Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunes

bringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
The Market Place of Inverness

marketplaceofinverness.png
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.


Videos to play along with


Low Pitch normal speed

Low Pitch half speed

Low Pitch quarter speed

High pitch normal speed

High pitch half speed

High pitch quarter speed


For more information on how to use these midi files please follow the link on the left.

Five discussion points

1   Throws - there are a number of different rhythmical interpretations here - please listen carefully. All of these versions have been seen in other strathspeys. Variety is always good from the point of view of the listener.
2   The doublings after the beat share a rhythmical shape. The introductory gracenotes are of different lengths.
3   Triplet bar 3 (and elsewhere) - make sure to give this its shape as this will display your rhythmical control as a band to the maximum.
4   Bar 6/10 - 2 quavers together. Make sure you show this clearly as it gives lovely shape to the tune. Your winning strategy in this tune is rhythmical crafting, attention to detail.
5   Last 2 bars - for interpretations, these need to be given extra emphasis; if this was a fiddle there would be a crescendo here and bowing would become broader. Hence, the gracenotes are heavier, the throw is medium heavy and the low G-F 8th notes need to be marked very exactly (listen to the midi file to get the G gracenote in time).

Five exercises (please keep coming back until this is fully updated)

Exercise 1

mapex34graphic

Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed

Exercise 2

ex 36

Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed


Exercise 3

ex40

Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed


Exercise 4
ex43

Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed

Exercise 5

ex44


Low Pitch High Pitch
Full speed Full speed
Half speed Half speed
Quarter speed Quarter speed



About this project
Lindsay Davidson
About the author