Bagpipe Lessons For Finger Positioning On The Practice Chanter
It is important for you to learn the correct method for finger positioning on
the practice chanter. Take careful note of the instructions below. Remember being
careless in finger positioning will effect the quality of your note execution on
the bagpipe or practice chanter. Take your time to understand Bills advice.
Place the chanter say on your left knee or thigh while sitting in an upright
position on a hard-back chair. Hold the chanter steadily with your right hand near
the bottom with the main holes facing directly to your front. Do not attempt at
this stage to cover the lower holes. Eventually the chanter can be free of support if preferred.
Commence placing fingers correctly from the top down because it better resembles fingering of eventual
notes. With the aid of Fig.1 and 2 (below), the video about Basic Fingering and without blowing
commence as follows:
The left-hand thumb outer pad on the hole at the back, then with the fingers quite straight,
without being stiff or rather too bent. The next three finger of the left hand are placed on the upper holes
using the outer pads thus: Place the left forefinger on the top front hole, then similarly the next second
finger on the next hole a bit farther across (not bent), being a longer finger almost on the crease of the
outer pad, and the third finger placed on the next hole then hold. This completes the fingering required on
the top hand. The little finger just relaxes to the side.
The right-hand first three fingers are placed using the inner pads. The forefinger covers the next hole
down from the top hand. The second finger follows on the next hole down, but farther across; being a
longer finger (not bent). The right thumb is placed behind the second finger where it should remain when
playing. Avoid creeping up with that thumb. The third finger is then on the next hole — all fingers quite
straight, without being tense or stiff. The little finger with the outer pad occupies the lowest facing hole.
Fig. 1:Finger chanter touch points.
Fig. 2: Rear view of finger positions.
A clue about spaces between fingers. On both hands the first and second fingers are quite close to each
other, whereas the spaces between the second and third fingers are a bit more apart, as is the right little
finger. See Fig. 2 above.
The grip on the chanter with both hands should be just enough to prevent the chanter from falling through
the fingers when held without support.
BILL'S LEARNING TIP: Take time to become familiar with these 3 things and you will save yourself a
lot frustration in the future. Don't be in a hurry to start playing, be methodical and proceed as
Fast as A Tortoise. Take your time to be proficient with the being able to play these notes
FIRSTLY learn to recognize the notes in notation form.
SECONDLY look at the picture to understand the correct finger positioning for the note.
THIRDLY become familiar with the pitch of the note by playing the audio clip.
FOURTHLY watch the video clip until you are familiar with its content.
Take your time to go through the finger positioning learning aids below.
NOTES PLAYED WITH THE LOWER HAND
LOW G NOTE
LISTEN TO LOW G
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