Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson

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 Brochan Lom - Reel

I personally learned this tune using these materials a couple of years ago for a trip to Japan. I knew that one of the recitals I was plaing was for a very well informed and specialised audience, and I thought it would be nice to give them something which recognised their extra knowledge. This interpretation is the version given by Willie Ross (I have his 3/4 pipes and one of my teachers was taught by him) in his book. Given all the research that has gone on recently into historical styles, I thought this would be an interesting talking point. Especially of intertest is the fact that this version agrees stylistically with the well known recording of Willie Ross playing Bonnie Ann, which as a student at University I had to analyse as a recording, and also from the perspective of tuning.

brochan lom

MP3 files for the tune as a whole:

Low PitchHigh Pitch
Full tempoFull speed
Half tempoHalf speed
Quarter tempoQuarter speed

Tricky points:

The rhymical shape is quite unusual in today's way of playing. Stick with it and you will get an outrageous level of satisfaction. Rhythmical definition and discipline is key to getting the effects at play here.

Remembering the first and third parts, or rather their differences, can be tricky.

Listen out for the grips - they need to be in time. Careful of the D gracenote cutting the low Gs in the grips - proportion is all.
Watch out to make sure your strikes come up in the right place. Also, get the short doublings very crisp and sharp, and rhythmical.

Line 2 bar 4 there is a trick... the D is a crotchet and the B and low G for the throw fit into a quvaer, and all is made into a triplet. As ever, listen to the mp3 for easiest explanation. The same thing has been done with hinoeaoha, last bar third part (g'ABg'DBtD).

In the last part, where there are two 16th Es together, the first has been stretched into two thirds of a triplet and the second E is given its correct theoretical time. This was an interpretative trick passed down by PM Jimmy Inglis to no doubt most of his pupils. This gives extra 'spring' to jump off the short note and adds a variety and interest without the audience having time to figure out why they like what you have just done. As a general principle, keep this tool available.

You will need to get your seven coins out and go through each part seven times without a mistake, and then join the tune up, adding one part at a time so you get first the first part, then the first two parts, three parts and eventually the whole tune seven times in a row, without mistakes, at whatever tempo you can manage. Then, and only then should you start to worry about speeding up (and likely, by this stage, if you have really prepared by going through all the other exercises on the site, you will already be playing it!!!)

 You may find it necessary to right down to basic programming X+O for each section; if so, there is no shame in that.

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Lindsay Davidson
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