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

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Old 03-22-2016, 09:40 PM   #1
Greg the Piper
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Default First Competition

Dear Friends,
I'm considering entering a competition this summer, in Grade 5, the practice chanter division. I'd like to play The Carles Wi' The Breeks" from the green book, but are the green book tunes overplayed, and would one of them be welcome at a competition? (just wondering...I'd probably go with it no matter what)
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:12 AM   #2
John McCain
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Default Re: First Competition

In my limited experience, I don't think green book tunes are overplayed. Just make sure Carles meets the requirements of the competition.

Best of fortune to you. Preparing and playing competitions are great ways to improve many aspects of piping.
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Last edited by Andrew Lenz; 03-23-2016 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary block quote of entire first post.
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:36 AM   #3
bob864
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Default Re: First Competition

Around here there aren't enough people in practice chanter contests for any tune to be overplayed. Just play well and don't worry about it.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:15 AM   #4
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: First Competition

I keep hearing this "overplayed" argument. I'm not convinced it comes from judges. Were I a judge, I'd love to hear the same tune played well. I do it on my iPod all the time. Wait...is that Journey? Better than a collection of tunes not played well. And shoot, probably makes comparing performances easier too.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:20 AM   #5
CalumII
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Default Re: First Competition

Only in a very few contests do the judges arrive expecting to hear a great piece of art. The main purpose of a competition is to measure yourself against your peers in a reasonably objective fashion. So no, play something the judge knows, and play it well.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:26 AM   #6
DanC
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Default Re: First Competition

I don't think it's a very common tune, and most of what I hear at the pc level is Mairis wedding, or maybe barren rocks (I think I played wings). The idea for pc level is for raw beginners to hear what they're instructors have been telling them, in a different voice!
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:14 AM   #7
Jfarmer
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Default Re: First Competition

I agree with DanC. I've played a couple of Gr5 PC competitions. The point was not to beat others (that comes at Gr4). The main benefit is that it gave me a target for which to practice, and feedback from someone other than my instructor.

Most times, you will hear an echo of your instructor, but occasionally you hear something new.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:08 AM   #8
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: First Competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
I keep hearing this "overplayed" argument. I'm not convinced it comes from judges. Were I a judge, I'd love to hear the same tune played well.
Well, I had a contrary experience back in Grade 4. I was competing in Slow March and I walked up to the judge who said to me (in what I took to be a sarcastic manner), "What tune? Wait, let me guess. 'Mist Covered Mountains'." It seems my instructor was teaching the same slow air to all of his students and they were all competing with the same tune . . . the judge was not thrilled at the redundancy.

Grade 5 gets lower expectations, of course. And a top-flight performance certainly trumps tune selection originality. To do well in competition, always play the tune you know the best.

Oh, since you are new to competition, Greg, this might be helpful. You can read about my stumbles:
http://www.bagpipejourney.com/journal/

Andrew
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:36 AM   #9
Dan Bell
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Default Re: First Competition

Don't worry about what anyone else is playing. Play the tune because you like it and play it well. Once you're an established competitor, you can worry about the tactics of the game. For now, just focus on playing your best and enjoying the music.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:22 PM   #10
Potsdam
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Default Re: First Competition

Make sure to double check the tune requirements.
Carles wi the breeks is a slow march.
Many of the competition requirements I've seen for practice chanter ask for a quick march.

If only the word 'march' is used in the write up of the contest, double check with the society/contest organizer to make sure that your tune fits the requirements.

Better safe than sorry as they say.

Cheers
Ross
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