Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Just a reminder folks that the main playlist to commit to memory is:

1-Teribus & Corrichoillie,
2-Skye Boat Song, Mhari's wedding & Scotland the Brave
3-Green Hills and When the Battle is O'er

We also looked at "The Gael" and "Cork Hill" to be more proficient with "strikes" and aim to work on the Shoals of  Herring set and Highland Cathederal. So lots to work on.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Practice list for week of 20th March 2011

Thanks for attending last nights practice. We will continue to play Teribus and Corrichoillie's march and was pleased to hear that this set is "playing well".

The marching is coming on, as too are the starts with a good solid "e" so well done to one and all. The idea of marching in a circle was novel, and worked well as we managed to stay in step. We will do that again, but a bigger circle as it may avoid a dizzy ending! Like any band the overall progress is determined by the few, so clearly a lot of practice has been done so please keep rehearsing and memorising your tunes!

Memorise "Green Hills" and "When the Battle is O'er"- This is a Jersey Pipe Band set so with these tucked away in your memories you may well be asked to join the band on a public outing, which would be great.

We ran through "The Gael" (which is a simple enough tune) and Cork Hill. For a first run-through they were picked up well and hopefully help push us all forward a bit and help break the routine of normal practice.

Thanks again academy, and look forward to seeing you all next week- if not before.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Tuning the Drones

A good question, and you are right they should be tuned identically: Bass (is the long one) and the two tenor drones (are the shorter ones) to the bagpipe chanter.

To start learning how to do this, simply stop all your drones and sound your pipe chanter. Stopping drones may be easier said than done for a beginner though. Corks can be used but leave the small outside tenor drone free to sound. (Please don't tape the drone reeds or insert the drone reeds upside down etc as this can cause damage and ruin the drone reeds. I've even seen chewing gum employed so avoid this approach too!)

Once you are practiced at keeping the pressure on your pipe bag  you can stop the drones by touching or "flicking closed" the centre top of the tenor and bass drones. This creates a vacum in the drone itself and stops them from sounding-if you are not there yet grab some drone stoppers or wine corks trimmed down for the job and put them into the drone tops!

Play high A and tune the outside tenor drone by turning the top drone part. Tuning occurs when there is no "wavering" between the tenor drone and the pipe chanter. I recall tuning to high A then playing a low A to check that they were in tune. (its easier to hear the lower A note than the high A note( something to do with human evolution!!))

Check and re-check but in time you will get the hang of it and the "wavering will cease.

Having done the outside drone start or get the other (middle) tenor drone to sound by removing the cork or "flicking" the drone top open. It's easier to tune the middle drone as you can tune it to the outside tenor drone which is already tuned. Play high A and low A to check there is no wavering.

Repeat the process for the Bass drone and recheck the high A and low A. The Bass has three sections to it so make sure you keep the top section high and then leave it alone. It doesn't need to move. Always turn the mid section of the bass drone to tune it.

Note too that by moving or twisting a drone upwards flattens the sound or moving or twisting a drone downward sharpens it.

In time it will be a matter of taking a few seconds to tune drones. A pipe that is well played tends to have drones that are stable so take little tuning adjustments, though the bass drone generally needs tuning as its the one you "break" to get into your pipe case at the end of a session!

Anyway, I'm sure you will find your own technique but that's the basics of it.

Happy tuning

Saturday, 12 March 2011

One way of remembering music is to know the words so why not have a wee song to yourself. Below are the words for the Green Hills of Tyrol, or as we know it:

The Scottish Soldier:

There was a soldier, a Scottish soldier
Who wandered far away and soldiered far away
There was none bolder, with good broad shoulder
He's fought in many a fray, and fought and won.
He'd seen the glory and told the story
Of battles glorious and deeds nefarious
But now he's sighing, his heart is crying
To leave these green hills of Tyrol.

Because these green hills are not highland hills
Or the island hills, the're not my land's hills
And fair as these green foreign hills may be
They are not the hills of home.

Jersey Pipe Band Academy: Welcome to the Academy Blog site

Jersey Pipe Band Academy: Welcome to the Academy Blog site: "Now that the Jersey Pipe Band Academy has been running for a few months its time we made sure that we all know what's going on in our little..."

Friday, 11 March 2011

Please practice

Hi guys,

Please practice and learn off by heart the following tunes for next Thursday: 

                            Teribus and Corrichoillie

We need to have these well embedded in our memories as we need to get marching. The more we know the tunes the more we can concentrate on marching! Seems obvious but its more difficult in reality!   So, no sheet music on the table top next week for these two tunes! Easy, I hear you say...easy!

Also, the Green Hills of Tyrol is coming on but again the quicker we can commit this tune to memory the quicker we can learn the next tune in the set. One way of learning music is simply by learning a musical bar at a time. Don't move on until you are fairly comfortable with the bar before. Sounds like a drinking technique to me!

                                                    Good luck and happy piping!

Welcome to the Academy Blog site

Now that the Jersey Pipe Band Academy has been running for a few months its time we made sure that we all know what's going on in our little world.

This blog site will hopefully help do this so make sure you save the URL as a favourite and check it regularly. For reference it is: http://jerseypipebandacademy.blogspot.com/
The idea is that matters of interest will be "blogged" here and you can check what's going on in your academy.

Stay tuned and thanks for taking the time to follow this blog.

The photo of Jersey was taken when the Jersey pipe band last competed at the World Championships in 2010. It was great to be in the company of pipers and drummers from all over the world. Now that's a great reason to learn pipe and drum skills, so come along to the Berni Hall in St Martin at 7 p.m. most Thursday evenings to join the academy and meet like minded folks. Cheers for now.