bagpipe tuning question

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bagpipe tuning question

Postby tg » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:58 pm

lately I've had my McSpadden strung up with three .012's and all tuned to "a", and am really liking it. Is this variation of bagpipe tuning very common? It sounds more mellow tuned down from the more common d-d-d, at least to my ears. Anyone else here ever try this? Just wondering........tony
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Re: bagpipe tuning question

Postby KenH » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:13 pm

Bagpipe Tuning is Aaa, Bbb, Ccc, Ddd, Eee etc. Where the bass string is an octave lower than the melody and middle drone strings. I play Bagpipe Tuning in C all the time -- it fits my voice better when I'm playing out. The advantages of Bagpipe for players like myself with traditional instruments which do not have the 6+ fret, is that Ccc etc. lets me "cheat" at least two and usually three other tunings -- just as the 6+ fret lets DAd players "cheat" DAd and DAA. I can play Ionian tunes, Mixolydian tunes, and many Dorian tunes from Ddd.

Galax Tuning is usually ccc or ddd (the d of DAd or the c just below it), seldom lower. Nothing wrong with AAA (the A in DAA or DAd)
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Re: bagpipe tuning question

Postby tg » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:23 pm

thanks for the clarification Ken. I guess I subconsciously associate galax tuning with a very fast strumming style, which I'm not using it for. I like both bagpipe and galax, but seem to be leaning toward the latter. tony
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Re: bagpipe tuning question

Postby KenH » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:18 am

Galax is "normally" a fast strumming style -- most of their tunes are fiddle tunes, played at fiddle speeds - jig, reel, hornpipe, etc.
Bagpipe is a general purpose tuning suitable for fast fiddle tunes or slow airs.
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Re: bagpipe tuning question

Postby danc9 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:31 am

Yes,I play all the modes and love the bagpipe tuning! Nettie liked hers slacked down around "B" and the high notes didn't seem so high. Like Ken said, you can bounce between Mixolydian and Ionian seamlessly the way contemporary does keys with a chromatic......

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Re: bagpipe tuning question

Postby tg » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:57 pm

I substituted a wound string for the bass and tuned to C-c-c bagpipe and I'm REALLY liking THAT! Very versatile like you said being able to switch back and forth from Ionian to Mixolydian, and I noticed when in the latter, you can use a couple of notes on the bass string, (4th and 5th frets I think). Also easy enough to drop the melody string down a step for a minor key although I'm not sure what it is. thanks for your input......tony
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Re: bagpipe tuning question

Postby KenH » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:56 pm

I don't even use a wound bass string -- just a plain steel 18 or 20 gauge... for Bagpipe.
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Re: bagpipe tuning question

Postby tg » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:26 pm

hmmmmm.....I will have to order a couple of unwound 20's and try that. thanks Ken.......tony
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