The Maintenance Kit

A good maintenance kit is essential to maintaining a set of bagpipes. Forty years ago when I started playing the pipes, we played it the same way they did for hundreds of years. We played elk-hide or sheepskin bags that were sealed with “seasoning” that usually...

The Blowing & Squeezing Pendulum

I seem to be working with a lot of people right now on “blowing and squeezing”. The Great Highland Bagpipe of Scotland is one of the few wind instruments in the world where “the breath” has nothing to do with the musical line. The job of the breath on our instrument...

The Affect of a Personal Project

One of my students came to his lesson feeling a little discouraged because he couldn’t yet keep up with my teaching CD. He was talking about bailing. The truth is that he is doing reasonably well on his bagpipe project. The problem, as I see it, is that people...

Stop, Drop and Roll!

Stop, drop and roll is what we teach people to do if they are ever on fire.  We need to have something like that when it comes to practicing.  Practicing isn’t about playing something over and over again until something happens.  What we need to do is practice...

Let’s Talk About Using The Metronome.

A while back, I wrote about how developing a tune is like baking chocolate chip cookies. To review, the first step in making chocolate chip cookies is the dry mix; the flour, salt, and baking soda. In tune development, it is the rhythm. During this Covid-19 pandemic,...

Learn to play a 6/8-Mme Demira Dimitrova

Here is a tune written by a friend from Bulgaria.  This tune includes: the video lesson The Tune in .pdf Some Prep Drills in .pdf Audio includes The tune in parade Speed The Tune in Big, Slow and Open The rhythm sung to the melody The prep...

Learn to play “Tam Bains Lum”!

This is a great tune. A hornpipe. If you’re a bagpiper that hasn’t ventured into 2/4 competition marches or dance tunes, this is a tutorial on how to read the rhythm and develop the tune. Tunes are the greatest teachers of technique. I hope you enjoy this...

Why You Should Own A Bagpipe Stand

Have you ever heard of a bagpipe stand? ​ A bagpipe stand is a cradle that holds your pipes when they are not being played. Why is a bagpipe stand important? Well, the problem with most portable instruments is that they often spend too much time in the case. You know...

Building a Tune Is Like Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies!

That’s what I said: “Building any tune is like baking chocolate chip cookies!” Let’s think about that for a minute. When you bake chocolate chip cookies, you initially start out with the “dry ingredients”, right? First we combine the flour, the baking soda and the...