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.
Five discussion points
1 Bar 1 accents - the high G gracenotes go from huge to small, one after the other.The appropriate heavy accent on the third beat is caused by the rhythm of the D. Listen carefully to the midi file to make this happen. The rhythmical values of the G gracenotes go from a 16th to a 64th to a 128th and back to a 64th.
2 Bar 2 throw - the low G is the same length as both the D and the C that follow. Furthermore, the low G takes half the value of the preceding F. This make for a kind of a medium heavy throw, a strategy useful in strathspeys.
3 High A doubling bar 3 - the strike is a quarter of the length of the High A This gives a lightness to the doubling essential to mark out the heavy weak medium weak beat pattern of strathspeys.
4 High G doubling bar 4 - as with the High A doubling mentioned above. Use the same rhythmical pattern
5 Bar 4 thumb gracenote to C doubling - this gracenote takes up a third of the 16th note in order to emphasise the third beat in the bar. However, this bigger, longer gracenote is repeated for the next beat as well in order to provide a 'pick up' into the repeat.
Low pitch normal speed
Low pitch half speed
Low pitch quarter speed
High pitch normal speed
High pitch half speed
High pitch quarter speed