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Fingering Technique (F-natural)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:33 am
by StephenRSelby
Can someone help with a technical question? I have an 11-key set of G pipes, so I have low and high F natural. At the higher end I'm trying to play runs around d-e-f natural-g. Is there any neat trick for runs like that? (The tune I'm learning is 'Inverness Gathering'.)

Re: Fingering Technique (F-natural)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:57 am
by RobSay
Hi Stephen - a good question

First off ... For the Inverness Gathering I'd definitely play it in A major. It's GHB scale so has G naturals throughout - bar one 'fiddlers accidental' which can work as a natural or be skipped. Playing C# & G# keys is *much* easier than playing the high F natural ..

Having said that ... the sequence you describe comes in the second part - and in G looks like this:
InvernessGatheringSnippet1.png (2.37 KiB) Viewed 3871 times

This is all about chanter control and keeping the top and bottom hand working together as the you transfer support between your thumbs - here are some things I would do:
  • RH thumb would come off the back of the chanter somewhere in the red section - so ready to hit the F nat key on the beat with as thumb little movement as possible
  • F naturals in purple sections are all dotted - but you need to play each of them as short as possible. Bounce off the key and back to 'home' - leaving a gap - before playing the high G. The G is also short - to give you time to get your RH thumb back up to the key.
  • Plant the chanter on your knee - stabilise it so you can have both thumbs off (this is a real compromise in my book - I choose to adapt or even not to play tunes that require this)
I would practice each of the four note purple sections completely separate from the tune (and each other). You need to find a way to play just those four notes in a way that works for you before putting the pieces together. Another way to approach this would be to play the whole tune and miss out (modify) the tricky bits - so instead of the 'fgfe' notes - play f3 e - this would still have the same rhythm and give you access to the rest of the tune.

FWIW - I would play this tune anywhere between 88 - 108 bpm. In G - I would only be able to manage bottom half of this range; in A ... 104/108bpm swings. I've seen it notated at 120+ but that is quite frankly ridiculous and loses all character.



Re: Fingering Technique (F-natural)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:52 am
by StephenRSelby
Thank you so much for your detailed reply. Just what I needed. But I'll try playing in A or D as well.