Learning the Uilleann (Irish) Pipes

The Uilleann pipes are one of the most highly developed (complicated!) of all bagpipes, with a chanter sounding two full octaves, as well as drones and regulators. If you aspire to become an Uilleann (Irish) piper then lessons with Becky will help get you off to the right start aiming to get you playing your first tune within a month of getting going.

Lessons are offered at the following stages of piping:

Uilleann Irish pipe lessons
  • Complete Beginner
  • Intermediate/Improvers
  • Advanced

Beginners:
Beginners lessons focus on establishing the basics of good piping technique:-

  • Essential Bag and Bellows technique.
  • Basic fingering, ‘on’ and ‘off’ the knee scales.
  • Venturing into the upper octave.
  • Drones and tuning.
  • Posture and hand positioning.
  • Dealing with squeaks and leaks!
  • Your first tune.
  • Introduction to Ornamentation – the basics.
  • Irish traditional tune types and styles.

This will help you make quick progress and establish a solid basis when you move ahead to Intermediate/Improvers and Advanced levels:

  • Increasing Repertoire (more tunes!)
  • Tips and tricks.
  • More complex ornamentation types (‘rolls’, ‘crans’, triplets and more!)
  • Developing your style.
  • Introducing the regulators.
  • Pipe fettling! Basic pipe maintenance..
  • How to ‘practise’ and improve your playing.
  • Preparing for performance

Concert or Flat Pitch pipes catered for.

Contact becky@beckytaylor.info for further details and to arrange your lesson

Current Teaching Rates

Lessons for all instruments are offered in slots of 1 hour or 30 minutes in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, via Skype, or at your home (if required) with a small additional charge to cover time and travel costs.

DBS cleared and insured – certificate available on request.

One hour – £28

Half hour – £18

Discounts for multi-instrument lessons available. Although all lessons are strictly by appointment only we offer weekend, evening and daytime slots to suit your schedule – please contact becky@beckytaylor.info or contact us here to discuss your requirements.


ROOTS ALIVE! in Garforth!

Delighted to be a part of the ROOTS ALIVE concert on Saturday the 23rd March 2019. An afternoon performance of music with the Arts Live Folk Band following a series of workshops in March 2019 with the Irish Arts Foundation. Also featuring the Leeds Fiddle Folk Group!

Roadfrog

A reel in G minor for Northumbrian Smallpipes

When Colin Ross made my Boxwood 17-key chanter he asked me “do you really want a Bb key?” Apparently they are awkward to make and he was concerned that I wouldn’t make best use of it. I insisted that I did, because playing in G minor on the Northumbrian Smallpipes is one of my favourite keys for the instrument. My set is in ‘F’ which means this actually comes out in F minor when it’s played.

Colin Ross 17-key boxwood and brass Northumbrian Smallpipe chanter

Time to fettle the Northumbrian Smallpipes…

The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing (amazingly for February!) and so were the Northumbrian Smallpipes after some rather overdue ‘fettling’.

All piping (Uilleann, Northumbrian or otherwise) involves a certain amount of ‘fettling’ especially when the weather/seasons change, which can play havoc with your tuning if it happens suddenly and catches you unawares. Brass and metal work were polished, bores were oiled, bindings were re-hemped as required, and drone reeds tweaked, flicked and generally faffed with!
A day or two devoted to maintaining them every now and then is well worth the effort – you just have to be in the right mood to tackle the 17-key chanters with the polishing cloth…

Northumbrian Smallpipes by Colin Ross and Dave McQuade

Pictured above are my trusty Colin Ross Boxwood and brass 17-Key F set, and Andy May concert G chanter, and a lovely wee 16-Key G set by Dave McQuade in Blackwood and Nickel Silver. Both beautiful, but completely different beasts in tone and character. Dave McQuade taught me to play way back in the early 80’s so I am delighted and honoured to play a set that he has made.





Rustic Rock and Roll with…a MacCann Duet Concertina!

Photo by Chris Czainski

Friday the 8th of Feb saw a guest outing with Des Horsfall’s ‘Rustic Rock and Roll’ band KUSCHTY RYE. Snapped from the audience is this great pic that shows Des in the light and a shady figure playing Ralphie Jordans old MacCann Duet from ‘the dark side’… I think Ralphie would approve…

Here’s a Youtube tribute to Ralph that features the same box (along with many others!). Gone but not forgotten.


https://youtu.be/XwRRxrYFJDQ



Heading out with KUSCHTY RYE..

Kuschty Rye
http://www.kuschtyrye.net/

All go at BT HQ this week gearing up for a guest gig with the KUSCHTY RYE chaps. You can catch them this week in and around Halifax (and Barnoldswick!) with more in the pipeline somewhat further afield, so catch them local while you can!

KUSCHTY RYE is DES HORSFALL….. with an array of wonderful guest musicians. This line-up featured the solid backline grooves of Hugh Bradley on Bass and Dylan Pepper on drums, the mighty Chris Preston on Guitars, Jason Offen on Keys, with Becky adding fiddle, mandolin and a sprinkling of low whistle and concertina.

Back in the Bellows!

Delighted to announce that after over a year of not piping I am now officially ‘Back in the Bellows’. The regime of treatment, rest and focusing on other instruments has paid off and I have now regained full movement in piping-critical RH little finger meaning that I can play properly again.

Many thanks to everyone that has supported and helped me through this difficult (if quieter than usual!) time – you know who you are!