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

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Famous Ballymote

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Five discussion points

1   Bar 1 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)
2   Bar 1 strike -  this is a heavy strike, taking up a full 32nd note and opening on the beat. Listen carefully to the midi files to get a feel for this.
3   Bar 4 high G gracenote in the repeat this is very short - whereas at the very beginning the initial G gracenote was big.
4   Bar 5 High A doubling is in the form of a 'light' doubling, where the strike is shorter than the initial high A. This is not the case in all the MAP tunes.
5   Bar 11 strike on E is as in bar 1, heavy.

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


Low Pitch normal speed

Low Pitch half speed

Low Pitch quarter speed

High pitch normal speed

High pitch half speed

High pitch quarter speed


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

Five exercises

Exercise 1

mapex11

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

Exercise 2

mapex19graphic

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

Exercise 3

ex46

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

Exercise 4

ex47

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

Exercise 5

ex49

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


About this project
Lindsay Davidson
About the author