Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
Molly on the Shore
Five discussion points
1 Generally try to think of this tune as being in 4/4 time instead of 2/2. This will give the effect of playing faster, without actually needing to do so. It also give your drummers a great deal of opportunity to show off good playnig together that needn't be very hard.
2 E doublings - all the high G gracenotes going into the E doublings are 64th notes. This is because of the overall rhythmical character of the tune.
3 G gracenote to D bar 1 - this is a 32nd note as it is introducing a new subphrase, which should be accented. The gracenote closes on the beat.
4 Tachum bar 2 - the D gracenote is shorter than the B. This is a question of style, but this decision here has been taken to keep the flow of rhythmical shpae for the band and thus make it easier to be together all the time.
5 Last part (line 2 onwards) high A with strikes/high A doublings. The relationship between the high A and the high G is the same in these cases, but they occur at different points in the bar. As in other such instances, tap this out on the table to become aware and you will strengthen your band's rhythmical accuracy. Another knock-on effect of this will be to avoid a tendency to speed up.The reasoning behind that remark is a long story...
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.