Hints & Tips

Theory Top-Up: compressing tunes with high-Bs

Theory Top-Up: compressing tunes with high-Bs

By TIM CUMMINGS Piping Today #81, 2016. In the previous round of this Theory Top-Up series, we began to look at familiar tunes whose original melodies spanned beyond the nine-note range of the standard Scottish pipe chanter.  The word ‘compression’ was introduced as a way of describing the process of […]

Theory Top-Up: Tunes in G-major

Theory Top-Up: Tunes in G-major

By Tim Cummings Piping Today #78, 2015. In this Theory Top-Up series, we have already explored the nine specific musical keys that are most commonly found in our Highland pipe repertoire.  My best guess is we’ve covered approximately 95% of our repertoire in this way.  There’s not much left but […]

The elusive appoggiatura

The elusive appoggiatura

In the spring 2000 edition of The Voice, Dr. John A. MacAskill conducted an interview with James Campbell, the son Archibald Campbell of Kilberry. When MacAskill asked him what he considered to be his greatest legacy, Campbell replied: “… I have taken pride in my contribution in the Piping Times […]

Myelinate your doublings practice

Myelinate your doublings practice

On day 22 of the February Piping Challenge Dan Nevans spoke about the myelination process that goes on in your brain while practicing deliberately. Dan demonstrated a slow deliberate technique to practice doublings going up and down the scale on the chanter. He suggests this consistency is what is needed […]

Power move practice with Willie McCallum

Power move practice with Willie McCallum

On day 21 of the February Piping Challenge Willie McCallum taught practice techniques for the grip, taorluath and rodin. Willie emphasised the need to play them slowly, rhythmically and accurately before building speed, and played though demonstrations of each movement on his chanter. Willie’s video can be viewed again here on […]

Theory Top-Up: Tunes in the Dorian mode

Theory Top-Up: Tunes in the Dorian mode

By Tim Cummings Piping Today #77, 2015. Having already investigated tunes in the keys of A-Major, D-Major, B-minor, A-Mixolydian, as well as tunes that are pentatonic, “gapped”, and those considered to have a “double-tonic”, we have now covered approximately 90% of the Scottish pipe tune repertoire in this Top-Up series. […]

Extended workshop on steady blowing

Extended workshop on steady blowing

Dan Nevans shared a wealth of information on day 15 of the February Piping Challenge. Dan’s 25 minute presentation was on the topic of Steady Blowing. He also detailed how to adjust drone reeds to, “only take enough air to sound consistently”, and how to tune your drones to allow […]