Thursday, 28 April 2011

Next practice night

There will be a full uniform practice next week on either Wednesday 4th or Thursday 5th May. Usual time at 7 p.m. but the P/S will keep you informed depending on whether big G or Big R can play. The holiday season is throwing some doubt on things. The aim of the practice next week is to have a good run through of all tunes and of course check the kit in advance of the Liberation Day parade.(see Blog below for overveiw etc)

Please turn up, and check your emails, texts etc to get the last minute news updates, and make sure you arrive with pipes, drums and memories in working order. (That guy in the back has a gun...scary better make sure things are in order) Oh happy days!!

9th May 2011: Liberation Day Parade

Planning is well underway for this annual Jersey celebration and the practice tonight was useful as the band will be turning out on May 9th to lead parade 2 & 5.

The POA (plan of action) is to park at Sand Street Car Park at 9.00 a.m. for a "muster" and general tune up then leave there at 9.15 a.m. to head up by "shank's pony " to West Centre for 9.30 a.m. sharp. The route will be: West Centre; Bath Street; Queen Street; Halkett Place;Hill St; and then peel off to Church Street to take up position in the Royal Square. In truth, we will follow a bobby with a big yellow jacket and he will guide us quietly to the Royal Square!

From there, after a wee breather, we will lead Parade 5, namely The Dean, Clergy, The Mace Bearer, H.E and the Bailiff and other dignatories at about 11.00 a.m. down to Liberation square where we end and retreat for a tea/coffee and optional bacon butty. (Photo: 2010 entrance by Royal Yacht of parade 5) 

At 11.20 a lone piper is needed to be ready to play( The P/S knows where and what to play!)

at 12 noon we then set off on our final pass to take the salute from H.E. and proceed to Liberation Square  where no doubt a beer will be taken.

The tunes will be the ones we have been practicing and the day should be enjoyable enough, and an occasion for some young pipers to make their first appearance.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A good evening with the pipes

Well, it was all quiet then "wee James" popped in and before I knew it that bottle of McAllan that was lingering in the cupboard for a day or so was opened! The music came out too. There was a pibroch run through, with a dram, and then a tune or two on the pipes and then another "wee dram". The big pipes were foresaken for the "wee pipes" and yes, another "wee" dram. The chat, the music and the company was marvellous then McAllan decided to run out! So, it was homeward bound by chaffeur driven cab-an attractive blonde! It was a while since we had met but we picked up where we left off and the only loser was the bottle of McAllan. Brilliant! Now, that's surely why we all learn the pipes!

The run up to Easter has disrupted access to the Thursday night sessions but all will be back to normal next week, so see you all then. If you come accross a bottle of McAllan it appears to help oil the fingers and mind pretty well but the reality might be that you just become a shadow of your former self !

Sunday, 17 April 2011

It's coming together

Well I missed last week but the news is good as it appears that things are all coming together. Unfortunately the Berni hall is unavailable to us this coming Thursday so why not come along to the Wednesday evening session instead? You are all very welcome so come for 7.30 p.m. and be ready to play.

See you soon

Friday, 8 April 2011

Excellent progress.....

An excellent practice last night so thanks for coming along and for puting the effort into memorising the tunes. Our starts are improving as too is our marching and we are certainly "coming together" with good pointing to the tunes. It can be quite frustrating learning the "pipe" but recall the "wee yarn" from Strathspey:

At Glenmore, in the Cairngorms, there is a conical hill called Sithean Dubh Da-Choimhead or "The Black Sithean of two otlooks". A strange name -- but at the top of the hill you can look on one side of the Great Glen opening out for miles before you and on the other side you look backwards through a cleft of the sky to the strath of Nethy. This is the two outlooks.

The locals believe that the "double outlook" reminds us not to think that "the former days and former generations were any better than us and our days." The locals recognise the hard work involved in getting to the top of the hill just to be reminded of the inevitable change that can be seen before them-some good and some bad.

The real thing is that people today should equal or better the people of yesterday. If not, then it must be our own fault. Our duty is to make most of the present, and to do one's part so there is always hope that whatever we do it will "turn out ok". The moral of the story is in gaelic but as this is a piping blog.....

Your piping will be a pleasure to many in the land and in time by your own effort good music will be  restored.
So there you guys are making good music! Just keep picking up your chanter and run through your tunes.

Friday, 1 April 2011

memorising a tune

Practice helps but each piper approaches learning a tune differently. But having asked around here are some tips:

Rule 1-Concentrate: pay attention to the detail of the tune. That means note the melody/note the rest or long held notes as they set the rhythm of the tune. Try singing or humming the melody.

Rule 2-Memorise one part at a time. In piping the first lines of a tune are called "the ground". Simply, the main melody or theme of the tune. The rest of the tune (parts 2,3,4 etc) will develop "the ground" and create variations. That's what the learner finds difficult as its easy to the get part two mixed with part 3 etc. Hence rule two -memorise one part at a time and know it well before moving to learn a new part.

Rule 3-To test that you have memorised the part sufficiently, stand up and try to march and play the tune at the same time. The old comment about chewing gum and walking at the same time could well apply?

Rule 4: play a little and often and keep returning to the tune and keep building your memory and go at your own speed. Don't try and play a tune at speed too early as its easier to learn to play the tune at a slow speed and then speed up after a few weeks. If you have learned the tune and got the timing and doublings executed well its never a problem.

Rule 5: once learned if you revist the tune in a weeks time, the experts say, you will remember the tune in a months time. Revist the tune in a months time and you will remember it in 2 months time and so other words..practice, practice, practice!

Now, where did I leave that book I got for Christmas ?--- "How to improve your memory" !