From Irish music and tin whistle to Scottish music and Scottish pipes
Anyone ever tried to learn Scottish trad and the Scottish pipes coming from the tin whistle and an Irish music background? Although Irish trad and whistle has always been my thing, there’s something that’s always fascinated me about Scottish music. I don’t know if it’s the fact that (normally) only one octave is used or what, but I often find the melodies to be quite genius. I don’t know, to me it kind of sounds like what Irish music might’ve sounded like in ancient times. In short, I like both Irish and Scottish music, and although I can’t say I’ve "mastered" Irish music (I never will, but that’s okay), learning Scottish music is my "unresolved matter".
Now, I don’t expect to ever own a set of Great Highland Pipes. It’s simply too loud. But I’ve always loved the sound of Smallpipes, and they’re quieter so who knows if I could get one someday. For now, I got myself an electronic chanter (Technopipes) which I’m currently in love with.
I haven’t started to learn the proper Scottish pipe fingering yet, but I already have issues/questions: do Scottish pipers really always use that complicated fingering? Even in fast tunes? Basically I mean keeping your right hand’s pinky down for C and D, and keeping your right hand’s index, middle and ring fingers down for E, F, high G and high A. How could a tin whistle player do this without going mad?
I had to say letters in my mind while counting fingers for the previous paragraph. To me, six fingers down will always be D. The idea of having to memorize new names for the finger notes that I’ve known my whole life (recorder and sax, which I played as a kid, also call notes the same names as the tin whistle) sounds a bit nightmarish. Have you managed to do this?
Are Scottish pipe ornaments very different from whistle ornaments? Cuts, taps, rolls and short rolls? Do these exist with other names? The ornaments that are different, are they easy to learn for a whistle player?
Do Scottish pipes improvise a bit, like it happens in Irish trad, when playing? I mean basically which ornaments to use and where. To me it doesn’t seem like they do. To me Scottish pipe music seems more rigid than Irish trad, more like a brass band where each musician has to follow the sheet music exactly, each and every note and thing. More institutionalized, if you know what I mean. With a "proper" or "official" technique. Are any of these suppositions true?
BTW, these electronic pipes allow me to use tin whistle fingering and it sounds perfect. So, the good thing is I can play them already. The bad thing is this won’t force me to learn the proper Scottish fingering.
Anyway, besides all these questions: any recommended resources? Thanks.