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

bringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
Campbeltown Kiltie Ball



Campbelltown Kiltie Ball


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

Low pitch normal speed

Low pitch half speed

Low pitch quarter speed

High Pitch

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   Bar 1 Low G gracenote - make sure this opens on the beat.  A quarter of the preceding B is given to the low G.
2   Strike on E in bar 1 - opens on the beat. This is quite a long strike, heavy. The low A lasts for a 32nd note, half of the last quarter of the beat. Listen carefully to the midi files.
3   Bar 4 taorluath - this is quite a slow and open taorluath and lasts for  complete 8th note.
4   Bar 4 high G gracenotes - the last high G gracenote, and the one on to the B before the taorluath are both big gracenotes. That is to say the preceding notes are dived into triplets and one third of each of these notes is given to the gracenote. This gives extra emphasis to the beats as required, and also gives differentiation to the distinction of beats to give the clasic strathspey "heavy light medium light" beat structure so often looked for by 'piping critics.
5   Birls at end of each part - last strike comes up on the beat.

Five exercises  

Exercise 1

mapex4

Low PitchHigh Pitch
Full speedFull speed
Half speedHalf speed
Quarter speedQuarter speed

Exercise 2

mapex5

Low PitchHigh Pitch
Full speedFull speed
Half speedHalf speed
Quarter speedQuarter speed

Exercise 3

mapex15graphic

Low PitchHigh Pitch
Full speedFull speed
Half speedHalf speed
Quarter speedQuarter speed

Exercise 4

mapex19graphic

Low PitchHigh Pitch
Full speedFull speed
Half speedHalf speed
Quarter speedQuarter speed

Exercise 5

mapex34graphic

Low PitchHigh Pitch
Full speedFull speed
Half speedHalf speed
Quarter speedQuarter speed

About this project
Lindsay Davidson
About the author