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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 10:05 pm 
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I am looking for any recommendations on instructional books or videos for the beginner. Thanks.

jb


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2002 7:35 pm 
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Location: Surlyville
JB, I don't know where you're from, but you can get the NPU video's from several places.
direct from the NPU: http://www.iol.ie/~npupipes/npuhome.htm

or several others carry them:

http://www.uilleann.com/
http://www.uilleann.com/otherproducts.html
near the top of the page

http://www.songsea.com/videos.htm
look near the bottom of the listing

Mad for Trad has a CD Rom tutorial on Uilleann pipes, direct from Ireland
http://www.mad4trad.com/
or one of the US distributors:
http://www.celticgrooves.com


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2002 5:41 am 
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Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK
Hiya JB,

I'd recommend that you take a look at a book called "The New Approach To Uilleann Piping" by HJ Clarke. Its a systematic tutor that assumes no previous knowledge of the pipes. It also has an CD/tape that allows the student to hear exactly what is involved in each exercise.

Its the book that I used to get me started, and its the format that I now use when teaching my students.

I hope this is useful to you,

Best wishes

Steve


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:09 am 
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Location: Kickin' it Braveheart style...
Might I also suggest the CD-ROM tutorial available from:

http://www.madfortrad.com

We had a copy at our monthly piper's club meeting and it looked very good. They also have excellent CD-ROM tutorials on most of the other traditional Irish instruments.

As for me, when I was a new player, I found both the Heather Clarke book/tape and the NPU videos 1 and 2 very helpful.

Cheers,

Michael Eskin
http://www.michaeleskin.com


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: eskin on 2002-02-17 12:11 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:41 am 
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I didn't like the Heather Clarke book (w/ CD) It seemed to me the lessons were rushed. So, put it aside. Perhaps I'll give it another look.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2002 2:32 pm 
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I didn't like the Heather Clarke book either,and the chanter on the tape sounded more like a boat horn than a musical instrument.
<P>
I thought the NPU videos were very good.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2002 4:15 pm 
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Interesting, I think she was playing a Brian Howard chanter.
http://www.howardmusic.co.uk/play.htm


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2002 7:33 am 
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Location: Markham, Ont. Canada
I have the Heather Clarke Book and the NPU video. I may not have given the book enough focus, yet since I am preferring the NPU video. I think both have been carefully thought out and nicely paced. You really should spend a whole lot of time practising before you can move on to the next lesson - that goes for both the book and video of course. The video explains the different techniques very well - rolls and cutting. The book and CD also have very practical lessons, but actually looking at somebody play makes a big difference to me. That's my critique - hope it helps.

Paul


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2002 1:01 pm 
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Location: Chicago
Whatever tutors you choose, be sure to spend a lot of time practicing and a lot less time on the internet. Forget about TV. You want to be a piper, right?

What really needs to be emphasized to all beginners, and I don't say this to sound mean and grumpy, is "No tutor or instructor is going to make a piper out of you. The only person who can make a piper out of you is yourself". If you don't practice, all you'll have is an expensive bundle of sticks.

I should add that a properly set up chanter and reed combination helps this process immensely. Your reed should be easy to blow so your hands can stay relaxed. "Death grip" will prohibit you from ever being able to play musically. The first octave notes should not require a tremendous effort once you've been playing for a while. The leap to the 2nd octave should require no more than a 20-30% increase in bag pressure. Otherwise, it is too difficult to obtain or maintain the second octave and your playing will suffer.

That being said, you still have to learn to play the bag! The BAG controls the air to the reeds, not the bellows, and you must learn to control the air pressure in the bag.

You must learn to pump the bellows when the bag needs more air, INDEPENDENTLY of what is happening with your hands on the chanter, and you must also learn to think ahead so that there is sufficient air in the bag for passages that use lots of air.

The bag/bellows are not used to keep time, and you cannot play the pipes musically by pumping the bellows every other note; you have to train your bag arm and strengthen it without allowing the tension from pinching the bag to creep down into your forearms, wrists, and fingers. The same is true of your bellows arm.

Learn to hold the chanter correctly-do not arch the fingers, and above all do not hold the chanter with a "death grip"! Your hands will feel weak and awkward at first. This is normal.

Listen to recordings as much as you practice. Get a lot of solo piping recordings from the old guys (Willie Clancy, Seamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome, and the Dorans in particular) and the best modern players, like Brian McNamara, Jimmy O'Brien-Moran, Mick O'Brien, Paddy Keenan, Robbie Hannan, Ronan Browne, Tommy Keane, Leo Rickard, Kevin Rowsome, and Gay McKeon. Their CDs have a lot to teach about repertoire, technique, variations, and phrasing. Try to get to Willie Clancy Summer School and don't skip class to go sightseeing. Take another week's vacation for that, if you want. If you go, be sure to practice a lot while you're there-don't spend your whole stay boozing and taking pictures! Record the lunchtime recitals as well as you can. Sometimes it's hard work but you'll be a better player for it.

Try to limit your initial repertoire to just a few tunes and really polish your technique before you move on to new material.

Hope this is helpful. Sorry if I sound like a scottish pipe major. It's a tough instrument and irish music is very unforgiving. Work at it though, and your practice should be rewarded. It's up to you to decide if it's worth the trouble. I enjoy it, although it takes a lot of my time and energy.

Patrick


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2002 6:55 pm 
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Does anyone have any experience with the Davey Spillane tutor and cassette available from lark in the Morning?

Gene


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 3:42 am 
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The Spillane tutor is very basic.
Does not mention anything about rolls or crans. Also see the tutor discussions on the Uilleann Pipe list:
http://listserv.heanet.ie/lists/uilleann.htmlTorben


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 3:44 am 
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Location: Odense, Denmark
My name was for some reason added to the url:
The correct one should come here:
http://listserv.heanet.ie/lists/uilleann.html


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 4:06 am 
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Location: Conal O Grada
Hello JB
You could look at the classes on http://www.scoiltrad.com
These are delivered over the Internet with individualised student assessments and feedback from the tutor via mp3
There is a demo pipes class that you can download for free to evaluate it.
There will be a course of 10 classes aimed at the complete beginner coming available at the end of March which will also include the unique feedback feature.
Check out the demo if you are interested and if you have any queries send them to eoriabhaigh@scoiltrad.com
Beir Bua
Conal O Grada


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2002 9:43 pm 
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Pan Canady's post is excellent. Reminds me of a quote I sqw recently that applies to learning an instrument. It goes something like ..."those who get ahead do so by applying themselves while others are wasting time." Glandman


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2002 3:36 am 
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If anyone is presently ordering a chanter from Brian Howard don't be put off by the Heather Clarke tutor. His present chanters sound nothing like Heathers pipes which sound just like a fog horn. They actually sound a little too much like a saxaphone for my taste, but the tone quality is nothing like that in the tutor, I heard the tutor right before I picked up my set and I was horrified.


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