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

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High Road to Linton

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Five discussion points

1   A particularly tricky tune from the perspective of gracenote rhythms....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.
2   Bar 1 High A doubling is in the form of a 'light' doubling, where the strike is shorter than the initial high A. The relationship is 3/4 to 1/4 of a sixteenth note.
3   Bar 2 High G doubling is also in the form of a 'light' doubling, where the strike is shorter than the initial high G. 
4   Bar 2 sixteenth note E with G gracenote. The gracenote is quite long here and must close on the last sixteenth note, otherwise the tune 'falls over'. The gracenote itself is the length of a 32nd note. Listen carefully to the midi files to get a feel for this.
5   Bar 2 last high G gracenote is also a 32nd note and closes on the next beat.

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

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

Exercise 2

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

Exercise 3

mapex19graphic

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

Exercise 4

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

Exercise 5

ex51


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

About this project
Lindsay Davidson
About the author