Tim Boucher

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Tag: instruction

Bagpipe Video: Beginner Left Hand / Right Hand Technique

This is, so far, one of the best first first bagpipe video lessons I’ve found for somebody starting out.

I’ve learned the scales from other videos, but this one has a critical step others are missing. To do your left hand only, fingers all on, fingers all off. And practice that. And then do left hand all on, right hand all on, right hand all off (keep left hand on). Repeat that.

Especially the right hand, on a ‘long’ practice chanter it can be hard to hit all those holes. And I don’t have small hands either. So this whole thing of cutting away from the scale and just focusing on closing all the holes accurately and consistently seems like a significant reference point towards developing coherence.

It seems more fundamental even than going note by note before you’ve had a chance to fully solve the problem of closing all the holes…

This video also uses bagpipe tabs which is really cool. Sadly, the website this video links out to in descriptions, tryscotland.com, fails to load. I was hoping for dozens more videos like these…

Bagpipe Solutions by John Cairns – Ebooks PDF

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that you can buy John Cairns’ renowned “Bagpipe Solutionspiping tutor books at a discounted price direct from the author in the form of ebooks.

Retail pipe seller sites like Dunbar in Canada charge $40 CAD for a hardcopy book and CD. There are seven volumes, so throw in shipping and that starts to add up. Cairns sells them for $25 CAD each instead. Since there is no shipping charge, that works out to a lot less.

I was a little confused by his site, so I confirmed with the author of the series that the ebooks are in PDF format and have maybe either audio embedded directly (? never seen that in a PDF) or else links to download the audio files for free, via his site. I’ll add more details once I buy them.

I first read about Cairns’ books from the excellent pipe supplier and information site, Hotpipes.com. They claim that for persons attempting to potentially learn the pipes without a teacher – such as myself – this series would lead you toward doing that. Though everyone seems to recommend having a teacher – but this may not always be possible, depending where you live. I’ve learned a lot of things through careful experimentation, study, and, frankly, Youtube — so why not this.

Excited to buy the first three volumes of Cairns’ books at a reduced price to find out. (I hear the first three books completely cover the practice chanter, which I’ll be receiving in the mail from Dunbar before week’s end – and in time for the Celtic Festival in town this weekend!)

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