This bagpipe lesson for Bruce's Address (Scots Wha Hae) is suitable for the beginner. This tune is one of the first tunes a beginner learns from Bill's Interactive Beginners Bagpipe Tutorial.
The following exercises are to help you with some less familiar intervals with grace notes in the tune. Refer to the video and audio as usual for this and the tune.
Exercise 1 is simply “G” grace note on “F” held for about two seconds at this stage followed with a “G” grace note on “D” cleanly and held also for about two seconds. Think of the note you are about to change to each time. Repeat with continuous blowing as in all exercises.
Exercise 2 is a low “G” grace note on low “A” from “B”. Sound “B” about two seconds then close the chanter to sound low “G” as a short note and raise that little finger to finish on “A” and hold. Progressively make the low “G” a brisk grace note on the low “A” without being late. Repeat as necessary.
Exercise 3 is high “A” to “E”. Sound high “A” in similar timing to these other exercises then sound “E”, making sure that the third “E” finger lifts cleanly without crossing sounds. When repeating avoid crossing sounds back to high “A”. Think of the note you are about to change to cleanly. Repeat.
Endeavour from now on to beat time in tunes. Use your foot pivoting on the heel down and up (D U) in equal time to each pulse or beat. The pulses/beats are recognisable in the written music by the time signature, which denotes the number of pulses in the bar. The pulses/beats are separated from each other in bars as in the tune Bruce’s Address with two pulses/beats to each bar.
Take Bruce’s Address below first part in separate two bar clauses at a time, played very slowly for now and with simplified grace notes. This is a traditional air that has been adapted by some famous Classical orchestral composers in their works i.e. Hector Berlioz, and Max Bruch.
Like the two previous tunes, this one predominately has notes rising and falling in single intervals; making it easier to follow and play. Refer audio.
Each bar in 2/4 time has two pulses with many of the pulses in two tied notes of which one is a dotted quaver/eighth making it relatively longer than the other shorter semi-quaver with two hooks. At first play these tied notes at almost equal value to become familiar with them, then develop the rhythm as required of relative longer and shorter duration, which are shown with clues under the latter four bars i.e. 1- &, 2- &, 1- &, 2--, 1- &, 2- &, 1--, 2-- bridged. The numbered note is the longer one, with the “&” the shorter note, yet not clipped, but slightly relaxed as in the recording of these extracts and the tune, played very slowly, then almost up to as normally played in a steady tempo of about 72 BPM to assist the beginner.
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