Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
Louden's Bonnie Woods and Brae
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 particual trickiness in each tune.
For more information on how to use these midi files please follow the link on the left.
Five discussion points
1 Throws on D - these are almost all identifcal. In each throw the low G comes before the beat, the D opens on the beat and all three gracenotes are the same length as each other, demisemiquavers. This gives a kind of heaviness to the throws which is easy to control. Exceptions are going into the repeat of line one (shorter low G), and at the beginning of bar 3 (longer low G).
2 High G gracenotes - there are basically two lengths of high G gracenote - heavier ones that are done as the last third of a triplet where the preceding note is the first two thirds, and shorter ones, for a lighter effect, where they form a quarter of the semiquaver.
3 Bar 4 triplet - watch the G gracenote here as it is different to the others, caused by being part of the triplet. As ever, listen to the midi files.
4 Bar 5 C doubling - most people that the writer has heard play this as a short C doubling ( a semiquaver). As with the other tunes, the version given here is taken from the RSPBA, but you may wish to reverse the rhythm in this beat.
5 Hara - this is treated like a doubling in this tune. Therefore the strike is short, and light, and the G gracenote before it closes on the beat.
Low pitch normal speed
Low pitch half speed
Low pitch quarter speed
High pitch normal speed
High pitch half speed
High pitch quarter speed