Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson

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Intermediate Exercise 63

Intermediate exercise 63

This exercise is intended to help with reels and tachums, B and C doublings.

It helps in this by taking common figures and combining them into a little phrase which offers one of many rhythmical interpretations of these features.

Watch out for clarity and precision in the doublings. with tachums around it is easy to get a little less precise with doublings.

How to practise

Solid bagpipe technique is not about being able to squeeze more wiggly bits into an ever smaller space of time. Solid bagpipe technique means that you can choose how long or short every finger movement will be (and why, according to your physical situation and musical interpretation), and the actions come out as exactly you want. These exercises are designed to make this happen, to give you total awareness and control over your embellishment rhythm by helping establish patterns in your brain.

The Magic Maxim:

"If you can play slowly you can play quickly, but the converse isn't necessarily true..."

This means exactly what it says - the better you become the more exactly you should be able to control what you are doing, and so to test ourselves, we shouldn't practise more quickly, but more slowly.

To think like computers - a sampling rate for a recording is a measure of how many times a second the computer will measure what is happening in the sound. A higher sampling rate makes for a higher quality of recording, up to a point beyond which it doesn't make much difference. It is the same with piping - the more times in a beat you can say exactly what is happening, the better your piping, up to a point..

Playing exactly with the midi files at a quarter speed is a fairly good test for a group, and this extra secret can dramatically affect the strength of playing within a band, and the confidence. It is true that using this approach, you can bring about a positive revolution in your band's playing and attitude.

So to repeat, as you get better and your finger and rhythmical control become more exact, you should go from the fastest videos...to the slowest.

Please be aware that youtube will allow you to change the playback speed, which means you can train your rhythmical skill with more subtelty.

 
Videos to play along with (start with the fastest and gradually move to the slowest)

Low pitch normal speed


Low pitch half speed


Low pitch quarter speed


High pitch normal speed


High pitch half speed


High pitch quarter speed


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