Los Gatos - Monte Sereno
Police Pipes and Drums

Jay Tuttle, Pipe Major


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Practice Tip:
The Double E

Last night at rehearsal, I introduced the "embellishment of the week." Essentially, we will be focusing on a particular embellishment every week. This week, it is the Double E (g-e-f-e). I have handed out a packet of music that you can use in your daily chanter practice to help focus on this embellishment.
In addition to practicing the Double E exercise on the College of Piping Exercises page (the first page of the packet handed out), I also suggest that you practice the Double E exercise on the "One Minute Exercises" handout. Practice this SLOWLY for at least a minute, consciously giving your third and fourth fingers a lot of lift. I find it helpful to actually watch my fingers as they execute the doubling......the visual seems to help the muscle memory for me. Brian Shoals also suggests approaching the Double from one note below (d) and one note above (f). Often times, it is the note preceding the doubling that determines the ease or difficulty of execution.
After you've isolated the Double E and feel comfortable with your execution, take out Miss Mary's Welcome, and slowly play those measures (bars) that have Double Es. This tune has Double Es in practically every measure (which is why I chose this embellishment for this week's practice). When you feel as though your Double Es are consistent, then increase your tempo. If they start to get messy, don't continue at that same speed....slow the tune down.
Why do this you may ask? The goal the band is seeking to achieve is to take a bunch of pipers during a performance and, through proper execution of embellishments, rhythm, tuning and style, sound like ONE PIPER as opposed to 12. Therefore, if we are all executing our embellishments the same as our neighbor is, we have a better chance of creating a consistent, unified sound.


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