3.- Posture of the Piper
More than any other instrument, the pipes lend themselves to different positions when it comes to playing. Although the position in which the pipes are held isn't everything, it certainly plays an important role for the image of the piper.
Un-asthetic habits can easily be picked up. Some of the typical defects can be named: Swelling of the face, putting the blow pipe in the corner of the mouth, putting the head either forward or to one side (in this case its important that you have a blow pipe of an adequate length), "punteiro" twisted excessively in one direction or another, innadequate position of the bag under the arm. The instrument should be held in a natural and comfortable wy. We advise practising in front of a mirror.
piper of Soutelo de Montes.
The piper should maintain his head upright, with an expresion of grandeur and dignity, inherent in the proffesion of the pipe player. The situation of the bag is perhaps the most important factor here, because from an asthetic perspective it affects the position and distribution of the pipes. The "ronco" of the pipes should be at a parallel with the "chan", a norm that has appeared in recent years as a consequence of the form of the pipes. The position of the "ronco" in respect to the shoulder, depends on the tastes of the individual piper, bearing in mind however, that this inclination shouldn't be greater than ten degrees vertical.
Of course we have somewhat different considerations for the piper playing in a band. The band piper should adopt a position that is in keeping with the rest of the group, keeping the image of the disciplined band. Therefore the individualistic movements that we see in rock for example are not desirable. All movements should be made to give the impression of harmony of movement. The marching band requires especially disciplined movements.Walking must be in time with the rhythm, Step twice per phrase in 2/4 and 6/8 time, three times in 3/4 time, and four times in 4/4 time.
Movements in the march should be completely natural. A pipe band should never march in the same way as a millitary band, but instead in in a more paused and deliberate style of normal walking. The time of the march should be between 80 and 90 steps per minute *. You shouldn't march or walk rigidly, bend the knees, knock the "chan"; try to achieve a comfortable and natural walking stance.
* Metronomic time