Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
Marquis of Huntly
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 Again the long high G gracenote features heavily in doublings here. The triplet semiquaver with the last third being given to opening the gracentoe (closing on the beat) is a good stylistic point for your band as you can set up a steady approach and be together all the time. Listen carefully to the midi files and also the exercise.
2 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. The exception is in bar 4 (longer low G).
3 All the doublings have the same rhythm after the beat. Listen carefully to the midi files.
4 Bar 5 Taorluath - this is fitted into the last quarter of the beat, so into a semiquaver. You will need to pay particular attention to make sure that the D and E gracenotes are well proportioned. Truth be told, it is proportioning of these gracenotes which leads to most dissatisfaction withplaying taorluaths, not speed of playing.
5 Bar 5 D gracenote to low G. This is tricky. Rhythmically it continues in the vein of the taorluth, which eans you don't need to make big jumps in thinking. Try playing these two beats over and over again, gradually getting faster, making sure your rhythmical proportions are as they should be. Get this right and you will bowl over the audience (or the judges).
Low pitch normal speed
Low pitch half speed
Low pitch quarter speed
High pitch normal speed
High pitch half speed
High pitch quarter speed