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TOPIC: Smallpipers in Denmark?

Smallpipers in Denmark? 1 year 7 months ago #368

  • cabates
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My name is Charles and I am an American residing in Denmark with my Scottish wife (an Ayrshire lass). I have long dreamt of learning to play the Scottish smallpipes w/ bellows and have just ordered my very first set from Lochalsh Pipes (SMILING).

Though there seems to be a thriving GHB community on the island where I live (Als), I am having some difficulty finding an instructor for the smallpipes. Neither can I find another (new)Dane in the membership directory, so if anyone has a smallpiper residing in, or near, the southern part of the Danish peninsula within their personal network, I would be most grateful for an introduction.

Until an instructor can be found I intend to dedicate myself to the joys of the practice chanter, whilst simultaneously practicing on the bellows of a practice smallpipe set (the practice set is yet to be obtained).

Are there any particular books/cds/dvds/online courses which could be recommended as superior/inferior to the endeavors of Scottish smallpipes self-study?

-Charles
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Re: Smallpipers in Denmark? 1 year 7 months ago #369

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Hi Charles, welcome to the bellows world. Without a doubt what you need is 'More Power to Your Elbow', the definitive manual on bellows-piping, including a CD tutorial with Iain MacInnes [the tutorial is also on-line for members- see the Members' Pages Menu]
There is a Danish piper up in Alborg, but he's playing Danish pipes, or at least he was last time I knew.

pete
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing, they say
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Re: Smallpipers in Denmark? 1 year 7 months ago #370

  • Tunni
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Hi Charles I'd say get in with the GHB mob and get instruction on the practice chanter through them if you continue to draw blanks on finding a dedicated SSP tutor. Although GHB is not by any means the only route into smallpiping it is by a long chalk one of the best and any GHB piper worth his salt has spent at least a year just on the practice chanter before going anywhere near a set of pipes. If you're honest with an instructor from the start you can get all the benfits of GHB finger technique (which is basically smallpipe technique too) without going anywhere near the beasty.

It certainly will help you get to grips with the challenges of the smallpipes to get someone to help with learning the fingering and some decent finger exercises to get them moving . You are more likely to find smallpipers amongst the GHB community too. Books are great supplements but are only in exceptional instances capable of replacing the instruction and perhaps as importantly the inspiration of a decent instructor, especially if you have had no previous musical tuition.
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Re: Smallpipers in Denmark? 1 year 7 months ago #373

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Hi Pete

Thank you very much for the recommendation, I'll put "More Power to your Elbow" at the top of my Christmas list.

Aalborg is a bit of a haul from Als (app. 6 hours on the train) but it would be nice to speak with a Danish smllpipes player and hear if he had any contacts for instruction. If I were to send an email to your homepage, would you please forward my contact information to your acquaintance?

-Charles
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Re: Smallpipers in Denmark? 1 year 7 months ago #374

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Hi Tunni,
Thanks for the advice. I've seen that my local Pipes & Drums accepts new members every January, so I will make some enquiries into learning the GHB finger technique alongside the winter's (other) new recruits. I’ll wait on ordering a practice chanter until I’ve heard back from them regarding their eventual specifications for type/length/manufacturer.
-Charles
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Re: Smallpipers in Denmark? 1 year 7 months ago #375

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Hi Charles I wouldn't wait to order a practice chanter, they are pretty much of a muchness really if you buy from a reputable dealer at least. Plastic or blackwood doesn't really matter either, although blackwood is sweeter in tone it can crack along the blowpipe especially on a practice chanter (lots of wet blowing will do it). I wouldn't bother with a long chanter either they are more useful for ghb but still are really at best a marginal benefit in my opinion. A straight forward cheap and cheerful will do it and fit in fine. Even bands like Field Marshal use their own practice chanters so it would be one very precious PM who started specifying things like that.
Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by Tunni.
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