Practising playing to the beat: Bare bones scale at 40 bpm

Now I am really pulling back all the flesh and working on the bare bones of the scale: playing it to each click of the metronome.

First Trial:

Second Trial: here I am trying to hit the note just after I hear it. Harder to do than it sounds.

Third Trial:

Fourth Trial:

Fifth Trial:

Sixth Trial:

more to come…

Skye Boat Song and Paddy’s Leather Breeches

The old favourite, Skye Boat Song,  is beginning to sound almost the way it should be 🙂

… me thinks…

and here is a beautifully sung version


and now for Paddy’s Leather Breeches at 100 bpm.  Starting slow and will work my way up in speed over the next few weeks

Loch Bea: Up beat and down beat going at 80 bpm

Following the advice of my good friend, Reed, here is the entire tune at 80 bpm, tapping out the up beat and down beat.

I sure hope this was a bit closer to the beat than before.

An interesting side effect of all the practice I have done over the last few months on this tune and to the total exclusion of any other tune is that my performance has improved for Skye Boat Song as well, that is a pleasant surprise. I thought I might have lost the thread on that one.

Thumb a cool bluish black but OK, now back to practice

Below is a recording of the entire Shores of Loch Bea tune at 40 bpm, at the beginning of today’s practice session.  I tried playing it at 45 but I really started messing up too many movements, so back to 40 bpm. Even so,  those toarluaths are not yet consistent in quality. It’s a matter of time, I’m sure.

Final recording for tonight’s practice. Still ahead of the beat, but execution has improved a bit?


Thumb jam

Due to an attempt at crushing my thumb on Thursday, January 5th, my practice sessions have had to be postponed until the thumb is ready once more to carry the weight of a practice chanter.  The evidence is shown below. This photo was taken just before my courageous doctor drilled a few little holes into the base of the nail to release the blood.  The offender was the door of my 1986 Volvo 240GL wagon. They are very heavy doors, and I keep reminding all who travel in her to be aware of the weight of these doors.  I obviously forgot about that warning.

But all is good when this is just a temporary setback 🙂

Timing, timing, timing, continued…

Here is today’s preliminary recording before I get started on my bar 1 practice session. Am I beginning to snuggle up to that beat?

Here is my fourth trial run. It is now purely a mental challenge, I believe. I need to LISTEN and WAIT before I act. That’s the hard bit.

Timing, timing, timing!

It’s been a while since I posted my progress here. Not for lack of working on my skills! More for lack of noticeable progress!

How long does it take to learn to play to the beat and not ahead or behind the beat? A looooong time, it seems. Anyway, I have tried several approaches. One of which was to go back to the ‘divide and conquer’ technique. So, I returned to the bar by bar approach and to slow it all down to manageable speed. I also spend quite some time on cracking those taorluath’s. It’s been slow and frustrating, that’s all I can say.

Nevertheless, today I decided that since I was continually playing just a tad ahead of the beat, I would just speed it up a tad.  So I went from 40 bpm to 45 bpm. That seemed to have improved things a little.  Here is my best recording for today.

I just listened to the recording again, and noticed that the toarluath’s are a bit squashed in the early part, but improve later 😀