Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
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.
Low pitch normal speed
Low pitch half speed
Low pitch quarter speed
High pitch normal speed
High pitch half speed
High pitch quarter speed
Five discussion points
1 Bar 1 E and D gracenotes - these are not the same length as each other - the E gracnote is a longer gracenote (using triplets) and the D is shorter Listen to the midi files.
2 Low G gracenote to low A, bar 4 - opens before the beat and lasts a thirty second note, time taken from the B, opening onto low A on the beat.
3 The doublings all share the same rhythmical pattern after the beat, as in other tunes.
4 Bar 2 , FECg' - this little phrase is a bit tricky in rhythmical terms. The gracenote is a longer gracenote on account of closing on the third beat of the bar. This looks ungainly on the page, but if divide the beat into four equal parts and then the last quarter in to a triplet, with the G gracenote opening on the '-let' of this (i.e. the last third) all will be fine. And if the explanation is clumsy, listen to the midi file.
5 Strike bar 6 - all the G gracenotes areound here are bigger (triplets) giving extra weight to this phrase. The strike is the same length as these gracenotes, therefore quite heavy. This approach makes it easier to learn to play this together.