View Full Version : NSP Learners essentials?
07-11-2002, 06:10 AM
What books, CD's, etc. would be considered essential for someone learning to play the Northumbrian Smallpipes, on his own, without a teacher or regular contact with other NSP'ers?
07-11-2002, 09:38 AM
John Leistman's book would be a great help, and is I think the only readily available tutor at present.
Pauline Cato has done some CD's linked with tune books that could be helpful, but they are all played on a concert G chanter which may mean you being unable to play along, if your chanter is in F (I think the publishers were aiming at the more general market who might be interested in Northumbrian tunes rather than just NSP players).
Pauline's other recordings are also good for hearing clear playing, and I would suggest those before she teamed up with Tom McConville as better from the pipers point of view. The recently reissued Topic stuff (Cut and Dry Band, et al) would also be good.
Wher abouts in Norway are you - there is a piper in Oslo I think - Terje Andersen (firstname.lastname@example.org), but I'm not aware of any others.
07-11-2002, 10:17 AM
I agree with Ian, although if you look for John LIEstman's book, it will go smoother. ("I" before "E" except after "C") ;-)
If you do want to get my book, the easiest way would be to order it from one of the retailers who can handle credit cards (I can not), so that you avoid the money changing fees.
Try the fine folks at http://www.andysfronthall.com/ or
All are fine establishments and I know for
sure that the first one carries the book and
CDs by Pauline Cato that Ian has recommended.
07-11-2002, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by John Liestman:
I agree with Ian, although if you look for John LIEstman's book, it will go smoother. Sorry, John
07-11-2002, 10:45 AM
As the others have said, the first thing to do is to buy John's book, "The Northumbrian Smallpipes Tutor" because it is written specifically for the teacherless student.
Once you get the book, follow the instructions for making a water manometer which you can then hook to your pipes to check your playing pressure. The manometer is important as it will tell you two things; first, whether or not you are playing at the right pressure, and second, how constant you are keeping that pressure.
As for CD suggestions my own Desert Island Discs selection would include the two compilations CDs, "Northumberland Rant" and "Spirit of the Border", as well as "The Wind in the Reeds", a re-issue of two great LPs by The Cut and Dry Band, and anything by Pauline Cato and Kathryn Tickell, particularly KT's latest, "Back to the Hills".
07-12-2002, 10:17 AM
I got started on my own a little over two years ago, and the above suggestions (John's book, Pauline's books and CDs) were the way I got going. I also spent a lot of time on the Northumbrian Smallpipes Encyclopedia:
http://www.nspipes.co.uk/nsp/ just soaking up whatever I could. Trying to get to one or two workshops a year was a big help too. Richard Butler's tutors are worth a look as well. Join the Northumbrian Pipers Society so you can start getting their publications and can purchase music books at the members' price. Listen to all the CDs you can.