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TOPIC: Squeal on E grace note to low G

Squeal on E grace note to low G 1 year 4 months ago #485

This high-pitched squeal happens consistently (small pipes in A), even with different reeds, when I try to play an E grace note to low G. It might be bad fingering, since I'm new to the pipes, but same thing happens when I tape off all the bottom hand holes. Any thoughts?
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Squeal on E grace note to low G 1 year 4 months ago #488

  • Tunni
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Hi Wheelsonfire

I have had real problems with a similar kind of thing on shutting down from high A on my newish (now 18 months) border pipes and I've been playing highland pipes for donkeys now! I'd suggest that painful though it might be it probably is a fingering difficulty, just as mine was/is, especially as you are new to the pipes.

Stick with it and practice your grace notes slowly up and down the scale. Anyone who has played for a while will tell you that it takes a good deal of diligent work before grace notes can be fired off at will. While you are learning I'd suggest timing is much more important than ornamentation anyway. So go with learning the tune stripped down and put the ornamentation in when you've really nailed it down.

Another thing to watch out for is getting a bit carried away with the bellows when you are concentrating on hitting that note. Try and keep the pressure consistent with the notes you are trying to play. A final tip would be to try and keep your chanter still too. If you watch any of the really skilled players at work you will see there's a real stillness to how the instrument is held and pressurised. The speed of movement is just the fingers. Good luck and have fun!
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Squeal on E grace note to low G 1 year 4 months ago #490

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Ps the reason the same thing keeps happening even with the bottom holes taped is more likely that you are letting slip with your grip somewhere on the top hand. Probably with the thumb or index finger as you change the pressure to execute the E gracing.
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Squeal on E grace note to low G 1 year 4 months ago #492

You nailed it. Once I was more careful with my fingering the problem went away.
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Squeal on E grace note to low G 1 year 3 months ago #493

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Nice one. It can be really tricky spotting where it's going wrong, the movement it takes to make things squeal is hardly detectable sometimes, especially when concentrating on trying something new. Glad you're getting an angle on it.

I've picked up a few tunes from this guy in the past and really like his teaching method. It's tuition for the highland pipe but the fingering is the same. You might find a look at some of his online lessons worthwhile, best of all they're free too :-)

PM Bill Robertson:
www.bagpipe-tutorials.com/bagpipe-lessons.html
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Squeal on E grace note to low G 1 year 3 months ago #498

  • allrrock
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Hi Tunni

Thanks for that lead on www.bagpipe-tutorials.com/bagpipe-lessons.html. I just had a quick look at his lesson on jig playing and it seems very good. I'll follow the lot, and who knows might even get back into piobaireachd again.

Allan
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