Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson

bringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
 Kilberry Castle - March

Kilberry Castle

To make the journey up to a higher standard of playing, it is necessary to take small steps.

Firstly, break this tune into small ‘bricks’ and label each one (A,B, C etc). Then, using the coins, practice each brick until it you can play it seven times in a row without mistakes. This establishes that you can play the constituent parts.

Kilberry Castle

 Secondly, rather simply, assemble the parts, but do so methodically. That is A seven times without mistakes, then A plus B, then A plus B plus C etc:
Midi files a ready for the tune as a whole:

Full tempo

Half tempo with quaver beats

Three quarter tempo with quaver beats
Repeat this process for each part, and 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.
 In this tune there are two tricky moments – in the third part and the fourth part.

 The birl in the third part is often written without a birl. It is actually easier to play, and musically appropriate here to play the birl with a High G gracenote, giving a little more time to the A before the tap and across action with your little finger.

 In the fourth part the taorluath finishes on the half beat (on the quaver) which means the time taken to play it comes from the note preceding. This contributes to the phrasing and doing something different will not only change the sense of the tune here, but elsewhere, which is all fine, but makes it overall, more difficult. 

Please click here and listen to an exercise. This is a taorluath exercise designed to teach you how to control where the beat actually happens. It is important to try to figure this out – it really is just a taorluath played slowly, in proportion,

About this project
Lindsay Davidson
About the author