On to jigs!

It’s been a while since I posted here. I have not been sitting on my laurels ( even if I did have any, that is). I’ve been working on quite a few tunes on the practice chanter, and now I’m onto the bagpipes as well.

Among the tunes I’ve been working on is a jig ( or two). But before these can be mastered, I am told, I need to get those GDE’s polished to a bright spark. Thank you, Reed for your advice, as always! So, here is my first trial run with the GDE exercises as provided by Jori Chisholm. It’s an exercise in concentration as well. Not an easy exercise, but it is fun and challenging.

Here my first run through the first 2.5 lines of 10. I went as far as I could and then lost my brain somewhere and fizzled out. The tempo is at 116 bpm. That felt a reasonably comfortable tempo.

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?


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.