Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums
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 > Beginners, Intermediate, +
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Beginners, Intermediate, + Discuss issues, tackle problems, share experiences, ask questions, and look for specific help...

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-10-2010, 10:12 AM   #1
royalstewart
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 2
royalstewart
Default Transition to Bagpipes

What's the best way to transition to the pipes from the practice chanter.
Also what do think about about this exercise - "the Two Minute Trick?"

Holding the bag by the bass drone stock blow to make a continuous sound for 2 minutes. This is called the 'Two Minute Trick' - if you can do this, you have got the basics done.

The logic is easy to understand - If you are always refilling a bag that has been squeezed and is half empty, then very little energy/strength/air is left over to drive the reeds. Squeezing makes bagpipes harder to blow, and harder to control. 'Blow and Squeeze' is a myth and a mistake practised or aimed at by a huge percentage of pipers in the world.

The only squeezing that is needed is not to empty the bag or to give air to the reeds, but to replace the pressure being applied by blowing with pressure from your arm to stabilise the pressure when you take a breath.

Thanks!
royalstewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 03-10-2010, 11:16 AM   #2
OKiepiper2
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ponca City, Ok
Posts: 1,041
OKiepiper2
Default Re: Transition to Bagpipes

I find the best way to transition is to use the traditional method of sustaining long tones. This on the chanter, drones by themselves and then adding chanter and one drone at a time. All under the guidance of an instructor.

I am not sure where you got the two minute drill, obviously a quote from someone. What I find wrong with the quote is not necessarily the concept, but stating that if you can do that for two minutes you have the basics down. Far from it. This is a physical instrument and it takes time to develop the muscle strength and breath control to properly play the pipes.

Another way of saying this is to blow through the instrument. Not just fill the bag and keep it filled. Blowing and squeezing is a technique that takes time to master. If there were easy short cuts they would have been popularized long ago.

I would concur that some pipers use too little air and rely too much on squeezing. But I have never been taught that way and I don't teach my students to do that. I have always been taught that the left hand needs to relax. If it is in a constant state of tension because of squeezing the bag too hard, technique will suffer.

Instead of blow and squeeze another good phrase is "ride the bag" and "blow it off your arm."

Again, I don't know the source of your quote, but while the intent sounds good there is only one way to get the technique down and that takes time for your physical system to develop.
__________________
- OK2
If I was any better I would be twins
OKiepiper2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2010, 06:10 PM   #3
AveryB
Forum Silver Medal
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: York, PA
Posts: 402
AveryB
Default Re: Transition to Bagpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by royalstewart View Post
Holding the bag by the bass drone stock blow to make a continuous sound for 2 minutes. This is called the 'Two Minute Trick' - if you can do this, you have got the basics done.
What? The basics?? This doesn't make any sense to me...am I missing something?

In the band I used to play with, there was a guy who "blew and squeezed" while playing. As a result, he always looked like he and his pipes were fighting each other. His drones bounced all over his shoulder and his entire upper body moved with his left arm as it squeezed. I'd venture to guess that he was blowing probably 45% of the time and squeezing the bag down the other 55%. He was a good player - nice rhythm and clean technique - but it was weird to watch him play.
I try to play so that I'm blowing between 75-80% and squeezing only to take a breath in. It made sense to me to 'blow the bag off my arm'. The squeezing should be at the same pressure as the blowing.
I don't know about any 2 minute trick to achieve "the basics" of this technique. It took me about 4 months of practice every day.
AveryB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2010, 07:13 AM   #4
JRM
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 4,223
JRM
Default Re: Transition to Bagpipes

I don't know anyone that can mouthblow a drone for 2 mintues without passing out.
JRM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2010, 08:42 AM   #5
Gr8_Piper
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Fallbrook, CA and La Bufadora, Mexico
Posts: 1,128
Gr8_Piper
Default Re: Transition to Bagpipes

Practice steady blowing of the drones only. No waivering. Then add chanter and blow single notes up and down the scale. Sounds boring. But you have to get in the habit of LISTENING to the pipe. Keeping it steady. Use a tuner if needed. Don't worry about playing anything until you can blow steadily!
__________________
"To listen to piobaireachd is to hear the sound of history itself"
Gr8_Piper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2010, 09:56 AM   #6
sonofsomerled
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: NJ ("You talkin' to me?!"), USA
Posts: 1,694
sonofsomerled
Default Re: Transition to Bagpipes

Just play a long low A, and when its steady, slowly start going up and down the scale. Its just muscle memory - after a few hours it will become an automatic function that you will stop thinking about. You will always be aware of breathing, but your focus will switch over to notes/tunes fairly quickly. Never heard of the 2 minute thing - and blowing on a bass drone for anything other than fine tuning a drone reed bridle (far in the future for you) seems like a waste of time).
__________________
Ni h-eibhneas gan Chlainn Domhnaill!
sonofsomerled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2010, 06:38 PM   #7
Greenpipe
Forum Silver Medal
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 493
Greenpipe
Default Re: Transition to Bagpipes

Repeat ten times daily, "There is no easy way. There is no easy way. etc. etc." Every responder has given the right advice, and that is to learn to use the bag and blow efficiently through practise, practise, practise. If your arm is going like a pump handle, it's not efficient. Watch good experienced players. Some blow in short frequent bursts and some in long leisurely streams, but their arms do not move a lot because the non blowing time is short. The arm is a tensioning spring, not a bellows.
Greenpipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2010, 07:09 PM   #8
truckie561
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ft. Myers, FL
Posts: 52
truckie561 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Transition to Bagpipes

New Guy here....still on chanter...so is it just the weight of your arm which is putting the pressure of the bag or are you actually squeezing it?
truckie561 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
Tripp
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Westminster, Colorado
Posts: 1,169
Tripp
Default Re: Transition to Bagpipes

sorta depends on how beefy your arm is, but you want some pressure. When you exhale into the bag, you're "blowing your arm off", meaning that there's some resistance. You don't want to lift your arm. Doing that will cause a drop in pressure in the bag and require you to exhale with considerably more force... which will translate into wavering pitch and a lot of mental errors. At the same time, you don't want to squeeze the hell out of the bag with your arm either. It should all be fairly comfortable once you get the coordination of arm and lungs down.
__________________
Cheers, Tripp

Denver Bagpipe Lessons Skype Bagpipe Lessons
Tripp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2010, 03:10 AM   #10
HarborSpringsPiper
Forum Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Harbor Springs, Michigan
Posts: 236
HarborSpringsPiper
Default Re: Transition to Bagpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by royalstewart View Post
What's the best way to transition to the pipes from the practice chanter.
Also what do think about about this exercise - "the Two Minute Trick?"

Holding the bag by the bass drone stock blow to make a continuous sound for 2 minutes. This is called the 'Two Minute Trick' - if you can do this, you have got the basics done.

The logic is easy to understand - If you are always refilling a bag that has been squeezed and is half empty, then very little energy/strength/air is left over to drive the reeds. Squeezing makes bagpipes harder to blow, and harder to control. 'Blow and Squeeze' is a myth and a mistake practised or aimed at by a huge percentage of pipers in the world.

The only squeezing that is needed is not to empty the bag or to give air to the reeds, but to replace the pressure being applied by blowing with pressure from your arm to stabilise the pressure when you take a breath.

Thanks!
Well, the "logic" is lost on me. I really can't figure out what you're trying to say here.
__________________
Ken

"The best things written about the bagpipe are written on five lines of the great staff" - Pipe Major Donald MacLeod, MBE
HarborSpringsPiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

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 07:21 AM.