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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 10-18-2012, 12:15 PM   #31
Nathaniel
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Default Re: What is competence?

A comparison i think about sometimes: if i played the guitar as well as i do the pipes, would i ever play out or get hired as a guitar player? Would i even feel comfortable playing outside by bedroom?
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:23 AM   #32
CalumII
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Default Re: What is competence?

The difference is that you can play idiomatically on the guitar at a much lower skill level than the bagpipe. You can learn a basic Travis picking pattern in half an hour and three chords and you can go off and play half of the American traditional songbook (slight exaggeration, but the point stands).

To me, competence means being able to meet the demands made of you. If you can set up your instrument from scratch and learn a new tune from scratch, then you might consider yourself competent.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:56 PM   #33
Nathaniel
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Default Re: What is competence?

Our buddy spent so much time tuning at the bar once, the manager all but shut us down. He tuned up nicely but nobody was in to it when he started playing. Is there a "gig competence" or something about knowing the crowd that is either separate or parallel to the knowledge of the instrument?
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #34
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Default Re: What is competence?

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Originally Posted by Nathaniel View Post
Is there a "gig competence" or something about knowing the crowd that is either separate or parallel to the knowledge of the instrument?
Yes there is. Its a whole other seperate, paralell universe of piping.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:37 AM   #35
David
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Default Re: What is competence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathaniel View Post
Our buddy spent so much time tuning at the bar once, the manager all but shut us down. He tuned up nicely but nobody was in to it when he started playing. Is there a "gig competence" or something about knowing the crowd that is either separate or parallel to the knowledge of the instrument?
What's not to agree with? The greatest piper in the world might put on a poorly organised show. No point in any of us combining the two ideas of musicianship and showmanship into one. A bad showman many be a completely competent piper. A mediocre piper may have complete audience understanding, and timing of his performance, and be very marginal as a piper musically. A poor piper falls flat on all accounts, in my book.

So the ideal, then is having tuning and blowing and expression down, and learning how to be effective at public performance. But it would be hard to be a great showman who was a rotten piper.

I have seen many a great piper put on great solo shows, and top notch grade I bands perform well with great tuning. And I have seen many unmusical pipers who talked the talk, chatted up the audience, got some laughs, dressed to the nines, and made an abomination of desolation out of the actual music (apologies to the Book of Dani'el).

No "either/or" proposition here! Good musicianship is obviously a major part of performance competence. Hard to be a great musical showman and play poorly.

Last edited by David; 10-22-2012 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:55 PM   #36
bob864
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Default Re: What is competence?

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Can one play musically if one cannot execute the tune? I don't think so.

I remember reading here about someone who went to a workshop where the instructor played STB with only a few g-gracenotes. Sometimes simple is good.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:29 PM   #37
Bish
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Default Re: What is competence?

Within the past fifty years there was a Cadet pipe band that used NO grace notes. A mature lady who had been in it came to a chanter practice of my (then) band, and was astounded to discover that there was such a thing as grace-noted embellishments. She played STB without grace notes at all! Take that!

Was she musical? I assume she was. Was she piping? No.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:59 PM   #38
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Default Re: What is competence?

Competency, unlike "beauty" or "awesomeness" is usually relative to a task or a standard at hand, so it would depend on the task, and the expectations.
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