Interested in Playing the Bagpipes? Here’s How to Get Started!

Interested in Playing the Bagpipes? Here’s How to Get Started!

  You’ve probably heard the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” Many of us believe this is true and that – ultimately – we wind up where we’re supposed to be, doing what we should be doing. I think about this when I ponder how my bagpiping got...
Which Path Will You Choose?

Which Path Will You Choose?

In the 30 years since I began teaching, I have seen one of two things happen to most students. Initially, they are excited to learn to play the bagpipes. They come to lessons weekly, practice daily, and progress to the point where they are ready to buy pipes. At that...

Warning! Some types of practicing may be hazardous to your home!

  I hear a lot of funny stories from my students about practicing. Here’s one of them. One of the hardest parts of learning to play the pipes is getting the hand position “right”. The hands need to be flat and straight and slightly angled downward almost at a...
Warning:  BTO’s can limit and even damage your bagpipe career!

Warning: BTO’s can limit and even damage your bagpipe career!

In the past I’ve written about the importance of a tune list and the dangers of “plate spinning”. Here’s a little more on that topic. Bagpipers are always excited about new tunes and different music. That’s great! However, there are some hard and...

The Tune Pyramid

  In addition to being musical, playing the bagpipe is all about precision. There’s no denying that our instrument is very loud. Because of that, it not only needs to be tuned to precision, but it needs to be played to precision. In most cases, we memorize all...

The Truth About Gigging

Are you ready to “gig”?  I mean, are you really READY to gig? I have taught many students during these last few decades. A lot of those students have been intrigued by the thought of playing for money. I don’t discourage them, for sure, but I do want to make sure...

The Power of Hemp

Throughout the last month, I have found myself sitting on my studio floor on numerous occasions, re-hemping pipes for my students. I hope they were watching. The Great Highland Bagpipe is almost a living, breathing life form! It needs care to work properly. Often, my...

The Power of Belief

A while ago, I wrote an article called “Are You a Bagpiper or a Wannabe?”. At the time I wrote this piece, the main component of the article was focused on making the decision to “do it”. I had recently turned 55 and in doing that I realized that even...

15 Minutes Daily Is Just the Start!

I tell my students that they need to practice every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. The purpose of that statement is to simply get them to practice every day. As they become more experienced, they will have more to practice and the time will automatically...

The only thing perfect in life is an egg . . . .

In teaching people to play this great instrument, I deal with a lot of “perfectionists”. I used to be one myself, but it made my stomach hurt, messed up my digestion and gave me a headache. I decided a while back that I would do the best I could. I tell...