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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 10-24-2018, 03:58 PM   #1
mmatisoff
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Default Slurring or Tonguing

When I practice on the practice chanter, should I be slurring the notes or tonguing them, or both? I read that the smallpipes are legato instruments. Does that mean it is not possible to tongue the notes on smallpipes? Thanks
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:06 PM   #2
Aaron Shaw
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Default Re: Slurring or Tonguing

I think an anteater might have a long and slender enough tongue to snake down the blowpipe and through the bag to the chanter reed!


Seriously though, no tonguing is possible on most types of bagpipe as we are not in contact with the reed and have no way to shut off the air to it. Some pipes do have the facility to stop the chanter by covering all the holes and stopping the bottom of the chanter. I have seen some small pipes that will stop if you play the bottom note and stop the chanter on your leg but most have holes below your bottom finger and won't do that.
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:45 PM   #3
Kevin
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Default Re: Slurring or Tonguing

If you cant stop your chanter, you can sometimes simulate the effect by playing the drone note on the chanter. This has the effect of making the note sort of disappear in the drones. But other than that, no, you cant stop the chanter from sounding so no point in practicing that on your practice chanter. Technically all notes are kind of slurred from the previous note but you use grace notes to separate and emphasize some of them.

Hope this helps,
Kevin
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:58 PM   #4
Steve Bliven
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Default Re: Slurring or Tonguing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmatisoff View Post
I read that the smallpipes are legato instruments. Does that mean it is not possible to tongue the notes on smallpipes?
Yes. Your mouth doesn't touch the chanter on bagpipes so you don't have the option of stopping the airflow orally. Most articulation is done with finger movements rather than breath control (as you would find on a whistle or flute).


Best wishes.


Steve
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:38 PM   #5
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Slurring or Tonguing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmatisoff View Post
When I practice on the practice chanter, should I be slurring the notes or tonguing them, or both? I read that the smallpipes are legato instruments. Does that mean it is not possible to tongue the notes on smallpipes? Thanks



Tonguing is possible on the practice chanter, but it's certainly not idiomatic to the style, so why bother? bagpipes ( other than Northumbrian smallpipes or any other closed-chanter bagpipes ) are totally legato- which is one reason for the various doublings and other ornaments- no breath articuation, no volume accenting.
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