In today's Daily Dose, we practice the Squeeze Tabata -- how strong is your arm?
Physical Blowing Mechanics and Mental Blowing Anomalies
When it comes to blowing steadily on the bagpipes, there are two facets. The first is physical blowing mechanics - the skill of steadily blowing, squeezing, and transitioning back and forth from blowing to squeezing. The ability to manage this cycle steadily is a huge part of getting a good sound on the bagpipes.
Once you have a steady bedrock of blowing, then we have to fight what we call “mental anomalies” - aspects of our bagpipe fingerwork that cause lapses in our steady blowing. Have you ever surged in pressure when you got to a High A? Sagged on the pressure on a D or a Low A? Have you ever blown so hard during a difficult passage that you shut all your drones off? THESE are mental blowing anomolies - the 2nd key facet of steady blowing on the bagpipes. No matter what our fingers are doing, our blowing must remain steady… but that is a tall order, and something that takes A LOT of practice.
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