Home Tag "Free"

Practicing Slowly

Mark Olson
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534
Perhaps you’ve been to a live performance and have noted how relaxed and fluid the piper sounds. His or her finger work is spot on; each embellishment is crisp and even. You think to yourself, “I can do that!” Inspired by such a performance, you rush home, fire up the pipes, try to push the tempo, and the death grip sets in. You are anything but relaxed and your fingerwork becomes sloppy.

Do You Need 10,000 Hours of Practice?

David Lairson
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179
How do you get good at something? The answer has always been practice, practice, practice. The real question is, how long does it take to get good? There is the saying, that has been around for a while, that it take 10,000 hours to master a skill. Does it really take 10,000 hours to become a master?

Cultivate Your Work Ethic

Mark Olson
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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.

Room for Improvement

John Holcombe
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468
Last April, 2016, I competed in a Grade 4 Adult (EUSPBA) event at the highland games in Dunedin, Florida, a true hotbed of piping in the Southeast United States. It had been raining heavily all morning, and I was due up in a large group for the 2/4 march competition, with Rab Mathieson as the judge.

Identify, Determine the Cause, Solve the Problem

Mark Olson
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Things go wrong. It is our condition as humans. We aren't machines that execute tasks perfectly every time. In piping, we have a multitude of variables to which we need to attend in order to have a successful performance. Some of those variables, such as the temperature and the relative humidity, our out of our control.

Visualizing ALAP/ASAP—Part 1

Mark Olson
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1.47K
On the bagpipe, we cannot play a note with more volume in order to add expression to a phrase. Indeed, our goal is to play at a steady pressure so that the pitch of the chanter and the drones remains constant. Nor do we have techniques such as staccato or legato available to us on the Highland bagpipe. On the Highland bagpipe, we express our music by holding notes longer than we would normally hold them, playing them As Long As [Musically] Possible (ALAP) and playing contrasting notes As Short As [Musically] Possible (ASAP).