Well, after struggling a bit with all the air leaks in the bagpipe, I’m finally making some progress. True, one could argue that having had to maintain pressure in the bag while it was leaking air all over the place probably added to my improvement in stamina, but that is not how it is supposed to be. The pipes should be EASY to play, not a huge physical effort. I had this confirmed last night while attending Jack Lee’s Bagpipe Sound Essentials class at Dojo U.
So, in an effort to achieve maximum air efficiency, ( at least as good as it can get at my level of expertise and considering the temporarily plugged blowpipe stock), I adjusted the drone reed bridles a tad and ensured that every drone and the blowpipe were all firmly seated in their stocks. I still felt some air coming out from either the blowpipe seating in the stock, or possibly the crack in the stock. Still, there was significantly less air escaping than before.
This made a very noticeable difference to how I felt when I played Skye Boat Song and Amazing Grace on the pipes. I was actually able to play through each piece ( admittedly a bit too fast out of fear of running out of puff) without the drones starting to waver due to lack of air pressure. I’m quite pleased with myself.
I also worked on the following to improve my technique:
- Grips in When the Battle’s O’ver. This too was influenced by a lesson by Marc Dubois in Dojo U. It made a difference in how I think and go about executing that Grip. Thanks, Marc!
- Taorluaths in Scotland the Brave and Munro’s Wedding, also provided good practise.
- GDE’s: mostly it is my E gracenote that is way too big. This received a bit of attention today and that too is now starting to get smaller and more ‘crisp’.
Today, I’m quite satisfied with my little achievements 🙂