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recommended tutor book for nsp?

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  • Ian Clabburn
    Can anyone recommend a good (progressive) tutor book for a beginner on the NSP? Most of the books I have come across explain the bits and then launch straight
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 1, 2006
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      Can anyone recommend a good (progressive) tutor book for a beginner on the NSP?
      Most of the books I have come across explain the bits and then launch straight into scales and full tunes. It would be nice to think that somewhere there exists a method that builds up expertise in simple steps, as is current practice in the better recorder/guitar books for young players.
      It should be suitable for a highly motivated (and intelligent!) 11 year old.
      Many thanks
      Ian

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • townpiper
      ... beginner on the NSP? ... launch straight into scales and full tunes. It would be nice to think that somewhere there exists a method that builds up
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 5, 2006
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        --- In bellowspipes@yahoogroups.com, "Ian Clabburn"
        <ian_clabburn@...> wrote:
        >
        > Can anyone recommend a good (progressive) tutor book for a
        beginner on the NSP?
        > Most of the books I have come across explain the bits and then
        launch straight into scales and full tunes. It would be nice to
        think that somewhere there exists a method that builds up expertise
        in simple steps, as is current practice in the better
        recorder/guitar books for young players.
        > It should be suitable for a highly motivated (and intelligent!) 11
        year old.
        > Many thanks
        > Ian
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        Ian
        I'd recommend Gordon Mooney's Tutor for the Cauld Wind Bagpipes. May
        be out of print and somewhat tough to find, but I'd try the Lowland
        and Border Pipers society' webpage.
      • rryanwilley
        ... expertise ... 11 ... May ... Lowland ... Might I suggest More Power To Your Elbow by The Lowland Border Pipers Society. You can find it at www.lbps.net,
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 5, 2006
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          --- In bellowspipes@yahoogroups.com, "townpiper" <townpiper@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > --- In bellowspipes@yahoogroups.com, "Ian Clabburn"
          > <ian_clabburn@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Can anyone recommend a good (progressive) tutor book for a
          > beginner on the NSP?
          > > Most of the books I have come across explain the bits and then
          > launch straight into scales and full tunes. It would be nice to
          > think that somewhere there exists a method that builds up
          expertise
          > in simple steps, as is current practice in the better
          > recorder/guitar books for young players.
          > > It should be suitable for a highly motivated (and intelligent!)
          11
          > year old.
          > > Many thanks
          > > Ian
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          > Ian
          > I'd recommend Gordon Mooney's Tutor for the Cauld Wind Bagpipes.
          May
          > be out of print and somewhat tough to find, but I'd try the
          Lowland
          > and Border Pipers society' webpage.
          >
          Might I suggest More Power To Your Elbow by The Lowland Border
          Pipers Society. You can find it at www.lbps.net, very informative
          and loaded with info and fifty tunes.
          Good Luck
          -Ryan Willey
        • Ran
          I would like to give my opinion on this subject and also give some incite on how to make a success of learning the pipes. First I want to relate this to my
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 8, 2006
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            I would like to give my opinion on this subject and also give some
            incite on how to make a success of learning the pipes. First I want
            to relate this to my experiences with learning Clarinet in
            Elementary and Junior high school. Please read further but I
            recommend that everyone starting out have at least two items for
            learning on their own if an instructor is not available. The first
            item is The DVD version of "The Art of Uilleann piping Vol 1",
            published by the NPU of Ireland. This is about a $40USD DVD and you
            need this. Here is what is in it that is important for the first
            time piper:
            1. What is considered a good working instrument? How do the parts
            work?
            2. How do you hold the instrument?
            3. What should I practice first?
            4. Troubleshooting.
            One terrible comment that is made in the video which must be ignored
            is that Leo Rowesome use to tell people that it took 7 years to
            learn to play the pipes, 7 years to learn them well, and 7 years to
            master them. This is a good way to scare people away. It should
            not take any longer to learn these than it would to learn a band
            instrument such as clarinet if you follow my advice. I am 43 and I
            do not have 21 years to learn the basics.

            The second item you need is H.J. Clarks Book and CD, "The new
            Approach to Uilleann Piping. Rather than launch you immediately
            into songs, it guides you through simple scales and shows you how to
            become familiar with fingering and recognizing notes and playing
            them from sheet music. The CD is helpful but you need the DVD
            mentioned above to give you the visuals.

            Many of us have tried making pipes and failed because we don't know
            how a good set of pipes should work. Without a point of reference
            it's hard to tell what you should end up with. You have to ask
            yourself a basic question. Am I interested in learning to build the
            pipes, or am I more interested in learning to play them? Learning
            to build them can take much more time and money that it would take
            to take a train, plane, or car ride, to meet with your maker,
            establish a relationship, and order a set of pipes. Since over time
            you will spend as much as $5000-$7000 on a set of pipes, I would
            spend the few bucks and take a bus or plane to meet with your pipe
            maker. Spend $2000 and get a practice set and a commitment from
            your maker that he will be around to upgrade them for you later on.
            I chose Brad Angus for my set because he spent 3 hours with me at
            his home showing me his work and playing for me. I learned more
            there than I had in the last two years of fumbling around with bits
            and pieces. When I first learned Clarinet, I learned on a cheap
            resin Bundy instrument. This was good for the basics, but once I
            switched to a wood professional model, I soon overcame the
            frustration of leaky keys, a plastic sound, and bad air usage. GET
            A GOOD QUALITY INSTRUMENT BEFORE YOU START OR YOU WILL NOT LEARN…………
            EVER!!

            What and How to Practice: I read a piece recently from someone who
            said you can tell a book taught piper because of the lack of
            technique. This is poppy cock. You need to be able to read sheet
            music in order to be able to play with other musicians. You will
            learn technique from the videos and other players later on.
            First you need to start by simply playing a single note at a time
            while reading the note from a scale book. As you become familiar
            with this first note, you go on and learn a second note, and then a
            third. A good reference for how a book should be laid out would be
            for you to go to a music store and look over a copy of Rubank's
            elementary methods. Any of the instrument versions will do. These
            are the blue books that elementary and junior high school teachers
            have used since time began. They will not be in the proper scale
            for pipes, but the method of what to practice will be the same and
            very similar to what is in H.J. Clarke's book as mentioned above.
            You need to build memory into your fingering while you read
            notation. Avoid learning by ear!!! There is nothing more
            frustrating as a musician then to sit down with a group and be the
            only one to read sheet music. It takes much longer to learn a piece
            by ear than to break a piece of sheet music into bars and learn one
            step at a time. If you are going to play some things by ear, use it
            as a treat for yourself after about an hour of successful book
            work. This leads me to another piece of advice. Always reward
            yourself at the end of a practice session. This tends to keep your
            interest and make you feel better about having to play "A" quarter
            notes for an hour when you really wanted to play something fun
            like "March of the King of Laos." Don't worry, it will come with
            time. Learning general fingering and learning how to read music
            first will make sight reading new music easier later on.
            How long should I practice? You read everywhere that it's not how
            long, but practice until you master what you set out to do. This
            again is hogwash. Sometimes you can't master what you wanted to and
            you need to set the instrument down and come back after you have
            rested your mind and body. So the question is not, how long is
            enough but more a question of how much time should pass before I
            practice again. You may only practice 15 minutes a day for a week
            but I would take that over 1 day a week of an hour and a half any
            time. Don't let too much time pass before you pickup the instrument
            again. People become bored and when you let days or weeks go by you
            forget what you have learned and have to start again. Remember, in
            the first couple of years your fingers are building memory. When I
            first learned clarinet, I could not let a day go by without having
            to start over, but after high school, I didn't play for 10 years and
            when I picked it up again, I could play like I never stopped. There
            is something I call the "Musician's Hump." It maybe boring and
            redundant when you are first learning but one day you wake up and
            realize that you can play from sheet music and can pickup just about
            anything within a day. It's at that point you are over the hump!
            Good luck and remember, the financial investment is small potatoes
            compared to the commitment you need to be making toward learning
            your music and your inmstrument.
          • Bob Cameron
            Several good points here, but as the original question was about a tutor (book) for Northumbrian Smallpipes, I m not at all sure how the NPU video or H.J.
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 8, 2006
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              Several good points here, but as the original question was about
              a tutor (book) for Northumbrian Smallpipes, I'm not at all sure
              how the NPU video or H.J. Clark's book would apply.
              I, too, first learned an instrument using the Rubank methods
              mentioned, but I believe the currently available methods from
              other publishers are better suited to young students- they get
              them playing tunes earlier while still giving them the basic
              technique a couple of notes at a time. (I'm a public school
              music teacher, FWIW).

              I also believe reading music is an indispensable advantage, but
              not always better than being able to play by ear. The complete
              musician should be able to do both, IMHO. Most sessions I've
              been to frown on reading from sheet music at the session- that
              goes for jams in other (non piping) kinds of music as well.

              I completely agree that a musician should know his instrument
              and how to maintain it. Tuning and maintenance are essential
              elements of musicianship that too many beginners do not have a
              grasp of on almost any instrument one can name.

              The point about a good quality instrument is also important,
              though I would tend to argue that most resin clarinets of decent
              quality (including Bundy) shouldn't be leaky to start with.
              Perhaps yours was not well maintained before you got it.


              Ran wrote:
              > I would like to give my opinion on this subject and also give some
              > incite on how to make a success of learning the pipes. First I want
              > to relate this to my experiences with learning Clarinet in
              > Elementary and Junior high school. Please read further but I
              > recommend that everyone starting out have at least two items for
              > learning on their own if an instructor is not available. The first
              > item is The DVD version of "The Art of Uilleann piping Vol 1",
              > published by the NPU of Ireland. This is about a $40USD DVD and you
              > need this. Here is what is in it that is important for the first
              > time piper:
              > 1. What is considered a good working instrument? How do the parts
              > work?
              > 2. How do you hold the instrument?
              > 3. What should I practice first?
              > 4. Troubleshooting.
              > One terrible comment that is made in the video which must be ignored
              > is that Leo Rowesome use to tell people that it took 7 years to
              > learn to play the pipes, 7 years to learn them well, and 7 years to
              > master them. This is a good way to scare people away. It should
              > not take any longer to learn these than it would to learn a band
              > instrument such as clarinet if you follow my advice. I am 43 and I
              > do not have 21 years to learn the basics.
              >
              > The second item you need is H.J. Clarks Book and CD, "The new
              > Approach to Uilleann Piping. Rather than launch you immediately
              > into songs, it guides you through simple scales and shows you how to
              > become familiar with fingering and recognizing notes and playing
              > them from sheet music. The CD is helpful but you need the DVD
              > mentioned above to give you the visuals.
              >
              > Many of us have tried making pipes and failed because we don't know
              > how a good set of pipes should work. Without a point of reference
              > it's hard to tell what you should end up with. You have to ask
              > yourself a basic question. Am I interested in learning to build the
              > pipes, or am I more interested in learning to play them? Learning
              > to build them can take much more time and money that it would take
              > to take a train, plane, or car ride, to meet with your maker,
              > establish a relationship, and order a set of pipes. Since over time
              > you will spend as much as $5000-$7000 on a set of pipes, I would
              > spend the few bucks and take a bus or plane to meet with your pipe
              > maker. Spend $2000 and get a practice set and a commitment from
              > your maker that he will be around to upgrade them for you later on.
              > I chose Brad Angus for my set because he spent 3 hours with me at
              > his home showing me his work and playing for me. I learned more
              > there than I had in the last two years of fumbling around with bits
              > and pieces. When I first learned Clarinet, I learned on a cheap
              > resin Bundy instrument. This was good for the basics, but once I
              > switched to a wood professional model, I soon overcame the
              > frustration of leaky keys, a plastic sound, and bad air usage. GET
              > A GOOD QUALITY INSTRUMENT BEFORE YOU START OR YOU WILL NOT LEARN…………
              > EVER!!
              >
              > What and How to Practice: I read a piece recently from someone who
              > said you can tell a book taught piper because of the lack of
              > technique. This is poppy cock. You need to be able to read sheet
              > music in order to be able to play with other musicians. You will
              > learn technique from the videos and other players later on.
              > First you need to start by simply playing a single note at a time
              > while reading the note from a scale book. As you become familiar
              > with this first note, you go on and learn a second note, and then a
              > third. A good reference for how a book should be laid out would be
              > for you to go to a music store and look over a copy of Rubank's
              > elementary methods. Any of the instrument versions will do. These
              > are the blue books that elementary and junior high school teachers
              > have used since time began. They will not be in the proper scale
              > for pipes, but the method of what to practice will be the same and
              > very similar to what is in H.J. Clarke's book as mentioned above.
              > You need to build memory into your fingering while you read
              > notation. Avoid learning by ear!!! There is nothing more
              > frustrating as a musician then to sit down with a group and be the
              > only one to read sheet music. It takes much longer to learn a piece
              > by ear than to break a piece of sheet music into bars and learn one
              > step at a time. If you are going to play some things by ear, use it
              > as a treat for yourself after about an hour of successful book
              > work. This leads me to another piece of advice. Always reward
              > yourself at the end of a practice session. This tends to keep your
              > interest and make you feel better about having to play "A" quarter
              > notes for an hour when you really wanted to play something fun
              > like "March of the King of Laos." Don't worry, it will come with
              > time. Learning general fingering and learning how to read music
              > first will make sight reading new music easier later on.
              > How long should I practice? You read everywhere that it's not how
              > long, but practice until you master what you set out to do. This
              > again is hogwash. Sometimes you can't master what you wanted to and
              > you need to set the instrument down and come back after you have
              > rested your mind and body. So the question is not, how long is
              > enough but more a question of how much time should pass before I
              > practice again. You may only practice 15 minutes a day for a week
              > but I would take that over 1 day a week of an hour and a half any
              > time. Don't let too much time pass before you pickup the instrument
              > again. People become bored and when you let days or weeks go by you
              > forget what you have learned and have to start again. Remember, in
              > the first couple of years your fingers are building memory. When I
              > first learned clarinet, I could not let a day go by without having
              > to start over, but after high school, I didn't play for 10 years and
              > when I picked it up again, I could play like I never stopped. There
              > is something I call the "Musician's Hump." It maybe boring and
              > redundant when you are first learning but one day you wake up and
              > realize that you can play from sheet music and can pickup just about
              > anything within a day. It's at that point you are over the hump!
              > Good luck and remember, the financial investment is small potatoes
              > compared to the commitment you need to be making toward learning
              > your music and your inmstrument.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
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