Crossing Noises

Crossing Noises

Crossing Noises are unintentional notes (usually sounds like a blip) between the notes you are trying to play.

Crossing noises are caused by the closing of the fingers of the note you are playing before the opening of the fingers for the note you are going to play.

For example, if you are moving from an E to a C, you want to lift the middle and ring fingers of your right hand before closing the ring finger of your left hand. Similarly, going from C to E, you want to open the left ring finger before you close your right hand’s ring and middle fingers.

These mainly occur when you are going from the high hand to the low hand, or the low hand to the high hand though there are a couple of places where moving between notes on the same hand can cause a crossing noise.

3 Types of Crossing Noises

With just 9 notes on the scale, there are 36 note pairings. Of these, only 4 of the pairings involve moving only 1 finger. Therefore the other 32 pairings can have one or more of the following Crossing noises:

Lift Drop Crossing Noise

One cause of crossing noise is your hands being out of sync (lift/drop crossing noise). These occur when your dropping fingers close the chanter before the fingers you are lifting opens.

Rolling Crossing Noise

Another cause is if the shape of your hand is such that moving multiple fingers to close the next note results in the fingers hitting the chanter at different times, you end up with a rolling crossing noise (sounds like a mini-run) (E to High G and back, Low G to any high hand note, B to low G, low G to B, etc).

Phantom Crossing Noise

There are also Phantom crossing noises (false notes) where the lifting fingers lead the dropping notes, so you end up with a false fingering, which results in a pitch and tone change in the middle of the movement. From a technical perspective this is the inverse of the lift/drop crossing noise.

The following exercise will assist you in eliminating the crossing noises. Note these were generated by a computer script and have not been validated for playability.