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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 349
Location: Winnipeg
Hey all.

Uhh... should one learn to read music? I haven't yet, partially from laziness and partially from the notion that this kind of music is 'supposed' to be learned by ear.

Mostly, I'd say it's from pure laziness. I'd rather learn a tune than learn how to read a tune.... When I was learning guitar a friend of mine used to give me tablature for tunes and although I learned the tunes, the music took a long time to be actual music, not just strung-together notes, which is what it usually was.

It would take long sessions of frustrated listening to get what I read to mesh with what I heard. Now, I don't know if it's that way for everyone, but that's the way it is for me. Perhaps if I'd learned to read the music I could play more fluently what was there to be played, but it never seemed to work for me.

And Anima, what do you mean by 'pumping through the bag'? I've never heard the term before. It sounds like a bad thing.

Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 5146
Location: Surlyville
Mark,
Learn to read music... it doesn't have to be your main focus, but it will give you assistance learning tunes without having to have previously memorized the melody.
Besides, the knowledge can be applied to other instruments. I bought a small Casio keyboard to help my piping.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 774
Location: Midwest
pumping through the bag......

Perhaps a better way would be to describe it as playing with the bellows instead of the bag - forgetting to squeeze the bag and just using it as a large and funky shaped tube attached to the chanter. :smile:

Jeff


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 349
Location: Winnipeg
Hey all.

Okay, now I understand what you meant, Anima. I've usually simply forgotten to pump until the bag is WAY empty and then suffered the embarassing silence for a note or two, sometimes completely derailing the tune. Okay, usually completely derailing the tune.

I've been doing some pressure/sustain/bag-bellows practice for a while and I seem to have mostly gotten over the worst of those kinds of difficulties; what I have to do now is practice using ornamentations. Anyone have any suggestions?

And just as a smirk-inducing aside, after my babble earlier about finally getting my reed properly set up, and how easy it is, (pride does us all in, doesn't it?) I picked up my set today and the reed was wildly out. I spent more than half my practice session fiddling with it before getting it to the point that the back D wasn't constantly sinking.

See, it's pretty cold here in Winterpeg and I'd gone to a friend's place to do some playing, and to keep the reed and chanter from completely freezing I'd wrapped it in a good thick wool sock.

(Just as a warning for all you other cold-climate pipers, wool socks suck humidity out of reeds. Completely. All of it. So don't use socks as chanter wraps.)

Of course, I didn't figure this out until I'd toyed with the reed and practiced, toyed, practiced.... finally got the reed properly set up, felt all proud and then realized that if I'd just been a)patient and b)smart enough to take the sock off the chanter when I got home.... . Ah, well. I chalk it up to a learning experience.

Mark


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