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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Competing Pipers
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Competing Pipers Questions, issues, or discussions specifically related to Piping and Pipers competition.

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Old 01-03-2017, 02:39 AM   #1
Dakota Lewis
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Default Most difficult tunes?

I want to compete with the most difficult-to-play sets possible, but I have absolutely no idea what tunes are considered the most face-melting. What MSR and H/J tunes would you be most impressed to hear played well?

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Old 01-03-2017, 03:34 AM   #2
bob864
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Default Re: difficultists tunes?

For the reel I vote for the huge setting of Charlie's Welcome.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:28 AM   #3
el gaitero
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Default Re: difficultists tunes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Lewis View Post
I want to compete with the most difficult-to-play sets possible, ...
To help striate advice from forumites it would be good to know in what grade level you will compete with suggested tunes.

Last edited by Andrew Lenz; 01-05-2017 at 08:34 AM. Reason: Fixed messed up block quote tags.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:31 AM   #4
EquusRacer
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Default Re: difficultists tunes?

I agree with el gaitero. Yet I guess the burning question is why anyone would wish to compete with the most difficult tunes possible, rather than ones that would fit one's skill level, be appealing and would thus be presented in the best possible light. And speaking of skill level, I listen to many excellent and top players pleasing the ear with tunes at all levels. That impresses me more than someone wrestling with a difficult tune, simply for difficulty's sake!
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:40 AM   #5
teuchter46
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Default Re: difficultists tunes?

I would far rather hear a well played "simple tune" than a badly played "difficult tune". I suspect I'm not alone in that regard.


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Old 01-03-2017, 10:49 AM   #6
caveal
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Default Re: difficultists tunes?

Fiddler's Rally for the Jig
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:00 PM   #7
Scratcher
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Default Re: difficultists tunes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Lewis View Post
What MSR and H/J tunes would you be most impressed to hear played well?
You're really restricted to well known tunes here, as if you pick one of the meaningless jumbles of notes you hear some bands competing with, people won't know what its supposed to sound like.

Starter for ten -
Inveran's a great march but one few people can play at a decent pace and well.
Or how about Glen's version of Highland Wedding with the crunluaths in the fifth part? Hard to play cleanly and administer CPR to the judges at the same time.
Nothing springs to mind on strathspeys - I'll think on't.
On reels, it depends a lot on what does/doesn't suit your fingers. The New Paradigm is one I've seen many people struggle to play fast and cleanly. Would I be impressed if you played it brilliantly? Possibly - I'd also be thinking "sad git can't even pick a musical reel".
Same applies to the hornpipe Archie MacKenzie of Dumbarton.
The jig has to be Blue Lagoon - when Peter MacLeod Jr said it was the hardest bagpipe tune ever written, he knew what he was talking about.

Pimping your MSR/HJ is like pimping your car. Most people grow out of it.
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:02 AM   #8
CalumII
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Default Re: Most difficult tunes?

Mrs MacDonald of Dunach, Dornie Ferry, Lexie MacAskill. Play those three correctly and you'll be in a pretty select club
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:33 AM   #9
bob864
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Default Re: Most difficult tunes?

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Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
, Lexie MacAskill.
Why do you think that tune is difficult? To me it seems easier than any reel with tachums.
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:59 AM   #10
EquusRacer
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Default Re: Most difficult tunes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob864 View Post
Why do you think that tune is difficult? To me it seems easier than any reel with tachums.
I quite agree; Lexie/Lexy is one more easy to get one's hands around.

There are a number of sites, including RSPBA, that list difficulty level for many of the tunes. While I still don't understand a goal of playing the most difficult--especially if it is seemingly for that purpose only--I'd suggest checking those out.
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