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

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Jock Wilson's Ball

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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 change from a 'round', even, rhythm in bar 2 to dotted rhythm is very tricky. It is worth tapping this change out on the table together with a metronome at various speeds to make sure that everyone can keep this under control.
2   Taorluath bar 4 - this is horrific to play together in the small amount of time available. It is advisable here to shorten the marked dotted 8th note and make the beat a triplet instead, giving the last third of it to the taorluath. This give the impression of dotting the C but also makes it possible to play the taorluath and indeed - hear it! Playing what is actually notated leads to the taorlath disappearing.
3   The D gracenote in the second time through the first part is virtually impossible to hear, but it should be played as it is in the music.
4   The birls all have the first strike (tap or downward action with the little finger) before the beat, coming up on the beat thus giving  the efect of a 'tachum' type rhythm on the low As. This could be played in various ways but this style has been chosen for balance and steadiness of effect when playing together.
5   Last strike, last bar - this comes up on the beat, and so must go down before the beat.

This tune is much, much easier to understand when played very slowly. Please try starting from slow versions to fast, instead of the other way round.

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

Exercise 1

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

Exercise 2

ex46

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

Exercise 3


ex52

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

Exercise 4

ex53


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

Exercise 5

ex54

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

About this project
Lindsay Davidson
About the author