This is the very attitude that has so many poor musicians out there representing what they do as Irish music to the GP who don't know any better. I think the whole "you don't have to adhere to any standard, just play what makes you happy" perspective is a cop-out. I am more serious about learning the music than this and I certainly have more respect for the music than this.The question is - who are you playing for? Most pipers, indeed most musicians, play primarily to please themselves. So every piper will wish to create the sweetest music he can, but if he constantly worries that his playing is not up to some 'standard' or other he will quickly become frustrated. I can think of nothing worse than a piper hunched over his chanter, endlessly and joylessly performing ornamentation exercises.
I am playing for myself but my goals have nothing to do with playing just whatever. I have been playing for a very short time and if I wasn't worried about improving then I would not make any progress. I love the pipes but surely there's a lot of hard work and, yes, frustration to come before I am at a place where I am happy with my playing-otherwise I'm only fooling myself. I never asked about ornamentation drills and I never said that my learning was joyless.
Yes. It was not a musical choice, but a lack of control on the chanter which resulted in that phrasing. That is where my biggest current frustration lies; how do I play fluidly but without sloppy fingering? Using the same gfe example, should I be lifting the e fingers just before or just as the f finger is returning to the chanter? I know that if I close f before opening e then I'll get a staccatto sound but even though I didn't do that on the recording (or at least I don't think I did), it still sounds, as you said, non-legato. Even the g to f transition in my recording was non-legato. Was it in the timing?For example, did the OP of this thread realise that playing gfe in the second bar of that slip jig, when played non legato as he did, didn't quite work wonders for the flow of of the tune?