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)
Five discussion points
1 The gracenotes are made slightly bigger in this tune, to give emphasis. This is done by dividing the last quater of each beat into a triplet and giving the gracenote the last third of this triplet. This pattern repeats itself in other strathspeys and is worth listening to carefully to get a 'feel' for.
2 Bar 1 - the low G for the throw is taken from the preceding B, and is the same length as this B. This gives emphasis and drive to the tune. This pattern is repeated in every place where there is a throw from B.
3 The high G doublings have the same rhythm as the other doublings (after the initial high G gracenote). Listen carefully in the midi files, as getting this rhythm together will simplify many, many tunes.
4 Bar 4 the strike comes up on the beat, and is half of a quarter of a beat in length. This pattern is repeated for each strike.
5 The first D and strikes are the same length in each throw.
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.