Home Class Archives BAEYS Tutor BAEYS Chapter 1 Tutor [Vintage] - Lesson 1-3: Scale Run Exercises
Tutor [Vintage] - Lesson 1-3: Scale Run Exercises

Tutor [Vintage] - Lesson 1-3: Scale Run Exercises

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Melodies are made of combinations of “motives,” or small musical ideas. Where bagpipe tunes are concerned, motives get put together to make phrases, and the phrases make tunes. There are two main ways to navigate the bagpipe scale: Scale Runs and Arpeggios. All bagpipe tunes were (and still are) composed using different combinations of Scale Runs and Arpeggios. In this lesson, you will experience several different Scale-Run Exercises, moving both up and down the scale.

1-3.1: Small Up and Downs


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1-3.2: Small Down and Ups


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1-3.3: Big Up and Downs


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1-3.4: Big Down and Ups


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1-3.5: Scale Climber Up


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1-3.6: Scale Climber Down


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Objectives:

  • Play every note accurately.
    • A crisp, clean transition to each note.
    • No crossing noises (see the      ’s). (See Note 1 from Lesson 1-2)
    • Keep your fingers properly positioned on the chanter. (See Lesson 1-1.2)
    • Play rhythms accurately.
      • Tap your foot at the beginning of each beat. (See Note 1 from This Lesson)
      • Know how many notes go inside each beat (See Note 2 from This Lesson)
      • Don’t worry about how fast the tempo is; worry about the steadiness of the tempo.

Notes:

Note 1: Time Signatures

Each bar, enclosed by two vertical black bar lines, will contain several beats. The number of beats is dictated by the time signature.

Technically speaking, the top number of a time signature will tell you how many beats will be in a bar. The bottom number tells you what type of note designates one beat.

For our purposes, take note of the time signature, but focus on the number of note-groups inside of each bar. Generally, the number of note groups will show you how many beats are in a bar. For example, the first bar of 1-3.1 has two groups of two eighth notes each. You will see the time signature has a two on the top (two beats in the bar), and a four on the bottom (a quarter note, which in this example is the sum of two eighth notes, gets the beat). The first bar of 1-3.3 has four groups – and the time signature reads 4/4.

See our Time Signature Lesson to learn more.

Note 2: Dividing up a Beat.

Beats can be divided into any number of parts, and they can also be extended across more than one beat. Luckily, the music notation that we use makes these easy to learn and to see as we read through the music. In this lesson, we will learn about two types of divisions; Eighth Notes and Sixteenth Notes. Also, we will learn two types of extensions: Half Notes and Whole Notes.

The first bar of 1-3.1 uses Eighth Notes to divide the beats into two equal parts.

  • Eighth notes are beamed together at the bottom of the notes to show you that they occur inside the same beat.
  • You should tap your foot on the first eighth note, and play the second eighth note exactly half-way in between foot-taps.

The second bar of 1-3.1 looks like a quarter note but has a hole in the note-head. This actually extends the note into a Half Note, which gets two beats instead of one. Tap your foot two times before you move on from a Half Note.

The first bar of 1-3.5 uses Sixteenth Notes to divide the beats into four equal parts.

  • Sixteenth notes are double-beamed together at the bottom of the notes to show you that all four of them occur inside the same beat.
  • You should tap your foot on the first sixteenth note, and proceed to play all four notes evenly across the beat. (Note: the third note will land exactly half-way through the beat.)

The second bar of 1-3.5 uses a whole note, which is just one empty note head. This means it is extended to last 4 beats. Tap your foot four times before moving on.

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Andrew Douglas Andrew is a prolific practitioner of the bagpipe, having been active at the highest level of pipe bands, solo competition, teaching, and creative endeavors for the past 20 years. He's also the founder and creator of Dojo U and of PipersDojo.com

Comment(4)

    1. Use a metronome, set it for the beat pattern you want, and practice tapping your foot at the same time the metronome clicks. Then play at the same time, and practice, practice, practice.

  1. Andrew,
    On lesson 3.6 it states refer to text does that mean the notes on the bottom of the page?

    On the last measure of 3.6 I get crossing noises going from low G to B, thru the years this has been a continual problem suggestions?

    1. Yep! We are releasing a new tutor soon which will help make all of this easier to follow!

      Meanwhile - Low G to B is tough! Have a look at the G-B-D argpeggio in the Arpeggios section!

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