Medieval pipes for the clueless

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hazyma
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Medieval pipes for the clueless

Post by hazyma »

After many years of plucking up courage I have finally bought a set of medieval pipes in A.shock: Now I can just about play the Northumbrian pipes but these are terrifying!!Can anyone point me in the right direction towards getting started? I will be getting some tuition from a fab piper but I feel I need to have a head start. I know that there is a tutor which is suitable for the Swayne g pipes - will that be a good place to go?
It seemed like a good idea at the time - now all eyes of the group are on me!!
Any help would be gratefully received- even good wishes will do! :

Eric the well read
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Post by Eric the well read »

Hi,
Could do with a little more info'
How many drones? How many thumb holes? Who made them?
Are they the indian ones?
Cane reeds or plastic?
- all this will help us give you the best advice

Regards
Eric

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hazyma
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medieval pipe for the clueless

Post by hazyma »

They are Deerness pipes, 7 holes and a thumb hole, one chanter pitched in A , plastic reeds- definately not from India, but the Northern forest of Deerness and made of yew!

Eric the well read
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Post by Eric the well read »

O.K I've checked out their web site.
Has it really got a flattened seventh??? On an English set???
Hope you like playing Scottish music! :shock:

What do you need to know? I am going to assume that you're used to using bellows?


Regards
Eric

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hazyma
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medieval pipes for the clueless

Post by hazyma »

Thanks for taking the time to check the website. I got these pipes at a price I could not refuse and went for it - it's something I've wanted to do for a long time.
I am used to bellows on the Northumbrian pipes, not on these and I'm finding it very difficult to get anything out of the chanter - presumably because i haven't got enough air in! Until I can get to a lesson presumably a good start is to get the drone going as smoothly as I can, without worrying too much about the chanter? i don't think I really understand how this ensemble works - as I said i really am a novice! Would a bagpipe tutor book help, do you think?
This is all because the guy who is going to teach me is away for two weeks and I can't wait-perhaps waiting would be the best idea?!
Cheers

Eric the well read
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Re: medieval pipes for the clueless

Post by Eric the well read »

hazyma wrote: Until I can get to a lesson presumably a good start is to get the drone going as smoothly as I can, without worrying too much about the chanter? i don't think I really understand how this ensemble works - as I said i really am a novice! Would a bagpipe tutor book help, do you think?
This is all because the guy who is going to teach me is away for two weeks and I can't wait-perhaps waiting would be the best idea?!
Cheers
Hi,
I'm not deriding them - and a lot of pipemakers give this option it's just that it will tie you down to available tunes or keys that you use.
Yes, get the breathing and constant drone practised NOW. Take the pressure up on the bag just before the end of the breathe and don't let the elbow pressure up on the bag until your breath has taken over 'powering' the set.
What sort of capacity has the bag? Big, medium, small?
The main problem you're going to have is that you'll try and blow/squeeze in time to the music -mistake. Get the drone going and sing the tune in your head. Should solve the problem.

If you send me a p.m or phone me on 01302 562875. I'll send you a d.v.d
covering your tuning - if you want it. I WILL allow you to pay the postage!
:wink:

Regards
Eric

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hazyma
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medieval pippes for the clueless

Post by hazyma »

Thanks again- I have pmd you

Eric the well read
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Post by Eric the well read »

And replied :D

Regards
Eric

Eric the well read
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Post by Eric the well read »

Sorry either my finger stuttered.....
or I'm playing grace notes on my keyboard. :wink:

Regards
Eric

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saracen
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Post by saracen »

Flattened sevenths are ideal (if not essential) for medieval pipe playing. The sharpened leading note is very rare. If I was advising you to buy a set of pipes I would have suggested ones with the flat leading note (minor 7th).

With your pipes it seems ou are more or less obliged to play in a mixolydian mode (like a major key but with a minor or unsharpened seventh). This is not a problem as many medieval tunes are in this mode and it will work well. If you need a few pointers for good tunes I am more than happy to throw a few your direction. I can email them to you if you like.

There are various ways of playing other modes if you like (like aeolian, dorian - minor key sounds). Your tutor or various pipers at events would be more than happy I'm sure to give you a pointer or two.

My set are Jon Swayne pipes, styled as English pipes and they have the flattened seventh, and I have no problem playing music from all over Europe. The fact that yours only has one hole in the back will restrict the range of notes a bit, but should not hold you back. For a start - it is much simpler with just one rear hole.

Enjoy your piping!

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