When we start a new project, we are excited about it because it is new. As we get further into the project, we forget why we are doing it and often lose interest. As a person who teaches people to play the bagpipes, I find that part of my job is keeping the student focused on the task at hand. My job is to “teach you how to practice this week”, period.
The only qualification to being a bagpiper is to be able to play a list of tunes on the bagpipe. As I’ve said before, this is a different process than playing the piano. Every tune that we learn on the bagpipes will be part of our repertoire. That being said, it is important to pass through those tunes on a regular basis to keep them alive and growing.
I relate this to a tract of houses being built in a subdivision. The builder usually builds the model and then builds next door and then next door to that and so on. As you go down the street, the houses go from being nearly completed to nothing. That is like a typical tune list. I would tell you that if you are waiting for each tune to be perfect, you will burn out quickly.
You should also be listening to bagpipe music regularly. Why not listen to it on the way to work and back?
After listening, add the names of the tunes that get your attention to your list. You should
Gary Guth is a professional bagpiper with over 45 years of playing experience and has been teaching bagpipes full time for the last 20 years. He has written "Bagpipes For Beginners", "the Bagpipe Hymnal", and " A Piper's Christmas".