The First Half of Improvement

I have been spending a lot of time with pupils lately helping them improve the precision of their playing.  A number have been producing generally “muddy” sounding music – imprecise movements from one note to the next, inaccurate timing, uneven sound due to irregular blowing and other issues.  A number of them are improving these … Continue reading The First Half of Improvement

The All Important Up-beat

Good strong simple time (2_4, 3_4 or 4_4) March rhythm does not only depend on proper emphasis of the metrical accents (the ones on the beats), but also on correct timing of the “up-beats” i.e. the pulses halfway between the beats.  I have heard many performances where a band’s rhythm becomes “muddy” or unclear, because … Continue reading The All Important Up-beat

Great piper ≠ great teacher ≠ great judge ≠ great Pipe Major

Today I had a critique sheet I had written fed back to me from nearly two years ago.   I remembered the particular performance, because it involved an uncharacteristic “train wreck” on the part of the performing band in their final tune. It reminded me that people often don’t realise that judging is a skill of … Continue reading Great piper ≠ great teacher ≠ great judge ≠ great Pipe Major