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

bringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
Lord James Murray


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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 high G gracenote immediately after the tachum is a longer gracenote (32nd note) and closes on the beat, but the later gracenotes in this bar are short (64th notes).
3   Bar 2 high and low G gracenotes (in the throw) are the same length as each other and the rhythmical pattern of the first beat  here is repeated in the second beat. This repetition of rhythm helps the group to learn together and also involves less changing of patterns, which is inherently easier to learn as well. This also gives the effect of a light throw,  further supported by the short strike in the throw.
4   The strikes all open on the beats, giving consistency and ease of learning.
5   Bar 10 high G gracenote to low A is a 32nd note, which is longer than the other gracenotes. This helps to keep the tune balanced and the drive going but without being over heavy. Listen carefully to the midi files.


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

mapex3

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

Exercise 2

mapex6

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

Exercise 3

mapex11

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

Exercise 4

mapex19graphic

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

Exercise 5

ex46

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

And an extra exercise...

ex63

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



About this project
Lindsay Davidson
About the author