Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
Orange and BlueThis 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 videos please follow the link on the left.
Five discussion points
1 Bar 1 G gracenote from F - to play this gracenote so quickly will be a challenge in this tune. It can be half of the length of the preceding F and close on the beat.
2 Bar 1 hara - make sure the first D is where the beat happens - this will balance the phrasing and the tune extremely clear and easy for the listeners to understand. All the later haras should follow this pattern to make the most sense of this choice.
3 Bar 2 throw - take half of the preceding F for the low G. All later throws should follow the same pattern - half of the preceding semiquaver (16th note)
4 Bar 3 high G gracenote to C. This should be a big high G gracenote to emphasise the next phrase. In solo playing this would become a third of a quaver, but this involves a switch in thinking from dividing beats into four and instead diving into three. In band playing this is not very practical and so a compromsie should be recommended. This compromise is to make the gracenote short and start it later, in other words making it a 32nd note closing on the beat, and so opening n the last 8th of the preceding beat. Listen to the slow tune files to understand this more clearly.
5 Bar 4 birl - the second strike comes up on the birl here and on every later occurance.
Low pitch normal speed
Low pitch half speed
Low pitch quarter speed
High pitch normal speed
High pitch half speed
High pitch quarter speed