Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Adult Pipers
Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Adult Pipers Related to Adult piping or pipers, this is the place.

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-08-2014, 10:26 AM   #21
Neil Clark
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

I'm guessing Bish. But you'd need to ask them... at a rough guess, I'd say most if not all started under 16. In fact I'd even stick my neck out and say if you cout the number of gold medallists, thats pretty much the number who started as a kid.

Bob... with regards to your pal who became a pro competitor, good on him. But being a professional isnt the same as being a Gold winner. I'm a professional competitor. (EUSPBA wise) Over here in the UK, its even more complicated. And to clarify, I mean Gold at Inverness or Oban.

Anyway, that wasnt the point of the thread. Sorry to have thrown my usual tangent in
  Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 02-08-2014, 01:34 PM   #22
bob864
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 9,381
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Clark View Post

Bob... with regards to your pal who became a pro competitor, good on him. But being a professional isnt the same as being a Gold winner.
I didn't mean to imply it was

I just find it inspiring to know that it's not impossible for someone who starts as an adult to achieve a very high standard of playing, even if the ultimate achievements are probably out of reach. There seem to be very few adult beginners who get even to the EUSPBA grade 1 level.

In that regard, piping is a lot more approachable than violin. In similar forums for people learning violin no one can give examples of adult beginners who make a similar level of progress.

I think the answer to Bish's question is that 100% of Gold Medal winners started as children, but I suspect he was asking a rhetorical. It would be really interesting if someone could document a Gold Medal winner who started even as late as 18.
__________________
bob864 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2014, 02:44 PM   #23
Neil Clark
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Got all that Bob, thanks
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2014, 04:08 PM   #24
Steve Anderson
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: TN, USA
Posts: 2,707
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob864 View Post

In that regard, piping is a lot more approachable than violin. In similar forums for people learning violin no one can give examples of adult beginners who make a similar level of progress.
Perhaps we would be able to find an example of this if the competitive violin circuit were as large as the one for bagpipes.... or if violins were featured in parade bands.

I think it is like learning a language. Easy as pie if one is able to apply the language on a daily basis but quite difficult if it is rote memorization with no opportunity to interact with native speakers.
Steve Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2014, 10:34 PM   #25
Bish
Forum Gold Medal
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Dorset; England
Posts: 600
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Clark View Post
In fact I'd even stick my neck out and say if you cout the number of gold medallists, thats pretty much the number who started as a kid.
Neil, my question was a little mischievous, as I am sure you saw. I reckon there are a handful of men who have won gold. My point is that very few childhood learners win the top prizes, and if the number is that small, then the reality for most players regardless of starting age is that they will never come within sight of a gold, making the observation that no adult learners have won gold a red herring.
__________________
Noble and manly music invigorates the spirit, strengthens the wavering man, and incites him to great and worthy deeds. Homer.
Bish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 07:00 AM   #26
bob864
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 9,381
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Anderson View Post
Perhaps we would be able to find an example of this if the competitive violin circuit were as large as the one for bagpipes.... or if violins were featured in parade bands.
There are many opportunities for violin players though. There are all levels of orchestras and chamber music groups. But there don't seem to be any adult beginners who manage to get into even the least of these groups (perhaps the equivalent of a poor parade only band.

I think there are a number of reasons for this, including:

  • The violin is more awkward to play. I think young people's bodies actually change to adapt to the instrument.
  • Violin repertoire encompasses a wider variety of styles.
  • Violin playing requires a lot more theory.
  • Orchestral concerts involve a ton of music.
  • It is difficult to gain ensemble experience with violin, because most violinists learn as children -- there are few adult beginner ensembles for people to learn how to play in groups.
  • People pay violinists. Even for a small regional orchestra the violinists get paid for not only the concert, but for each rehearsal. There is less opportunity for local violinists to play in a lesser orchestra because people will pay to bring in violinists from further away to get a better sound. Bad violin sounds just as bad as bad bagpipes.
__________________
bob864 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 10:25 AM   #27
CalumII
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: London Town
Posts: 5,553
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

If anything it sounds worse, as my wife will testify.

Adults do play violin to a high standard, but it is rare. The learning curve on violin is very, very shallow and you never really make "breakthrough" improvements that make you feel like you've achieved something. I suspect the drop-out rate for adult violinists is really high - I know I've stopped playing it sometimes for months at a time and it has taken a real effort to go back to it.
CalumII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 11:06 AM   #28
bob864
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 9,381
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
I suspect the drop-out rate for adult violinists is really high - I know I've stopped playing it sometimes for months at a time and it has taken a real effort to go back to it.
I got as far as being able to play reels and jigs on violin. But then my wife broke my instrument and that gave me an excuse to stop permanently

Before this year I think every adult who started taking lessons from my wife stopped taking within two years (mostly within one). Last year though she started giving lessons to two adult beginners, both of whom were already taking lessons from a fiddle teacher. One of them in particular seems dedicated.

Something that I find interesting about my wife's playing is that it takes her days (even weeks) of daily work to get her tone back after she stops playing for a time. I think that's partly because the instrument itself needs to "warm up" but unlike our reeds that come back to life in a day or two, the violin seems to take a week or two to really open up. I heard the guy who owns Potter's Violins explain that violins "learn" good tone over time (from being played by good players).
__________________
bob864 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 06:45 PM   #29
SquintingPatrick
Forum Clasp
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 851
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

I played the violin too. Started as a child, but I've given up on it so I can concentrate on another instrument. I think to play any instrument at the highest level is going to take a supreme effort. However, I do feel that it is harder to play the violin at a high standard, than to do so with some other instrument.

About adult learner being able to play the hard tunes, I wonder if people play what their peers play, at the standard expected of them. If you surround yourself with good pipers, then you are more likely to play at a higher standard. Because it is the normal thing to play at that standard, and you don't want to be the weakest link. I am thinking of a few pipers, adult learners, who played together in a grade 5 band, playing the parade repertoire, and quite well. One day one of them wanted to join the grade 3 band of which the grade 5 band was the feeder. They all went together. Suddenly all of them can play that first birl in Lochanside (that was a requirement) and now all of them are playing the 4 parted competition MSR set at practice with the grade 3 band.

It's whether you have the motivation to push yourself. Not everyone is golden, and there is nothing wrong with parade tunes, but I think all of us have the potential to clear a very high bar if we ever push ourselves to make that leap.
SquintingPatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2014, 10:31 PM   #30
David
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Haifa, ISRAEL
Posts: 4,394
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

This topic is, to an extent, frustrating for me. The corpus of tunes for the Highland pipes is vast. There are many simple jigs and reels and hornpipes. A very open tune without any complex phrases or technique can still be very melodic or delightfully rhythmic, despite being easier.

I never understand how even adult pipers can go years without having been given appropriate jigs, reels, hornpipes, strathspeys, and given guidance about building up both dexterity and speed in a clean manner. In that way, many, maybe not all, but many can indeed build-up to some very solid big tunes. Yes, many will have limitations in both technique and speed. But many jigs and reels don't need ripping speed if they are played with great expression--cleanness enhances the positive effect. Can't play them unmusically slow, indeed, but no need for mach 6 either. I have heard Itchy Fingers, Clumsy Lover, etc. played faster by eager adult learners than by pipers who can handle high speed cleanly.

I question how many teachers are setting-up the better adult learners with clear instruction in the various genre of tunes, and beginning with the simpler ones and slowling moving forward. I once heard a street band that turned semi-competitive in grade IV, at Santa Rosa, USA, maybe 35-38 years ago, play The High Level amazingly well. A little slow, but still musical. They had to leave out a few of the old-timers who couldn't hack it, but an experienced new p/m pushed and got results. He put everyone back to rudiments, and insisted on consistent, directed home practicing. Somehow he inspired, and proved a musical point. They also did Glasgow Police Pipers Jig, which many slash and burn at that level, but few play well.

The p/m pushed, got maybe 60-70% inspired, and seriously improved the playing ability and sound of a band almost completely made of adult learners.

So often bad rudiments and inconsistent practice is the problem, the reason why the fuller, longer jigs, reels, HPs, don't every go well.

Big strathspeys are a whole level above, and an adult player will have to seriously attack his strathspey rudiments, and work with a solid strathspey player. I also advise anyone wanting to conquer strathspeys to observe good Highland dancers as they learn to play the bigger tunes.

Hard, directed practice with a good teacher, and a lot of repetition, can bring up the more motivated adult learners for sure. Sadly, not all, but that's true for many things picked up late in life.

Last edited by David; 02-10-2014 at 10:35 PM.
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:39 PM.