Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunes

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The Silver Spear

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Link to RSPBA (Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association) source

Midi files (please keep coming back until this is fully updated)

Please click on these files to hear the music played through midi.

Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed

For more information on how to use these midi files please follow the link on the left.

Five discussion points

1   The rhythm of the single gracenotes is very important in this tune. Making each eighth note same as each other is critical to getting the effect of this tune which excites so many people, and this is supported by making each gracenote the same length. The evenness of the note durations gives the effect of playing quickly, even if you are playing slowly. Listen very carefully to the midi files.
2   Low A doubling bar 1 - be careful to make sure that the D gracenote in the doubling is shorter than the other gracenotes, otherwise the tune will lose shape.
3   Hara in bar 2 - this has the same rhythm as the low A doubling in bar 1. You may wish to tap out this rhythm on the table a few thousand times to be sure of it. Also, keep telling yourself that the hara here is a kind of doubling - it might help to remember the function of embellishments...
4   Bar 4 low G gracenote to low A - this has the same timing as the high G gracenotes commented on in point one and for the same reason.
5   Bar 9 G gracenote to F from high A - this cannot be played and is clearly a proof-reading oversight by the RSPBA. The midi file omits this, and so should your band.

Five exercises (please keep coming back until this is fully updated)

Exercise 1

mapex12

Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed

Exercise 2

mapex14

Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed


Exercise 3

mapex15graphic

Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed

Exercise 4

ex52

Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed

Exercise 5

ex57


Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed

About this project
Lindsay Davidson
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