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Competing Pipers Questions, issues, or discussions specifically related to Piping and Pipers competition.

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Old 12-04-2016, 03:39 PM   #1
Pppiper
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Default "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

Hi all,

It's a long story (one I'm not going to get into), but I'm finally coming back from a very long hiatus in competition. I'll be entering where I left off, which would be Grade 3, and hopefully Grade 2 not too long after. I've spent the last many years playing more folk music and the like, so I'm somewhat less-versed in the "competition style" than most others would be.

So I'm looking for some input from folks as to acceptable tunes for both Grade 3 and Grade 2 ... and some hints/tips on evaluating whether a tune would be deemed acceptable for a particular level.

Here are the tunes I currently play, or are working on:

6/8 March:
-Cameron Macfadyen (not sure of the setting)

2/4 March:
-Crags of Stirling (Ross, B2)
-Piper Major Donald Maclean (D Macloed, Bk2)
-Jimmy Young (Edcath, Bk2)
-Colonel Neil Ramsey (W Livingstone, Bk 1)

Strathspey:
-91st at Modder River (M Grey, Bk5)
-Susan Macleod (D Macleod, Bk 4)
-Lady Louden (http://www.patrickmclaurin.com/sheet...ladylouden.pdf)

Reel:
-Lexy McAskill (SG 2)
-Lucy Cassidy (Minard Castle Bk)
-John Morrison of Assynt (SG 3, parts 1-4)

Jig:
-Donald Maclean (Edcath, Bk 2)
-Alex MacDonald (Edcath, Bk 2)

Hornpipe:
-Fulton's Eyes (Gandy, Bk 1)
-Magnus's Memory (Gandy, Bk 2)

Piobaireachd:
-MacIntosh's Banner (pipetunes.ca)
-MacGregor's Salute (pipetunes.ca)


My questions on the above are mainly three-fold"

1) Would any of the above be considered "too simple" in order to represent a player well in either grade 3 or 2?

2) What are people's thoughts/experience with the playing of Jigs/Hornpipes/Reels in a more rounded fashion for competition? Is it ever acceptable, or is it essentially considered a faux pas across the board?

3) Would any of the above tunes by considered "over-played" or "boring?" Don't laugh, but I consider the judge to be nothing more than a very-informed audience member. Therefore, I'm still (more than anything else) looking to entertain, so unwittingly playing an "Oh God, not THAT tune, AGAIN" sort of tune is something I'd much rather not do, if I can manage.


Thanks for any and all input (but please, don't simply say "get an instructor." I will do so, and not before long; but even when I do, I'm curious of the opinions of others).

Thank you!
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Old 12-04-2016, 03:59 PM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

To put a perspective to answers from the forum it might be good to know what was your competitive ranking in the last grade you played before your hiatus...how long ago?

Where you tearing up the boards regularly at each event..taking home the gold ..or, at least,consistently in the winners circle?
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:10 PM   #3
Pppiper
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Default Re: "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

Hi el gaitero:

Long hiatus .. nearly 20 years. I was new to Grade 3 at the time, and I was placing (3rd or 4th maybe, I honestly don't remember).

Basically, I had a bad experience in my youth, and never competed again; but I kept playing. So I daresay, my situation is a little unique. I don't want to elaborate much more, but I think that sums it up. Again, just looking for some insight on style, and appropriateness of tune selection.

Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:31 PM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

[QUOTE=Pppiper;1308255]Hi el gaitero:

Long hiatus .. nearly 20 years. I was new to Grade 3 at the time, and I was placing (3rd or 4th maybe,

/QUOTE]

I think with very competent instruction,patience and perseverance you can meet your objective...even maybe achieve a few hits during the next season. Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
I think with very competent instruction,patience and perseverance you can meet your objective...even maybe achieve a few hits during the next season. Good luck.
Thanks much, "one step at a time" as they say. Cheers.
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:40 PM   #6
John McCain
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Default Re: "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

In my opinion, they're all fine for G2/3 if you play them well. I'd have the music for the Gandy hornpipes for the judge along with any less known settings. Welcome back!
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:21 PM   #7
caveal
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Default Re: "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

Is Lucy Cassidy not a Hornpipe?

I do consider Susan Macleod far too over played, even though it's a nice tune.
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Old 12-05-2016, 04:17 AM   #8
CalumII
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Default Re: "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

Nothing stands out to me as being wildly unsuitable, though I don't know the hornpipes. 91st as a strathspey will get you some serious side-eye from less open-minded judges, of which there are too many.

As for round playing - well, it worked all right for Iain Morrison. See above comments about open-minded judges, though. As with all things in competition, if you depart from the straight and narrow path you have no room to be anything less than perfect.

Some will argue Susan McLeod is overplayed, but frankly there's a reason for it - it's a good tune. And they can pick something else if they don't want to hear it.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

mccain:
Thank you, your input and comments are most appreciated.

----

caveal:
Lucy Cassidy IS a hornpipe, that was an error in my original posting, sorry. That should have been in the hornpipe area.

Thanks for your thoughts on Susan Macleod, I had a feeling. Its a great tune, but there are sooooo many out there, I'd prefer to work hard at honing something that'll be a "pleasant surprise."

----

calumII:
Thank you for the input, this is the sort of thing I've been most curious about, and is why I'm seeking collective thoughts and opinions.

I had a feeling on Susan Macleod, and I wondered about 91st as a strathspey, I was shocked when I ran across the setting.

I'm certainly looking to pursue the "straight and narrow," at least for now. But since I haven't done so for twenty years, I have a hard time knowing what's straight vs. crooked, so again, all of this input is very helpful.

Thank you to all.
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:34 AM   #10
bob864
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Default Re: "Acceptable" competition tunes for BOTH Grade 2 & 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
Hi el gaitero:

Long hiatus .. nearly 20 years. I was new to Grade 3 at the time, and I was placing (3rd or 4th maybe, I honestly don't remember).
The informed consensus is that in 20 years piping has improved considerably -- but that is the nature of evolutionary systems ;-)

I'm in the process of getting ready for the upcoming season in G4. I've won in G4, but I'm still really inconsistent. Hopefully I'll improve my consistency and move up to g3.

It is my understanding that g3 is still a place to play relatively simple music, but to play it really well, and that g2 is much more like g1. Unless your playing is at g2 level, you probably won't do really well playing more difficult material in g3.

Also, some judges might not want to hear you playing the first four parts of a tune composed with more parts -- you won't have a musical finish.
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