Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
Five discussion points
1 Throws bar and similar - the throws have low Gs the same length as the preceding Es. There isn't much time in a reel for widely varying interpretation in a band setting, hence this choice.
2 Birls - you need to add a low A to the beginning of the birls - what is notated here is theoretically possible to play, although nobody would ever do so - the low A is assumed. The rhythm of the birls is tafati, so the first two low As are the same length as each other and half the length of the third.
3 Bar 3 line 2 G gracenote from F the E - the F and the G gracenote are the same length as each other. This keeps the gracing throughout the tune all regular and therefore easier to learn as a band.
4 Bar 7 tachum - the C is three times the length of the D gracenote, as has been chosen in the majority of cases in the rest of the MAP tunes (the writer himself usually does something different).
5 Throw bar 7 - as after the E, this takes up half the time of the preceding C in order to have a strong effect and be effectve for a band to perform together.
This section of the website has tunes taken from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Asociation (RSPBA) prescribed tune list.
If you learn these tunes, there will be a large number of people you can be sure to find tunes in common with.
The RSPBA update their list from time to time and the versions here followed their original published versions, pending updates in due course.
These videos show the music and you can hear midi generated tracks where the rhythm of the gracenotes and embellishments is maintained in proper interprative proportion. You should try to feel the rhythm and also count it out exactly. Start with the fastest files and as you get better, go to the slower files, as this is a true measure of your security of technique.
Each file is given at two pitches, A and B flat. This reflects the different practice chanter tunings commonly found. Please scroll down to what you need (site updated for smart phone and tablets)
The exercises below are chosen to help with some particular trickiness in each tune.
Videos to play along with
For more information on how to use these midi files please follow the link on the left.
Five exercises (please keep coming back until this is fully updated)