID and social distancing have brought troubled times for making music together. Playing bagpipes together in this current atmosphere is simply not something we can rely on as a way to fill two evenings a week.

However, we can still enjoy being a pipe band, or rather a group of pipers who can play a common repertoire using distance methods.

Internet latency (delays in the wires) means that practically speaking we still can't jam together, but we can learn how to play a common set of tunes in a very exact and precise way so that when we can meet up, we have a repertoire perfectly rehearsed together.

Each tune has a set of videos with the music displayed. The tunes are played at two pitches (A and B flat) and at three different speeds - full speed, half speed and quarter speed. As you get better, you should play along with the slower speeds.

You can play along with your practice chanter (high or low pitch), your smallpipes (Low pitch A is most common), or with earphones (be careful not to damage your hearing) with your highland pipes (high pitch B flat). There is a click track on the video so you can stay in time and count everything you need to count to get better.

At the top of each set page are two videos to play along with  that are just the set as for performance, without any practice material. These are at low pitch and high pitch and apart from the introductory clicks to show your tempo and starting point don't have any click tracks.

Each tune has a few tips on what to watch out for when learning, on its own page, linked from the 'set' page and also listed alphabetically on the tune index

The methodology is based on Lindsay Davidson's teachyourselfbagpipes.co.uk approach, and you can find more tunes and lots of exercises and other material on that site, all free. The gracenotes are all prepared rhythmically and by changing from normal speed to half speed, you get to be twice as exact, and by halving again, to quarter speed - if you can cound and feel and play every gracenote correctly seven times in a row, without losing concentration, you are totally secure with playing that tune rhythmically and exactly as per interpretation given (there are plenty of other interpretations possible).

The choice of name for our 'virtual' band was because the original idea was as a way for people interested in Clan Davidson to be able to build a common repertoire and meet at Clan Gatherings. Many of the original tunes are taken from the Clan Davidson Collection, composed by Lindsay in 2009 as part of the celebrations that took place in Scotland that year.   Lindsay Davidson is Clan Piper to Clan Davidson.

Those who have learned in a totally virtual way, from teachyourselfbagpipes.co.uk, can join as a natural progression from there. There are easier sets and harder sets to play so there is something for everyone.

Absolutely everyone is welcome to join in and get in touch with Lindsay. After COVID is finished, we will look at organising events and meetings, but till then, everything will remain strictly online. The meetings will feature new tunes, exercises together, social time and perhaps even the occasional public performance.
 
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