Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
Five discussion points
1 The contrast between 'round' and dotted rhythms is something you will need to be careful about here. Getting this right will make a huge effect on your listeners, but needs be be prepared. Tapping out round and dotted rhythms on the table will help with this process areat deal.
2 The high G gracenotes in this tune should all be short as making some long can make the general rhythm of the tune unclear.
3 At the start of the second part, however, the high G gracenote into the low A doubling is longer than the 'chopping' D gracenote. Listen carefully to the slow midi file to understand this. You may wish to have everyone tap out the full rhythm in the midi files at a slow tempo, including all the gracenotes, to establish that everyone can 'feel' these rhtyhms.
4 Be careful not to allow the tempo to increase in the second part in particular. The rounded rhythms can cause this and the nature of the tune itself also gives temptation.
5 The rhythm in the second part last bar is different to that in the first part. In musical terms this serves to highlight the different role played by these parts in the tune - one is in the middle and one breaks a pattern to show the ending is about to happen. This is all about musical rhetoric and semiotics.
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.