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Old 07-29-2008, 01:04 PM   #1
bugz
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Default Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

I got the CoP yellow Piobaireachd tutor a while back, and I was listening again to the the audio CD today, and there was a short comment in about lesson 3, made almost in passing, that I had originally missed. The CD audio says that when playing a high A in piobaireachd, the F finger is held down, rather than the E finger, as I originally learned.

Is this true?



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Old 07-29-2008, 01:24 PM   #2
Heatherbelle
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

Others will reply more authoritatively, but someone told me recently that that was an old custom, now out of fashion, but still adhered to by a few people. I've seen one person play that style recently, but otherwise not.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:46 PM   #3
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

I play all my High A notes this way (F down), as does PM Terry Lee (SFU). It's definitely less common though. F finger down is the traditional Piobaireachd High A fingering. It was/is also used by some pipers depending on the high hand requirements of a non-piobaireachd tune. Jimmy McColl plays both fingerings in light music, for instance . . . which one depends on which works better for getting the notes cleanly with ease. The F finger down is also common on piobaireachd High G as well.

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Old 07-29-2008, 02:48 PM   #4
Piperwalton
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

I've read on the internet that the F finger should be down on both the high G and high A, but I haven't actually seen anyone do it on the High A. If I'm not mistaken, though, High G should always be played like that (minus high G gracenotes, of course).
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:54 PM   #5
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

Playing a High G always with the F finger down is unusual. I'm not aware of any piper who always plays High G that way, other than for piobaireachd.

There's some discussion with photos of bagpipe fingering here:
www.bagpipejourney.com/articles/finger_positions.shtml

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Old 07-29-2008, 04:55 PM   #6
John MacDonald
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

In Ross's collection of pipe music from 1885; reprinted 1976 there is a fingerwork chart which shows that HI G and HI A are both played with the F Finger down. the same fingerwork chart is shown in the Bagpipe Works of Donald MacPhee which was first published in 1876and although I cant put my hands on it at the moment I also believe the JR glen books of the same era also this fingering method which also included the accursed open C's which I hate with a passion, having had to convert to a closed C.

I have only ever seen x2 players exhibit this style of fingerork. One came from Irish piping roots and another from Colonial piping roots.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:34 PM   #7
Jim Skinner
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

So the story regarding Terry Lee is, as we got it from Jack Lee a couple of weeks ago at his summer school in Vernon, BC (Silver Star Mountain actually) when Jack had just started piping and Terry was still dancing, he asked Jack to show him the scale. Jack showed him the high A with the F finger on the chanter. He said he was about 8 at the time and had just started so it was an honest mistake. Unfortunately Terry never recovered. Bottom line...Jack's fault. At least that is how I remember the anecdote.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:47 PM   #8
Iain Sherwood
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

I'm of the Jimmy McColl school - used always in piob. and as necessary in light music. It's especially effective when going from high A to E taps as in The Hen and The Turkey by Fred Morrison.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:41 AM   #9
bugz
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

So using these fingerings in light music wouldn't be considered 'false fingering' by the judges, then?
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:44 AM   #10
Piperwalton
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

Andrew,

Sorry, that's what I meant. I was just talking about piobaireachd.

Bugz,

I don't know for sure, but I suspect that they WOULD be considered false by judges in light music.
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