Your band is holding a master class with an accomplished piper. Your sitting at the table playing through your band set on your practice chanter with your bandmates. Your guest instructor invites individuals to play the tune by him or herself. What do you do?
Listen to the Piper's Dojo Audio Experience, #206, Audio Lesson With Grade 3 Solo Competitor. You will note that, if we momentarily set aside the comments on tuning, Andrew's constructive criticisms revolve around the first five finger work fundamentals:
- Scale Navigation
- Basic Rhythm
- Gracenotes and Gracenote Quality
- Embellishments and Gracenote Quality
- Dot/Cuts (ALAP/ASAP)
ALAP and ASAP are acronyms. ASAP stands for As Long As [Musically] Possible (ALAP). ASAP stands for As Short As [Musically] Possible (ASAP). ALAP/ASAP is a method for learning and teaching “dot-cut” rhythms, dotted eighth notes followed by a sixteenth note, on the Highland Bagpipe.
I work with a number if brilliant people. Many of them have an incredible understanding of theory and can posit ingenious arguments for why we should do something in a particular way. Many of them, however, could not work their way out of a paper bag if their life depended on it. While they have great intellect, the lack an important characteristic, work ethic. The really good people with whom I’ve worked are not the most brilliant. Many are not the sharpest tacks in the box. But they have one thing that separates them from the others, many of whom are far more brilliant thinkers. They have work ethic.
How did we get by before the internet was invented? With a bevy of blogs and social media sites, all manner of advice is not lacking on the internet and that advice often comes under the rather presumptuous heading, "you're doing it all wrong!" Apparently, we should feel bad about ourselves in just about everything. From tying your shoes to being a dad, the internet has no shortage of course correction for all of us. I was recently so horrified that I was applying deodorant incorrectly, that I had to hang my head in shame. You might assume, then, that I am going to admonish you that you are doing it all wrong in your approach to piping.