Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums One of the largest message boards on the web ! 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 > General Discussion > Teacher's Lounge
Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Teacher's Lounge Pedagogy - the art or profession of teaching

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-16-2010, 04:49 AM   #1
Macswegan
Forum Clasp
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 824
Default Leaving out the gracenotes?

In another thread, someone asked about a hypothetical student who "just wants to play the pipes for their own entertainment . . . without learning all the embellishments."

If such a student came knocking at your door, what would you say?
__________________
"Totally lacking rhythm and musicality" since 1988!
Macswegan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 06:48 AM   #2
Heatherbelle
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
Posts: 3,805
Default Re: Leaving out the gracenotes?

I'd tell them to go to somebody else!
Heatherbelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 06:51 AM   #3
Curt
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,365
Default Re: Leaving out the gracenotes?

Play the first bar of StB with and without and it should be enough to let them listen to the music. I don't see a problem with not playing as many embellishments as in the Scot's Guards books, but if you play without, where is the music?
Curt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 08:39 AM   #4
Metrognome
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 44
Default Re: Leaving out the gracenotes?

Indeed, an example should show the student how important embellishments are. There are only 9 notes on the chanter, embellishments add more musical variety.

The real question here is, do they just not want to play the embellishments or are they having issues learning and executing them?

If it is the latter, I recommend reassuring them that it'll get easier with practice, then, depending on what stage they're on, have them slow down and practice the important grace notes with a metronome, landing each one on the beat as best they can up and down the scale. If they can already do that successfully, have them practice the embellishments to the metronome, slowly at first and doing each separate note on the beat.

I've found that having them practice certain parts separately is also helpful. For example, when teaching students to do a heavy D throw, if they're having troubles I ask them to practice a D grip to a C. Once they master this, it's only a finger lift away from the D to finish the throw. This method can be done with most doublings, even taorluaths.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I'm still wet behind the ears as far as piping goes, and while this has worked well for me I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions.
__________________
Been there, done tha. . . OH LOOK SHINY!
Metrognome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 08:49 AM   #5
Shawn Husk
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Niles, Ohio
Posts: 5,760
Default Re: Leaving out the gracenotes?

Embellishments are certainly a very important part of our piping but they do not MAKE the music.

Thus if I had a person who wanted to learn that way, I would of course take them on. I would also TRY very hard to show them that at least SOME embellishments are needed, like the G gracenote.

I would also emphasize proper phrasing and musicality to the n'th degree possible.

Also, some students are simply NOT able to get doublings and toarluaths up to speed EVER.....so yes, sometimes just playing G gracenotes is enough for them. They struggle with just playing a solid tone so why mess them up even further with complicated movements that their fingers can not handle and just make them sound even worse than they already do? I'm just being practical here. I don't like it! And it would not be my first choice but the fact is 90% of all people who ever take up the pipes won't get beyond a grade 4 level. So we have to be realistic about this.

Shawn
__________________
Get in the circle!

www.huskreeds.com
Shawn Husk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 09:40 AM   #6
John McCain
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Portland, Maine
Posts: 3,323
Default Re: Leaving out the gracenotes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macswegan View Post
[FONT=Arial
If such a student came knocking at your door, what would you say?
All the cool kids play the gracenotes.

Best, John
__________________
"What we play is life." - Louis Armstrong
John McCain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 10:07 AM   #7
Dave Gallagher
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: St.Ann Mo
Posts: 4,382
Default Re: Leaving out the gracenotes?

Just remember that when people ask him who his teacher was he is going to tell them that you taught him to play.
__________________
The Best Pipe Band in the World
When the foemen reel before them in the thunder of the fray,they shall shout your name in triumph at the "Dawning of the Day"
Dave Gallagher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
Bill Urquhart
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ketchikan, Alaska
Posts: 1,366
Default Re: Leaving out the gracenotes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCain View Post
All the cool kids play the gracenotes.

Best, John
lmao, good one
Bill Urquhart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2010, 07:05 AM   #9
gisahag
Forum Silver Medal
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southeast of northwest Englandshire
Posts: 328
Default Re: Leaving out the gracenotes?

I've had adult learners who've wanted to leave out embellishments, usually when I start trying to teach them doublings or D throws. Mostly it's cos they're scared of not being able to get the hang of complicated combinations of gracenotes, although some are just lazy. So I have a rather preachy preprepared speach. It goes like this.
"Bagpipes are a bloody awkward, difficult instrument to learn to play. The difference in effort required to learn to play them properly, as opposed to learning to play them badly, is minimal. So you might as well put in a little bit more work and learn to play them properly. There are enough hackers in this world and I'm not prepared to participate in the creation of another. If you aren't willing to put in the little bit more work required to do things properly then I'm affraid there's no point in coming here for lessons. If you are willing to learn properly then I have the patience to lead you though the process no matter how long it takes you"
It helps that it's said in good humour, and that the learners can hear some of our more enthusiastic band members warming up in the classroom next door, which shows them how pipes can sound when played properly.
Most of them knuckle down and try to learn to play the right way.
gisahag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2010, 09:51 AM   #10
Randy McIntosh
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 3,478
Default Re: Leaving out the gracenotes?

As the Captain said in a workshop I attended a few years ago, he'd rather hear a well played G grace notes than crappy embellishments ......

He demonstrated playing STB with only a G grace notes, no other embellishments were played, it sounded good.
__________________
Randy
Randy McIntosh 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



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:59 PM.