View Full Version : certain blood pressure rising movements
05-27-2002, 01:59 PM
Hi!!!! I am trying my best to maintain sanity while typing this. This one movement is giving me a really bad headache. The movement is:
sound B,,,,,,,high g gracenote,,,,,,,,low g gracenote,,,,d gracenote,,,,e gracenote,,,,onto low a or what ever other note you are trying to play,,,,,
I need some advice on how to better perform this movement!!!!
Thanx in advance!!!!!
05-27-2002, 03:21 PM
Hello! Let's see....My advice is to play the movement S L O W L Y and gradually work it up to where all the gracenotes are heard and in time and all that....good luck! :thumb:
05-27-2002, 04:01 PM
thanks for the reply! Ive been using the college of piping volume 1 you see as there are absolutely no pipers that could teach me within a 200 mile radius. This movement has been bugging me for sometime. What I really don't look forward to are the tachums. Tell me something. This refers to your left pinky finger. Where do you keep yours? Behind the chanter or in front of it? Does this affect your playing any?
05-27-2002, 04:19 PM
The left pinkie thing... I have my left hand on the chanter at a slight angle (fingers point down a bit) so the pinkie is more to the left of the chanter than in front or behind, this way it can flap about as much as it wants without incommoding me. I don't think about it most of the time so it must work!
05-27-2002, 04:51 PM
awesome,,,,,,,fingers,,,,,,should I keep them rigidly straight or flexible?
05-27-2002, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by Will MacKay:
awesome,,,,,,,fingers,,,,,,should I keep them rigidly straight or flexible?The fingers should be kept fairly straight but relaxed ... definitely NOT rigidly straight; that will cause you huge amounts of grief especially with your low hand movements such as the taorluath and the grip. The issue is the stiffness introduced by trying to keep the fingers rigidly straight; that will prevent you from ever playing the movements properly or up to speed.
I assume that you are describing the taorluath movement ... when you make the high G, D, and E gracenotes you should move only the one finger for the note; it's not a true G, D, or E in most cases. The grace note should be crisp and not "open" or "clunky" but at the same time the low Gs should both sound clearly - this will probably take practice. The two low G's should be the same length, so the internal rhythm of the movement is a triplet rhythm (low G, D grace note on low G, E grace note to the melody note -- like "um, bum, bum"). You shouldn't be able to hear any other extraneous notes or crossings (even momentary "blips") besides the notes that are written. Generally you should lift all the fingers that are coming up for the new note at once, and only then put down all the fingers that are coming down for the new note, again at once. (The top fingers being lifted can come up slightly sooner, and the top fingers coming down can come down slightly later, than the others. But one of the most common of beginner errors is to get this order wrong with the inevitable "crossing noise"). As Celticgurl suggested, practice it slowly until you have it down before you try to bring it up to speed.
It doesn't matter greatly where the little finger of your left hand is, but you must not hold it in a way that distorts your top hand (for example, curling it into the palm and pulling the ring finger down, or holding it out and pulling the ring finger up). Many pipers like to do as Holly Taylor described and allow the finger to float where it wants to go, with the hand angled so that the little finger can clear the chanter if it wants to. If it works for your hands this is probably the best solution.
I'm quite sure that there are pipers within a 200 mile radius of you who could teach you. I'm not very familiar with the Martinsville area of southern Virginia, so I don't know if there are any pipers in your immediate area. However there are a number of pipers in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area of North Carolina which is about 50 miles from you, and there are very many pipers within 100 miles of you. In fact I'm likely to be one of them (!). I hear this kind of thing very often on the net from aspiring pipers, who often just aren't plugged in to the piping community. It's true that in many parts of the US, pipers aren't very thick on the ground ... but there are more than you might think; there are a lot of players who just play in their local area and you might not hear much about them if you're 25 miles away unless you're already plugged into the piping community.
I don't mean to be hard on you about that, but there really are a lot more resources out there than many beginners assume. If you want I can forward you some names of pipers in the Greensboro area who might be able to help you or at least know someone who could.
05-27-2002, 10:37 PM
i think that alot of very good pipers keep their fingers fairly straight on the chanter. but i would say that pipers like jack lee or in particular alister gilles top hand fingers are pretty bent. i myself used to play with top and bottom hand fingers straight until it was pointed out to me that my top hand was pushing forward away from the chanter. this could be seen by the knuckels being raised up, in turn this puts pressure on the top hand fingers so that they will not want to easily lift off the chanter. the solution was to drop my elbow down which in turn drop my top hand down, which in turn bends my top hand fingers slightly. this has created less pressure on the fingers so that they more easily want to lift off the chanter when called upon to do so. not as pretty looking but i find that this has improved my play. as far as the top hand pinkie i personally try to keep it raised as if drinking a cup of tea. again this will relieve pressure on the top hand fingers,especially the E and F. i suppose what i'm trying to say is that straight fingers are fine but your always looking to reduce pressure or tension on the fingers, if by bending the fingers you can acomplish this then so be it. but never hold the chanter rigidly, this defeats the whole purpose.
as for taurlouaths, practice practice practice.
05-28-2002, 06:23 AM
IT sounds like you are trying to play a Toarluath, in which case the HG grace note comes BEFORE the B. Dead slow is the key to practicing this one. Allow about 1 second per grace note when you are learning this one.
As with Grips, a very important component is coming down HARD on that Low G. You might even practice this all on its own, paractice coming down to low g from various notes on the chanter, and back to another note.
The other component is your GDE grace notes, I like to aproach GDE's as an embellishment. "Hinenen" (hen in in) this is exactly what it should sound like when played on the chanter. Quite like changing notes with a g grace note, example: play a GDE on A, G grace note-change note to b then DE grace note, You can play up and down the scale from LG to C with GDE as an embellishment. You can also come down off a higher note, GDE on a lower note and back up or down to another note. Once you are solid with the GDE as an embellishment, mixing things up by adding a LG gracenote in there can be easier. There is also a wee trick, once you are good at playing the GDE's as an embellishment, you also have all the Bottom hand doublings from C to Low G nailed.. just drop the E gracenote.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that the toarluath is not a terribly fast embellishment. Trying to play it too fast will only get your fingers twisted up, and accomplish a muddy/ unclear embellishment.
05-28-2002, 07:19 AM
Originally posted by Will MacKay:
thanks for the reply! Ive been using the college of piping volume 1 you see as there are absolutely no pipers that could teach me within a 200 mile radius.That may be so, but the correct execution of these ornaments really requires an instructor; and that's not even getting to issues of expression (since tunes aren't played exactly as written).
Even if you can only afford to see the instructor for a couple of hours one weekend a month, because of the drive, you'll find it's really worth it.
05-28-2002, 07:55 AM
Will -- Don't give up on finding yourself a good teacher. Ok, you don't live in Scotland or Ontario, & bagpipers are rare birds down there. But, just like Bruce already said, I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that you can find a good teacher within a half hour drive of your house!
The fastest route into the bagpipe world in your area is through the bands. If you put "virginia pipe band" into google.com, I'm sure you'll get info on the bands in your state. From there, you can call or email the Pipe Majors and ask them who they know in your area. And even if the first prospective teacher you talk to can't handle another student, one instructor usually knows of a few more (often young players who are just ready to take their own first students) so keep on following those leads!
As for fingering and related questions, until you find your teacher, I'd strongly recommend ordering a copy of Jim McGillvary's Rythmic Fingerwork -- it'll answer a lot of your questions:
Keep at it, Will, the world needs more pipers!
05-28-2002, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by David Dunbar:
If you put "virginia pipe band" into google.com, I'm sure you'll get info on the bands in your state................Keep at it, Will, the world needs more pipers!True, this web page (http://www.iosphere.net/~robb/bands/virginia.html) is what I got first try.
Any use to you? :)
Good luck in your endeavours!
05-28-2002, 01:59 PM
I guess a definition of myself right now would be a very frustrated person. My fingers seem so sluggish sometimes and just don't want to cooperate with me. Maybe I just need to stop trying so hard!!!!
05-28-2002, 03:32 PM
Will, it's very slow going in the beginning, especially for an adult learner. You need a video or cd rom to show you how to make the movements correctly. The college of piping & the piping centre/ Jim McGilvery's (sp???) rhythmic fingerwork are all good reference points. I used the college of piping video, but there were no cd roms out when I first started. You especially need a warm body to check out your fingering, maybe you could make it to a workshop? There's a lot of different workshops this summer, some on the east coast.
Hang in there, it will come. :thumb:
05-30-2002, 05:20 AM
Kinda late jumping into this one, but thought to offer my part. This excercise works you up to performing the taorluath. If I remember right, the excercise for this in the lesson has you performing this movement up and down the scale. I say this without haveing my COP Vol 1 infront of me, but I remember this, I think. Anyway, I had trouble with this as well. Been piping for 2 1/2 years and I am just now getting to play more taorluaths correct than incorrect. Slow and steady, play the first gracenote on the B, hold the B for little bit, then play the Lo G, D gracenote, Lo G, E gracenote, to the desired note: A, back to B, etc. Play the Lo G's and the gracing notes evenly. You need to be able to hear BOTH Lo G's in the movement. Be a critical listener when you practice and notice when things don't sound right. The rhythm should be something like this: Daa da da da. Kinda hard to show you how it sounds in type, but hope this helps.