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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 10-26-2020, 06:59 AM   #11
CalumII
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Default Re: Why are some better than others ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Piper View Post
People’s abilities to successfully play bagpipes also simply boil down to natural variation in humans.

This does seem a plausible argument; my only issue with it is I've never really had an issue as a teacher coming up with another explanation for someone's abilities that didn't involve their genetics. We all have the same basic neurological and physiological machinery, and we know that there isn't a musical organ or a part of the brain specially responsible for music; everything a musician does uses the same machinery we use to walk, talk, prepare dinner and sleep.



I could easily believe that genetics makes a marginal difference, and that that difference matters when you get to the stage at Eden Court theatre, but I just struggle to see the impact of "natural" abilities on developing players.


Coming back to my previous post, one difficulty every teacher will recognise is the "I just don't have the talent for this" excuse that many learners come up with. They believe it, even though I know it's not true. That certainly has more impact than any genetic inheritance does.
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:27 AM   #12
Green Piper
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Default Re: Why are some better than others ?

CallumII,

Environment has a huge impact too, sorry if my post seemed to underplay that.

Anyway, a specific example of genetics possibly impacting piping ability is the independence of movement of the little finger and ring finger.

A study, published in 2013 in the Journal of Hand Surgery suggested that the top-tier violinists have better independence of those fingers from each other. The authors even suggested that for violinists, this was a form of natural selection. In piping, think birls for example.

Charlie
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:07 PM   #13
Pip01
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Default Re: Why are some better than others ?





Greetings to All,

Ah... A Question... for the Ages... :)

We all wind up here... under the same auspices...
and what ever any may think... those auspices to
be... and in what ever shape... form... gender... and
hue... we may arrive... :)

And we are all... in The Same Old Leaky Boat!!...
and must... bumble about... and must discover...
and determine... Up from Down... Left from Right...
Light from Darkness...

And...seemingly... a Measure is given... and to each...
for This and That... and Here and There... so there
may be... Education... and Guidance... and Sharing...
betwixt and between us all... for the betterment... of
us all... and for the Progress... of the Whole...

Yet another Old Saw... with yet another set of "New
Teeth"... "I don't know... (he, she, they)... just came
that way from the factory." :)

And so... what ever stand or stripe... what ever the
arena... or activity... the discipline... or the dream...
it is in that heart-felt... the trying of it... "l'essayer"...
that so brings... the joy of the work... and sometimes...
even great... accomplishments!!... :)

So rejoice!!... and be grateful... for the places from
which you have started!!... and aim... for where you
wish to go... and... some... shall be different from others...
but as we are all "different"... one from another... this is
but as it should be... and... as a whole... we all progress... :)

Regards to All, and wishing for All... great Joy!!...
in your coming achievements!!

Pip01




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With what a brave carouse...

Last edited by Pip01; 10-26-2020 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:51 AM   #14
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Default Re: Why are some better than others ?

Did somebody say KFC?
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:00 AM   #15
Raibeart
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Default Re: Why are some better than others ?

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A study, published in 2013 in the Journal of Hand Surgery suggested that the top-tier violinists have better independence of those fingers from each other. The authors even suggested that for violinists, this was a form of natural selection. In piping, think birls for example.

Charlie

I would think a very large component of that independence is down to practicing it. And top-tier violinists would have thousands of hours of practice. As they say, "neurons that fire together wire together". In other words, if you practice a thing, you strengthen that thing. Go figure!
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: Why are some better than others ?

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I would think a very large component of that independence is down to practicing it. And top-tier violinists would have thousands of hours of practice. As they say, "neurons that fire together wire together". In other words, if you practice a thing, you strengthen that thing. Go figure!

Maybe a large component is down to practice, but at the top tiers, sometimes the little extras really count.

Either way, I firmly believe that genetics plays an important part in musical ability - otherwise there’d be no limits. Take a think about athletics, say the 100m dash. Athletes have broken past the 10 second limit, but how much faster can we really get until body structure and physiology result in a speed wall that we cannot cross, no matter the amount of practice.

Interestingly, the talk about finger independence reminds me of the RH exercise that I do regularly that simply involves physically reflexing each finger. I also play slow motion silent birls on the PC to stretch the distance and independence of my little and ring fingers. I can certainly notice the improvements in my full speed birls.

Charlie
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: Why are some better than others?

Natural ability. Practice is important, but insignificant without a great deal of natural ability. Some people can practice amply and efficiently and still be a mediocre player.

The top level players have the intuition to sense the rhythm, flow and musicality of what they're playing (and why they're playing it) and the muscle control to bring that intuition to fruition.
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:06 PM   #18
Raibeart
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Default Re: Why are some better than others ?

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Maybe a large component is down to practice, but at the top tiers, sometimes the little extras really count.

Either way, I firmly believe that genetics plays an important part in musical ability - otherwise there’d be no limits. Take a think about athletics, say the 100m dash. Athletes have broken past the 10 second limit, but how much faster can we really get until body structure and physiology result in a speed wall that we cannot cross, no matter the amount of practice.
Oh I'm not saying there's no genetic component! And obviously there are upper limits on everything. But my gut feeling is that practice gets someone most of the way there, and genetics may give that tiny little edge.

Quote:

Interestingly, the talk about finger independence reminds me of the RH exercise that I do regularly that simply involves physically reflexing each finger. I also play slow motion silent birls on the PC to stretch the distance and independence of my little and ring fingers. I can certainly notice the improvements in my full speed birls.

Charlie
You're making my point for me

Last edited by Raibeart; 10-28-2020 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 10-29-2020, 08:04 AM   #19
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Default Re: Why are some better than others ?

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Oh I'm not saying there's no genetic component! And obviously there are upper limits on everything. But my gut feeling is that practice gets someone most of the way there, and genetics may give that tiny little edge.

You're making my point for me


I think we only disagree on the extent of genetics over practice, or vice versa.

Charlie
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Old 10-29-2020, 11:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: Why are some better than others?

2 Things:

Access to knowledge.

Discipline to a practice.
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