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Old 10-15-2020, 06:07 PM   #1
Angus MacBagpipe
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Default Holding PC aloft?

Okay, I've been playing the pipes off and on for the past ten years or so, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never learned how to play the practice chanter without resting it on a table. I have tried to play holding the PC aloft, but I don't seem able to keep the thing steady (I bang on the holes a bit aggressively, perhaps) without biting on the mouthpiece. I ask, because there are some times during band practice when we are asked to play a tune on the PC, say, while marching...and I've found it a bit impractical to drag a table alongside me. The PM looks at me funny.

Any suggestions for holding technique? Has anyone else had this problem, and if so, how did you work past it...if, in fact, you were able to?

Many thanks.
Bill
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:30 PM   #2
EquusRacer
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Default Re: Holding PC Aloft?

No, I've not had that problem. Do you play a standard size or a long PC? I play a standard size, so perhaps that's easier. I can't think of any tips, though I do hold the PC outward more (i.e., more horizontal than when it's resting on a table) when I'm standing.
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:58 PM   #3
Raibeart
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Default Re: Holding PC Aloft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus MacBagpipe View Post
Okay, I've been playing the pipes off and on for the past ten years or so, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never learned how to play the practice chanter without resting it on a table. I have tried to play holding the PC aloft, but I don't seem able to keep the thing steady (I bang on the holes a bit aggressively, perhaps) without biting on the mouthpiece. I ask, because there are some times during band practice when we are asked to play a tune on the PC, say, while marching...and I've found it a bit impractical to drag a table alongside me. The PM looks at me funny.

Any suggestions for holding technique? Has anyone else had this problem, and if so, how did you work past it...if, in fact, you were able to?

Many thanks.
Bill

Have a look at this post I put in the DIY subforum...


http://forums.bobdunsire.com/forums/...33&postcount=2
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:08 PM   #4
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Holding PC aloft?

It's actually far better to play a PC while it's supported in some fashion. There are fingering changes where a practice chanter should actually drop or slip if done correctly—unless holding a PC out near horizontal. I typically play with my PC resting on a table or table and books, or something.

At one time—probably 20 years ago—I rigged up a neck lanyard with a temporary mount which would hold my PC up to my mouth so I could walk around and still do proper fingering.

All that said, I have played a PC unsupported. I just try to avoid it. It can lead to bad habits, in my humble opinion.

Andrew
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Old 10-15-2020, 09:54 PM   #5
Pip01
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Default Re: Holding PC aloft?





Hmm.... First Thoughts...

You might give The Reed Wrangler a try.

It will allow the mouth a much easier grip...
and also move the pc a bit down and away...


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Old 10-15-2020, 10:25 PM   #6
Angus MacBagpipe
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Default Re: Holding PC aloft?

Actually, Pip01, I already have a Reed Wrangler installed. I had thought that device was intended to protect one's teeth if one happened to occasionally chomp down on the mouthpiece. But...are you suggesting that keeping a firm grip on the chanter intentionally with one's teeth (assuming a relatively soft material to bite on) is okay?
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Old 10-16-2020, 01:31 AM   #7
hooks
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Default Re: Holding PC aloft?

For once I agree with what Andrew said
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Old 10-16-2020, 07:06 AM   #8
CalumII
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Default Re: Holding PC aloft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus MacBagpipe View Post
I don't seem able to keep the thing steady

I suspect the root of your problem is that relaxation is required. If your fingers are thumping around it's going to make stuff unstable. Try to imagine the chanter is made out of a thing layer of eggshell.



It will take a little bit of practice - just try it daily for a couple of minutes for a while. Don't worry about not being able to do it, as long as you try regularly your subconscious will go to work on the problem.
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Old 10-16-2020, 10:23 AM   #9
Pip01
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Default Re: Holding PC aloft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus MacBagpipe


. But...are you suggesting that keeping a firm grip on the chanter intentionally with one's teeth (assuming a relatively soft material to bite on) is okay?




Greetings... Angus... and to All,

A "firm grip"... yes... a hard grip... no... when
employing The Reed Wrangler... on the pc.

For me... as I have sometimes done it... it simply
delivers one more... point of stability... and allows
me... further... relaxation of my fingers. :)

Most usually... my pc is resting upon the table...
though sometimes... it is off the table... and my
forearms are resting... on the table... instead... :)

But... I have found... that being able to walk...
or march about... while playing my pc... is quite
useful... and especially for co-ordinating (love that
old hyphen :) ... the timing... of some tricksome
tune... to which we must march... :)

All in All... what ever best serves the learner...
and... of what ever grade or standing... is what
always garners... and sustains... my support... :)

Wishing for All... Further Accomplishments...

Pip01


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Last edited by Pip01; 10-16-2020 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 10-16-2020, 02:36 PM   #10
EquusRacer
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Default Re: Holding PC aloft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip01 View Post
But... I have found... that being able to walk...
or march about... while playing my pc... is quite
useful... and especially for co-ordinating (love that
old hyphen ... the timing... of some tricksome
tune... to which we must march...

All in All... what ever best serves the learner...
and... of what ever grade or standing... is what
always garners... and sustains... my support...
I agree. During chanter and pads practice, particularly on medleys or similar, the drummers would want me standing to see my feet for tempo and cues on the breaks. As I mentioned before, as did Andrew, I found that I was holding the PC out more horizontally. On reflection, it seems that I remember pro clarinetists holding their instrument similarly.
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