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 Post subject: Emulating other pipers?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:33 pm 
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HI, How do YOU approach in this task? I want to play like/immitate as much as possible the piper I prefer and I don't know how to make effective practice program to get there? Obviously nailing the basic stuff 1st is a must and then lots of listening of his recordings... Then?

I was thinking to choose 1 single tune and first learn to play it every note in perfect timing. Then the hard part is coming - how to learn all the invisible stuff which make him special (his techniques, pressure control, vibrato, CFs ...)

An suggestion? What worked for you? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:52 pm 
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I am not sure your goal is ever possible. But what will get you near, is to learn how to transcribe their playing to paper/online notation software. That allows you to examine the accuracy of what you have heard, in staff notation, and question its accuracy in another way. Then you can try to replicate it, with your ear and paper record

In doing this, it focuses on the details, and questions what you are hearing. You may not have to do this for very long, because you will begin to hear 'style' of playing, and once learnt makes replication so much easier.

The exact replication... how can anyone replicate a moment.

The more you do this - the more in each recording - every time you go back to it, you hear some very delicate something you have missed. And those bits make all the difference.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:53 am 
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If you have the ability to emulate your favorite piper you probably have the ability to develop your own style .
The OP does raise an interesting question, how does an individual pipers style develop? Trying to emulate your favorite pipe is probably a starting point ,but what other influences set you on the road to developing your own style ?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:49 pm 
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For me in my early days it was about:
* Listening to the piper as much as possible to all their tunes
* Pick up on certain aspects of their piping that seem to be unique but repeated across their repertoire (those bits that seem to you to separate them from other pipers, as a starting point)
* Focus on one of those aspects by trying to replicate it in not just one tune but wherever you feel it could fit in any tune as you develop your repertoire.
* Develop it while moving on to the next identifiable aspect.

Sometimes it's simply a matter of nutting it out yourself until you're convinced you must be doing it right. Other times it involves asking others what they think the piper is doing.

Note that this did not mean trying to replicate the entire tune, but just certain key elements that can go into building a repertoire of key techniques that you can learn to employ spontaneously when you play a tune - the ultimate goal being to be able to not play the tune the same way twice. How you do that becomes your own personal style - well that's how it is for me.

My 3-decade journey has gone from emulating techniques, to identifying how a piper such as Willie Clancy introduces little surprises throughout his tunes that make me want to listen to a single tune of his over and over again -picking up on little things I didn't hear previously - and developing my own ability to introduce little surprises.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:14 am 
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I think most musicians go through various stages

1) fall in love with the playing of a particular star player, who becomes your hero. You spent every effort to sound as much like him as possible, learning his repertoire and his style. At this point you sound like what you are: an imitator of a particular player.

2) after a while you latch onto a new hero, and begin sounding like him.

3) then you widen your vision by learning repertoire and style from an ever-larger circle of players. Each tune you play will sound like the recording you learned it from; experienced listeners will know your source for each tune.

4) eventually a blend will emerge between a large number of influences and your personal feelings about how things should sound; your personal style will emerge, and when you learn a new tune it won't sound like your source, but rather, like you.

It's like the story concerning the old Appalachian fiddler who was asked who his favourite fiddler was.

"Well, the only fiddler I ever heard who played every note just exactly the way I like it, is me."

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:13 pm 
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Is the piper you admire and wish to emulate still alive? Do they give lessons? Can't think of a better way to develop a specific style than personal tutelage! Do you want to sound like Seamus Ennis? David Power could help you get there. I suspect others on the Chiff board could give similar examples.

JVF


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