Freedom Phase 1: Developing Rhythmic Precision
Basic rhythmic precision is the foundation of so much of what we do as pipers. Let's think through some examples:
- Crossing noises are largely caused because we are mis-timing things in our mind.
- Gracenotes can become too big to compensate for early-to-the-beat playing. They become "out of sync" with note-changes when we aren't clear in our minds exactly where the beat is.
- Obviously, correct embellishments involve a very specific relationship to "the beat." If we can't play on the beat well, we can't play embellishments well. It's that simple.
- How about expression? Are we really "holding" that sacred dotted note, or did we just rush the beat to make it longer? There's a big difference.
We learn best when we focus on one thing at a time. So, with this in mind, our first freedom phase is to focus solely on developing great rhythmic precision. We'll do this by clapping the rhythm of some unfamiliar material (the Tune of the Week).
Reminder: It's very important to continuously vary our practice material. For more about the importance of unfamiliarity, click here.
Resources to Help You With This Freedom Phase
- If you're just starting out in the world of piping, Our Beginner's Tutor is the place to start. As part of the process of getting comfortable with bagpipe fingerwork, it talks a lot about the basics of rhythm and about playing with a metronome.
- If you've been playing for a while, the authoritative rhythm source here at Dojo U is our Core Course, "Rhythm For Bagpipers." In it, we dig deep into the "groove based" rhythmic development, and look closely at what Rhythmic Precision truly means.
- Additional Resources:
- The Basic Rhythm Chapter of the Fingerwork Fundamentals course is essential study for this freedom phase.
- These Blog Articles may give you some inspiration to dig deeper and find that great rhythmic accuracy!
- Lastly, don't forget that immersion may be the most important factor in the development of any fundamental! Utilize our Live Classes, Courses, Study Groups, and our Belt Program to build skill, experience, and to have fun!
- Choose the best tempo and set your metronome.
- Clap the rhythm of the Tune of the Week with rhythmic precision. Completely "Solar Eclipse" that beat!
- Examples of successful and unsuccessful attempts at this phase can be found here.
- Sheet music and a variety of learning media for the Tune of the Week can be found here.
- A PDF checklist of the exact criteria we will evaluate you on can be found here.
- Submit by Thursday at midnight Eastern US time.