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Extended Finger Chart

Second Octave D



Oh, I got this far and found I had an Eb in the 3rd octave.

Number 37

Back D

on the knee




This is the normal on the knee tight back D.

A great lead in note is the C#, especially when you unpeel the thumb from the back D hole. There is a good tight triplet that can be played on this note. In one movement you unpin the thumb from the hole from bottom to top, at the same time you are commencing the movement of the thumb in a down ward direction. This doubles the note. To complete the triplet you move the thumb up crossing the hole. The secret of playing this triplet is to make the movements slowly so that the time that the hole is closed is the same as the time it is open. This gives the illusion of very fast playing as the mind times the silences as a beat.

It is also the fingering used when you backstitch the back D.

Someone once write that the back D is never ever decorated. This is the kind of rule based piping akin to the Scot's Pipbroch. If there was an Irish equivalent then I would agree. Perhaps someone should start one.

The tuning of this note on Howard pipes can be achieved Bu moving the bridle up towards the lips of the reed to sharpen the note and then squeezing the bridle closed to give you the playing volume/pressure you require. The opposite is true when you want to flatten the D.

There is great vibrato to be had on this note. Experiment with both top and bottom hands.

Tuning 0 cents flat


Number 38

Back D

off the knee

O | OXX | XXXX | O


The back d not is composed of two component standing waves when you lift the chanter off the knee the lower standing wave extends beyond the chanter bottom. If we remove the top hand index finger we break up the lower standing wave. The remaining single standing wave will be in tune.

Used in passages when playing off the knee

Tuning 0 cents flat

Number 39

Back D


O | OXX | OOOO | X

When playing regulators the bottom standing wave is already broken up but the top hand fingers produce a tone hole lattice that flattens the D note. The cure is to use the fingering shown. This give extra venting that sharpens the note.

Tuning 0 cents flat

Number 40

Ghost D

X | XXX | XXXO | X

A real piping note. It approximates to an Eb. In fact It can be used as an Eb. Learn to recognise it in other pipers playing and you will find where to use it.

Tuning 10 cents flat on Eb