Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
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Link to RSPBA (Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association) source
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Five discussion points
1 Grip bar 1 - make this a light, or fairly short grip, taking one quarter of the beat. This is quite easy to produce with the exercise below.
2 Bar 2 F doubling - many people as a matter of style add the thumb gracenote here (note, the writer does). However, the music given by the RSPBA is the score we are following. This will mean that some members of the band might have an instinct to do something different, which should be given attention. Make sure that the first F is closed on the beat and doubled thereafter, and this should sound nicely together.
3 Bar 2 hara - the D after the high G gracenote is where the beat falls here, giving accent to the 'ha' in the word 'hara' (as opposed to being on the 'ra'). Bringing this point into consciousness wil make a huge difference to your band's collective technique, and the exercise below is about emphasising this difference.
4 Bar 4 birl - the second strike of the little finger comes up on the beat, thus leaving a longer break after the birl and separating the phrasing more clearly. Often in songs this is needed - people have to breathe when they sing...
5 Bar 8 hara - this will be the opposite of the earlier hara, with the beat landing when the strike comes up.
(bar 14 the F doubling should be preceded by a high G gracenote - its ommission here appears to be a mistake)
Five exercises (please keep coming back until this is fully updated)