That’s a question many people ask as they ponder learning to play. The answer is many-fold. First of all, you must consider how quickly you’d like to progress. If you’re serious about learning and don’t want to take years to master the instrument, these are my recommendations:
If you hope to move quickly, you’ll need a private teacher. Having someone guide you through the process will reduce the amount of time you need to accomplish your goals. Ideally, you should meet with your teacher on a weekly basis. Your teacher’s job is to keep you on track and proven you with the best way to learn.
Hence, he or she should be prepared to teach you using either their own method or some other proven method. (Although, in many cases, you can download your bagpipe tutor book electronically, it is better to have a hard copy so that you can make notes in the book.)
If you want to move quickly, you need to be consistent. That means you’ll need to practice on a daily basis. Block out 30 minutes per day for that task. Remember, it shouldn’t be the last thing that you do at night before turning out the light. If it becomes the last priority, it will never get done.
Finally, you should make a decision NOT to terminate this program for at least a year. After a year you will either be playing the bagpipe well or will be extremely frustrated. I can promise that if you study with me and follow my recipe for success, you’ll want to keep going well past that first year anniversary.
I wish you the best on your bagpipe project!
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".