A Bagpipe Lesson for
Rachael Rae & Pigeon on the Gate

For this bagpipe lesson Pipe Major Bill Robertson explains playing of the tunes Rachael Rae & Pigeon on the Gate. Bill breaks the lesson down into sections with commentary for each section.


Listen to Bill's Audio Instruction
Pigeon on the gate - Strathspey
Listen to Bill's Audio Instruction
Rachael Rae Strathspey

Download the Music Notation

Click to download the tune notation for Pigeon on the Gate & Rachael Rae

Lesson Pointers for the tunes

For both Pigeon on the Gate & Rachael Rae endeavour to relax within reason on the pointing as in most reels and strive for good clean, clear execution. That is why reels are written in split common time (2/2) rather than 2/4 time in having the short notes with two hooks rather than three hooks as in 2/4s much of the time.

These little reels along with some others to come later, if you think worthwhile, are worth considering for medleys in a band or solo. There are two beats to the bar. BPM could be about 92-108.

These tunes are mostly suitable for intermediate and advanced pipers.

Additional Information

These two reels I used to play many years ago as part of the tunes that the then famous Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band (now Lothians and Borders Police) played under the direction of Pipe Major Donald Shaw Ramsay.

It was my Pipe Major Willie Denholm in my early days in The Royal Scots (early 1950's) who introduced his pipers to learn much of the ECPPB repertoire including these reels and more. Willie Denholm was guest piper with Donald Ramsay's band along with Piper Bob Gibson and two of our good side drummers for a season or so. After compulsory National Service Bob Gibson joined the Edinburgh City Police and the band, and was a valuable member for many years.

If you have any questions or comments, please use Contact Form to contact Bill.