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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 6/12/2003 1:50:41 PM EDT
I was told that learning music was a left brain/right brain thing. At the time I was learning the bagpipe, & it was very slow, & difficult progress for me. I haven't played in at least 5 years if not longer, & I hadn't ever gotten very far in to the art of it. I had problems with rhythm, & timing, which I found frustrating, & was perhaps part of the reason I quit. Now my present job has afforded me the time to spend time at my pipes again. What is really weird is after playing around with my chanter for a few hours, I seem to have complicated bits & pieces of music that just pop out with no apparent reason. I don't remember how to read the music, or the intricate note clusters, but I am able to move my fingers at a high rate of speed to play the notes that are accompanied by many small notes. I haven't been able to play a whole song from memory, but as I play the part I do remember my fingers seem to do a little more after I have played the part over, & over. How does this work? & can I expect to be able to read the music much easier as I re-study it? & last of all, if I practice a lot will I eventually be able to put it all together? I mean the pipes are a complicated instrument. You have to squeeze, blow,play the notes with no music/from memory, keep the beat,& rhythm, all at the same time to sound good. I should point out that pipe music is as complicated as any symphonic music ever made.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 1:12:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2003 1:12:58 PM EDT by Green_Furniture]
The only way to ever make any inroads is to practice, practice, practice and get lessons from a good instructor. Just remember, it could be worse. You could play the banjo....... Oh, one more thing. Bagpipes are one of, if not the, hardest instrument to pick up. Stick with it and give it your best shot.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 5:56:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Green_Furniture: The only way to ever make any inroads is to practice, practice, practice and get lessons from a good instructor. Just remember, it could be worse. You could play the banjo....... Oh, one more thing. Bagpipes are one of, if not the, hardest instrument to pick up. Stick with it and give it your best shot.
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I posted in your other topic about the practice book - once I get settled down I will be back at the chanter. The pipes are a beautiful instrument to listen to (especially when they are played well), and that isn't something I can do yet. I was just learning to put some of the grace notes in simple tunes when I stopped almost a year ago. I picked up the chanter recently and could run through the scale, but that was about it. I can still play selections of songs on the piano without music that I haven't seen for 8 years too. Maybe it's like driving a car with a manual transmission or riding a bike - things just become natural after a while. Consider a few lessons, even if they are informal 15 minute ones given by a knowledgable member of your nearest pipe band.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 10:28:51 AM EDT
The brain connections are made at a very young age. You shoulda started when you were a child. Very few people become proficient with an instrument, and learning to read music, as an adult. However, once one instrument is learned, others are much easier.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 12:09:29 PM EDT
As for practice, well, you gotta be able to play it slow before you can play it fast. Concentrate on the rythem and timing, and break the piece down into smaller, more manageable chunks that you can play cleanly. Then string them together, once again cleanly, 'til you can play the whole piece from memory. Then work on speed. As far as reading music, well, I've been playing guitar off and on for 30 years, and I STILL can't read music...hell, I can't even read tablature half the time hehe. Years ago I took classical guitar lessons, and I found trying to play from sheet music difficult and tedious...I play by ear, and envy anyone who can look a piece of music on paper and then play it. As hard as the bagpipes are, be glad you're not trying to learn the Uillean pipes...people who play them say not to even try 'til you can play 50 songs well on the tin whistle while flapping your left arm hehehe. (Uillean is Irish for "elbow", the Uillean pipes are played by squeezing a bag with your left arm; you don't blow into them like the Highland War Pipes...what most people recognize as the bagpipes). I've also heard it described as trying to make love to an octopus hehehe. The Uillean pipes are pretty much confined to Irish music at this point, although I think they originated somewhere else in Europe quite a long time ago. I find the Uillean pipes a more expressive instrument personally, although I certainly enjoy the Highland pipes. I'm way too poor to afford a set of Uillean pipes, as a "practice" grade set can easily top $1000. Not to mention they're notoriously hard to tune in humid weather...which is pretty much all we get around here in No. VA in the summer...a double whammy. Anyone who's seen Braveheart has heard the Uillean pipes; most of the solo piping bits in that movie were done on the Uillean pipes. I hired a local piper named Keiran O'Hare to play at my father's wake a few years ago...I'll tell you, there weren't many dry eyes in the house when he got cranked up.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 12:57:40 PM EDT
Practice builds muscle memory. With enough practice your hands will move with no concious effort at all. Just try to enjoy it so that you can stick too it long enough.
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