Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Intermediate Finger Exercises and RSPBA MAP Tunesbringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
J F MacKenzie
This section of the website has tunes taken from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Asociation (RSPBA) prescribed tune list.3 Strike bar 1 - this, too, is a third of a 32nd and opens on the beat.
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 C doubling bar 1 - make sure that both Cs are the same length as each other, and that there are short enough. Getting this effect togetther as a band is actually easier to do than it seems, if you work rhythmically, and has a tremendous impact on the listener.
2 High G gracenotes generally - generally these are longer, heavier gacenotes to give the tune a slightly ranting feeling. Mostly, they take up a third of a 32nd note (se exercise 1). Listen to the midi file for where this isn't the case...
4 E doubling bar 2 - this is opened by a small high G gracenote, which closes on the beat, the same length as the F cut (a 64th note). This choice has been made in order to mark out the strathspey pattern of emphasis.
5 Grip bar 3 - this needs to be extremely crisp and lightly done, otherwise the tunes gets completely bogged down. This will take a lot of slow rhythmical training together to get it to work adequately, but the effect is worth it (and repeats in many strathspeys).
Low pitch normal speed
Low pitch half speed
Low pitch quarter speed
High pitch normal speed
High pitch half speed
High pitch quarter speed