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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 08-16-2020, 04:01 PM   #21
Green Piper
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

I have found the critiques posted on my playing to be extremely useful.

Maybe I have just got to the point in my learning in which I can accept experienced pipersí viewpoints on my playing without taking offense.

I will post more tunes in the near -future.

Charlie
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Old 08-16-2020, 04:11 PM   #22
ralph
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

I didnít post anything, just read through the feedback of others work. Some may find it helpful, my perspective was that I wouldnít personally. One thing is I think it could be counter productive for someone who is receiving instruction as it potentially muddle things if you got feedback that was in opposition to what your instructor was telling. Second, i feel people put too much value on what others think of our playing. I feel it takes away from creativity in playing, and it seems it has the potential to have people give up because they arenít getting joy from their playing because they are hyper focused on playing things to an often unattainable standard. Anyway I am rather biased about some of this, mainly these are my thoughts for me alone, donít think for a second anyone else needs to subscribe to them.
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Old 08-16-2020, 05:22 PM   #23
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph View Post
I feel it takes away from creativity in playing

I think I would take issue with this specific point. There is no such thing as pure creativity operating in a directionless space where any and all experiments however constituted must be considered equal, and artists who have produced work in this line are not especially notable for producing, as Tom Lehrer put it, "a tune the people could hum". Critical (in the old fashioned sense) feedback is not about turning the recipient into an automaton, it's about increasing the understanding of our shared culture in order that creativity that is meaningful to the audience can take place.
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Old 08-16-2020, 07:15 PM   #24
Margaret
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

Well said Calum. Is your Facebook page only for pipers?
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:57 PM   #25
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

If I were still competing and happened to be doing so without the benefit of regular instruction, I might post a video here for input.

As it is, I have plenty of shortcomings that I am aware of and need to work on. I supposed that's a big part of the battle. Simply knowing where the problems lie. If one thinks one's playing is great, then there shouldn't be much hesitation posting a video of oneself . . . just know there's a possibility that the bubble may be burst!

"You are crushing your D-throw"
"Your tenors are out of tune"
"You aren't holding that C in the second bar long enough"
"Your double-Es are too open"
"Your high-A is wavering"

But for perfectionists like me, all that is helpful. My goal is to be as good as possible so that on a bad day, it'll still sound good.

Andrew
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:07 PM   #26
Jim McGillivray
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Dally View Post
This is in the DNA of piping competitions. You start with a maximum score and points are taken away as you play, often for ambiguous or subjective reasons. You are penalized for faults. Most sports are based on an accumulation of points, rather than subtraction. Piping competitions have a negative framing.

It's good to remember that competitions also exist to bestow prestige on the judges and organizers. Many times they actually deserve it. Their comments are often written or not written with their own prestige in mind, and have little to do with you.

I have to say that the above two statements -- if I'm reading them right -- are quite foreign to me and, I would suggest, to many or most of my colleagues. I'm often asked after a contest how I decide on first place, and my reply is usually, "the performance I like the most." It's not "the guy with the fewest things wrong." That's not being glib; that's how I do it. I receive every competitor hoping to be entertained. These days I find I can adjudicate contests where the top half dozen didn't have anything "wrong" and my decision is based almost purely on who moved me.

Re comments: for a lot of judges, myself included, comments are written to remind us about the performances we heard when it comes time to make up a list. As such, they can be very useful to competitors. I always try to include one or two summary comments suggesting to a player what might be most important in improving themselves as pipers.

For what it's worth, most competitions have done away with points on scoresheets, looking for placings only.


Cheers,
Jim
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:07 AM   #27
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

Well said Jim, I agree and try to follow all of what you outlined, as well as keeping reminding myself many times during a competition that my job is principally to determine who played the best, 2nd best and so on.
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:09 AM   #28
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

Very cool Calum. Thanks for hosting this group.

Hoping it goes well. I maintain that it's exceedingly important for something like this on two sides:

1 - People need to learn how to offer objective and helpful feedback/criticism.

2 - People need to learn how to RECEIVE objective and helpful feedback/criticism.


Both of these are equally essential, and yet, too often I run across folks who just don't seem to have grasped one or either of these concepts.

I've started working with some students recently, and right from the get-go, I try to instill these principles. Just because I'm offering suggestions on how/what to fix, it doesn't mean that the performance was terrible. We're not discussing what's "wrong" .. we're discussing "progress."

And conversely, just because one person finds no fault with a performance doesn't mean that another person won't have caught something. Embrace other points of view .. consider them, and decide what you want to do with them.

Check both your ego and your self-doubts at the door, as neither of these are conducive toward improving one's abilities.

Cheers all,
~Nate
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Old 08-18-2020, 10:00 AM   #29
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
...
1 - People need to learn how to offer objective and helpful feedback/criticism.

2 - People need to learn how to RECEIVE objective and helpful feedback/criticism.


Both of these are equally essential, and yet, too often I run across folks who just don't seem to have grasped one or either of these concepts...

Check both your ego and your self-doubts at the door, as neither of these are conducive toward improving one's abilities.

Cheers all,
~Nate
On a related way to 'improve', even if one chooses not to compete:

I often suggest that band members--whether pipers or drummers (usually during attendance at various games)--watch other bands and specific corps and/or musicians to pick up on a number of things beyond just playing skill (e.g., bearing, expression). For instance, I suggest that our drummers--whether sides, tenors or bass--watch other band's drum corps and how they look, position, perform, sound, etc. Related to your point of lack of grasping some concepts, I become frustrated when I'm faced with their apathy, and thus total lack of interest, which also communicates no interest in improving.
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:34 AM   #30
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Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McGillivray View Post
I'm often asked after a contest how I decide on first place, and my reply is usually, "the performance I like the most." It's not "the guy with the fewest things wrong."
Thanks for that insight, it's very nice to hear that method, which I think would be hard for anybody to find fault with.

I will say that in over 40 years I've only once asked a judge why he placed competitors the way he did.

Back around 1980 Evan MacRae was judging open Piobaireachd at a very small contest, there were only two guys in that grade.

One guy's playing was lovely and musical. The other guy produced the most unmusical square mechanical metronome-like rendering imaginable.

To us in the "peanut gallery" it was clear who gave the most pleasing performance, but MacRae gave the prize to the mechanistic player. When I asked MacRae why he gave the prize to the piper he did, he said "I had to. He played it exactly the way it is in the book."
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