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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 04-01-2018, 03:26 PM   #1
Michael Ufford
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Default The Ale is Dear. What drones?

I'm learning the Ale is Dear, which is high on people's lists of small pipes tunes. With all the Bs, the tune has to be in the key of B minor, right? But I cannot get good harmonies with any combination of A, E or D drones on my Smallpipes in A. Any suggestions? Thanks, Mike.
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Old 04-01-2018, 03:55 PM   #2
wheels2onfire
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Do you have the ability to tune a drone down to B from A? Try That.
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Old 04-02-2018, 04:23 AM   #3
CalumII
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Tune AEA and remember that you hear the drones a lot louder than everyone else.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:22 AM   #4
Peter.Bailey.Bagpiper
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

I just tried EBE on my SSP and it sounds alright.

The Ale is Dear is not a strongly-practiced tune for me, so bear that in mind, but here's how it sounded

https://www.dropbox.com/s/aqd64odgrm...20EBE.m4a?dl=0
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:38 AM   #5
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheels2onfire View Post
Do you have the ability to tune a drone down to B from A? Try That.

Wouldn't that be tuning up to B- in reference to the change in pitch? (That would mean shortening the drones, of course).
I would leave the drones in A IF i were to follow up with a tune in D or A. You could pop off the baritone and bring it in for the next tune.
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Last edited by Klondike Waldo; 04-02-2018 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:19 AM   #6
Michael Ufford
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Thanks to all. I changed the A tenor to a B (up in pitch, down in length) and left the baritone at E. I haven't graduated to the full three drones yet. It sounds good, but not as good as Peter Bailey’s full EBE version. Of course I’d have to find another B minor tune to play right afterwards to avoid the drone change Bob refers to.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

It's definitely Bm ... which DOES work with A drones. Maybe it sounds a little odd to you, but in my opinion, it's easy to over think it a bit.

Tunes like that are good from building a bit of tension, which I think is what you're perceiving as being a bad fit. It still works, just as it would if you were playing the tune on highland pipes where (99% of the time) A drones are your only option.

I would suggest simply playing A drones, and then going a standard A reel afterwards. This would build tension for the listener in Ale is Dear, which would be released upon shifting to A.

If you have an E/D baritone, you could try tapping off that drone during Ale is Dear, and reengage it which a slight pressure release on the tune change.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 04-03-2018, 06:27 AM   #8
Michael Ufford
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

I understand and appreciate the comments from those who recommend sticking with the A and E drones. My teacher, who is a GHBer, also doesn't seem to mind the disonances I hear with the B minor tune. For my part, the attraction of the smallpipes is the pleasant harmonies we can achieve, and the B drone sounds so cool. Perhaps with more experience I'll learn to appreciate the disharmonies (tension) as well. Thanks again all.

Last edited by Michael Ufford; 04-03-2018 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Ufford View Post
I understand and appreciate the comments from those who recommend sticking with the A and E drones. My teacher, who is a GHBer, also doesn't seem to mind the disonances I hear with the B minor tune. For my part, the attraction of the smallpipes is the pleasant harmonies we can achieve, and the B drone sounds so cool. Perhaps with more experience I'll learn to appreciate the disharmonies (tension) as well. Thanks again all.
For what it's worth, I can agree that experimentation with alt drone tunings is a huge benefit to smallpiping.

If you're looking for another cool Bm reel then to play along with Ale is Dear, I heartily suggest Hamish Moore's ultra-popular tune "Malts on the Optics."
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:15 AM   #10
Kevin
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

I think that tune should work in A-min against A drones if you can play a C-nat. My recollection is that there is no high G so you wouldn't need F-nat.

Just a thought. This may be an easier option.

Kevin
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